Read Reviews (22):
4.181818 out of 5 stars

Knitting Yarn Ball Winder

$19.99


Transform hanks or skeins into compact center-pull balls that sit nicely while you knit. As with our Options needles, we interviewed knitters to find out what they would like best in a ball winder, what we found is that everyone is different. Some knitters prefer to hold their ball winder while some prefer to clamp it to a table, so we created a ball winder that could do both. Use the clamp for tables or connect the ergonomic handle to use when you want to hold it. Best when used in tandem with a Yarn Swift. Ball winder holds approx 100 grams or 3.5 ounces of yarn.

Note: The metal yarn guide arm comes folded against the ball winder for shipping. The guide arm needs to be moved and positioned opposite the winding handle for correct operation.

Item No. 80583
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“Today I got an e-mail from Knit Picks telling me they have new knitting tools available. Wow do they ever! Check this out. There’s a fabulous ball winder, and it’s half the price of the nice ball winder that just went off the market!!” www.jam2day.blogspot.com, March 2009

“Thank you Knit Picks! I’m also the proud owner of a KP yarn ball winder. Seriously, at that price, why wouldn’t I get one?? The mats are also well priced and they interlock nicely. I’ve got some of them in use now with the Not Quite Straight Scarf.” www.inkysticks.blogspot.com, March 2009

"Okay, call the National Enquirer if you want. But I am in love with my new $19.99 KP Ball Winder. I clamped it onto the arm of my big rocker, and I was off and winding. I've been rewinding every skein in my stash, it is just too much fun. I even wound some fairly wide ribbon yarn as well as some cotton that is more like heavy thread. My 14 y.o. son saw me and insisted on trying it out. I let him at it with some acrylic worsted, but after one ball (with quite a few backup rewinds when he wasn't watching and got off track), his curiosity was satisfied and I have the winder all to myself again. I'm thinking it would be stupid to wind the small skeins that are still in ball-bands. But they would look so much prettier in the puffy little disks that the winder makes...

Am I the only one having fun with this? Do I need to join Ball Winders Anonymous? Is it a red flag when I start frogging swatches and old sweaters so I can wind some more? Sadly, if they offer to Call a Friend on a Life Line, I will just want to wind it.

All Wound Up,
Cindy, Knit Picks Customer"


2 out of 5 stars

This was one of my first purchases when I started knitting 5 years ago (right after all the knit picks needles and I purchased it with a swift) After VERY light for these five years (I'm talking maybe 20 balls of yarn wound) it was dropped from about a 4' high shelf onto a plush carpeted floor and the handle snapped off...there's no fixing it so I'm now shopping for a new winder. At a dollar a ball to wind I think I can do better. For the little bit I used it I liked it but it sure isn't very sturdy!

2 out of 5 stars

I bought this winder about four months ago and it's already bit the dust. I read other reviews of people who have had this winder for years so I wonder if the quality in product is declining. Don't think I've even wound 100 skeins yet and yesterday the winder flew of and regardless of how much fiddling and reassembling I do I can't get the rotation to wind the cakes appropriately. I accept that the price point may also affect the quality of this item but I thought it'd last longer than four months.

5 out of 5 stars

I mostly crochet with size 10 cotton thread. I have made all my spools of large thread (sizes 10, 5, 3) into smaller cakes. This reduces the storage space by half, and I can carry my works in progress in a smaller bag. This winder works great for that size thread. I have also wound a few skeins or worsted weight, works great! It is more efficient with better tension when clamped to a table, but hand held works very well too. I am very pleased with this purchase.

3 out of 5 stars

I got this winder a few months ago and everything was great, it wound amazing cakes, but I went to wind a new hank and it isn't oscillating correctly. My husband had to take it apart, realign the base gear, and put it back together hoping that would fix it. It's crazy to me that a short drop (he was fiddling with it and dropped it) basically put it out of commission. While adjusting the gear that had gotten off track definitely made it work again, I could hear the gear slipping and making noises it shouldn't have. I'm wondering if it's going to wear out much quicker now?! I would have thought a ball winder would be more sturdy than this! When it works it's absolutely amazing, but it seems way too easy to break! I suppose $20 is a "you pay for what you get" price.

5 out of 5 stars

love the ball winder

3 out of 5 stars

For the price point I thought that this has been a decent ball winder. I’ve had it for a couple of years and wound probably around 100 balls with it – maybe more? Lately it’s been feeling like it needs some lubrication inside there which unfortunately I can’t do, because I can’t get to the guts of it inside the plastic casing. It feels like it’s getting stiffer and harder to wind with this and I suspect as other reviewers have mentioned that it might be on its last legs. Every now and then it just quilts working. However, for the price $19 and change it has certainly fulfilled its promise and I have wound many skeins with it. So I guess for 20 bucks it’s worth it. However, as I need another one I’m thinking about upgrading do a better model.

4 out of 5 stars

I bought my winder several years ago and have wound many cakes of my own plus my friends. Unfortunately the handle broke off while I was winding yarn for an afghan! No fears, I will just order another. It is the best! For the price it is well worth having. Knit Picks is the BEST

3 out of 5 stars

I have owned one for about three years. Overall, it has worked pretty well, but I have used better ball winders. The capacity is not large, which I understand, but some people may not realize. For example, you can't expect to wind more than 250 yards of worsted weight yarn without reballing 2-3 times due to the yarn slipping. Almost all silky lace weight yarn is a pain to wind with it (e.g., alpaca lace at 400 yards), and about every other 100 yard sock yarn takes 2-3 times to wind at this point. For the first year, the winder held up pretty great. After that, though, I started hearing a "womp, womp, womp" noise with every turn of the handle. That was when I started noticing that the balls of yarn would have the winding yarn "hop" around/off the ball and I'd have to start over. Now, three years in, the winder is done. I should mention that I use a nice, free spinning umbrella swift and that I have used an amish swift with this winder. Overall: Good for the price, but don't expect it to be the last ball winder you own if your experience is like mine. Cons: Not high capacity (see above). I found the hand holding handle awkward to use, and the tension is hard to maintain between balls of yarn (a problem I don't have with other brands of ball winder). Best uses: Reballing remnant yarn cakes. Light or occasional use. And good for those on a budget or want to get a yarn winder to see if they will like it.

5 out of 5 stars

I requested this for Christmas and I looove it. I wound a couple cakes holding the winder in one hand and cranking with the other hand. Now I have it clamped to a table so one hand can provide some tension on the yarn as I crank. It makes a much firmer cake and I can get a full 3.5 oz skein wound into one cake. This has been a very useful gaget that I would recomend to others.

4 out of 5 stars

I got this item after several years of hand winding balls of yarn..I have had a Knit Picks swift for about 4 years now.. the first ball of yarn was a bit of a challenge, but despite the fact that the lubricating oil spit out ( was wondering what that black stuff was on my white laptop) I have wound fingering weight 100 gram and lace weight 50 gram balls and so far so good. I am kicking myself for not purchasing one sooner...

5 out of 5 stars

I just got my ball winder about a week ago. If I keep some tension on the yarn, it does a nice job. Sometimes I have to wind the cake a second time. I also have an electronic ball winder, and I like the fact that my KP ball winder is quiet! It makes quick work of rewinding yarn, and is going to really help my wife and I manage our yarn stash. I have wound 6 oz skeins with no problem, and I love the fact that the cake of yarn is really compact.

4 out of 5 stars

This worked well for me for heavier-weight yarn, but I found it didn't work well at all with fingering weight. The ball came out lopsided, and trying to pull yarn from the center, it came out in tangled lumps that had to be untangled before the yarn could be used. (Luckily, I've had a lot of practice untangling things!) The first skein was hopeless - I finally found both ends, but the rest of the yarn was completely tangled. It worked slightly better if I kept tension on the yarn while I was winding it, but I still found lumps coming out of the center. Can anyone give me any hints, or does the more expensive one work better? I have a lot of fingering and lace weight I'd like to turn into balls using a winder instead of the old-fashioned way!

5 out of 5 stars

Great item!

5 out of 5 stars

I bought this ball winder a few months ago and had trouble winding my first ball of bulky weight yarn. After a little trial and error I figured out that for a ball to be wound correctly, you CANNOT push it down during winding. If you do, it throws the whole ball off and you will get very frustrated. You have to trust the winder when you think it looks like it is getting too close to the top it is not! So after a few messy winding sessions I figured out that it is really idiot proof and all you have to do is turn the handle!

5 out of 5 stars

I bought the ball winder about 2 years ago, I also was getting the click thing going on, and now the handle has broken off... I am ordering new one, because at under $20, you can't expet it to last forever, and I did use it A LOT, too bad it broke in the middle of winding the yar or a sweater...

5 out of 5 stars

I bought the KP winder about a month ago. I love it, and it works perfectly.

4 out of 5 stars

Works very nicely for its price, though I have had to duct-tape the guiding arm down to make it stay in place. It's also developed an odd clicky noise after about 100 balls of yarn, but it hasn't had any problems winding. In short, a good way to spend twenty dollars if you are a fan of center pull cakes of yarn. I know I am.

5 out of 5 stars

I bought this ball winder along with the swift. I looked at other ball winders and this winder had the same upgrades as the ball winders priced at $65 and up. Plus it has the handle to hold it in your hand, if you prefer to wind that way. The best part is that I got my winder for $19.99! I have used it four different times now and each time it wound nice cakes of yarn easily. I am very happy with my purchase and highly recommend Knit Picks winder and swift.

5 out of 5 stars

The worst! I have had my Knit Picks ball winder for a little over a year and have yet to make a ball that looks like your picture. The yarn winds unevenly and flips over the top of the spindle making a mess. I am surprised Knit Picks puts its name on this.

5 out of 5 stars

Oh my Gosh! I love this little thing! I was looking for a way to minimize the storage space my yarn stash was taking up and stumbled across a blog where I saw a photo of all these nice uniform balls of yarn and knew I just had to have whatever it was that made these things. KP price was the best I could find and I love my other KP products. The day I received this I rewound almost 30 skeins of yarn the same evening. It's easy to clamp to the side table and wind while watching TV. I have to be doing something if I am sitting that long and once everything is neatly rewound, I can move onto my next storage conundrum.

5 out of 5 stars

I love this winder. It was less than half the price of others and has crtainly served me well.

3 out of 5 stars

I bought my KP Ball winder on sale about 16 months ago. For 14 of those months, I'd say it was the most dependable and most useful tool I owned. Very easy to set up, and very few problems. Unfortunately, over the last 2 months, there's been some "clicking" and gear grinding happening, and today my ball winder finally bit the big one. To be honest, I suppose that at the price point, 16 months of use was a pretty good deal. I'm a moderate to heavy user: I wind a lot of hand-spun singles. My ball winder was winding 100g of yarn at least once per week. I suspect my spouse would agree that nearly a year and a half where he has been spared from weekly yarn-winding assistant duties was worth it, especially for $20.