Hand Winding Center Pull Yarn Ball

How do you wind you balls of yarn? I just learned of center pull yarn balls while I was knitting the Hadley sweater and, finally, on the last two skeins I experienced the joy of center pull. To help me wind center pull yarn balls, my 15 y.o. son, who turns wooden pens on a lathe to help pay for his college tuition, crafted me my own “nostrpinne” squared on the end to hold and glossy cylindrical shape on the yarn winding end in beautiful red wood. I thought it was very thoughtful and is a nice portable size to keep w my knitting supplies. It does accommodate a full skein of BT Shelter.

I was secretly admiring Nancy’s wooden yarn ball winders and was considering the plans available for wood craftsmen to build one. Those that have a ball winder, are there additional benefits of the consistency obtained with the regular ball winder aside from speed and ease. Right now I don’t mind hand winding as I can do it while watching a movie w the family. It is kind of a game to see how neat I can wind it and appreciate my son’s thoughtfulness.


I bet your son could sell those also - check with LYS in your area. By the way - it looks lovely.


What a thoughtful gift & beautiful!


Riker, my son is taking your suggestion and made more nostepinne ball winders.
I watched Pia’s second podcast from Sweden last night. The scenery and her designs are so beautiful. She happened to be using a nostrpinne ball winder at the beginning of the video while she visited w a friend, who was holding her yarn, as they chatted over tea brewed on a cast iron stove.


I have a regular ball winder but wind most of my yarn by hand------on the couch. Too lazy to go to the basement where I have a table to attach the ball winder. Besides, this way I get to play with the yummy yarn longer!


I learned to wind center pulls just using my hands from the Stitch 'n Bitch book. Then I read that using a tube from toilet paper or paper towels helps prevent one from stretching the yarn as it’s wound. From comments to a post Ann wrote about winding, apparently the tube can also be used to create a center pull. I however must wind too tightly or do something else wrong, because I can’t figure out how to make it work.

It was also from comments to Ann’s post that I realized nostepinne’s aren’t just for spinners! Since then it’s been on my “to buy” list. Using one of your son’s hand made beauties seems so much nicer and much more appropriate than the cardboard tubes I’ve been using.

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Thank you so much for the compliments. I also tried using a cardboard tube and using my thumb to make the diagonal winding pattern. This is the video that I later aspired to use it’s method.https://youtu.be/oGaA92IjXDg. It shows how simple the “wooden dowel” can be: she says the grooves to tie the tail on to get started are unnecessary and add a needless step at the end. And some nostepinnes on the market have a tapered neck between the yarn end and handle that the yarn could slide into. Another consideration is length. Most I found on the market were 12-18" but I had watched a Scandinavian knitting podcast where the host used one not much longer than the width of her hand. Plus the shorter 5-6" ones fit nicer in your knitting bag yet can hold most skeins. Some people cut off the end of a broom handle or you could check out any children’s building blocks or wood marble roll sets you might have stored for a good diameter.

I love the yarn winders my son made me. He normally lathes pens out of beautiful exotic woods and uses an 18 step sanding and finishing process to make a durable, hard, shiny, and smooth surface. He applied this same finishing technique to the yarn end of the yarn winder to not snag the delicate yarns (even short fiber of unspun yarn). I like the cubical handle juxtaposed against the cylinder which also acts as a hard stop to push the developing yarn ball against to help shape it. I like the look and feel of the hard finish and it highlight the beauty of the wood. It is like a little piece of art. As an aside he made a coffee scoop that had coffee beans embedded in the acrylic last week. You could smell coffee as he lathed it!

He would be glad to make one for you or you are welcome to copy his design. 6" total length and 3/4" diameter. Cube handle is about 2" long and easy to hold and rotate between your thumb and finger tips.


Thank you! I certainly don’t have his talent to copy, but may be in the market to buy one.

He would be happy to make one for you. You can message me here or on Ravelry (I’m heyKerrianne).