Knitting yarn holder

A major problem when knitting is that depending on how the yarn is pulled from the ball it can twist and create biased fabric.  This is bad for large garment projects because the clothes will be all twisty and not fit right.  However, many knitters don’t even realize that this is a problem.

Twist isn’t really only a yarn knitting problem.  It happens to DNA, ribbons, tape measures, garden hoses, tubing, toilet paper, everything that is basically a long string.  Imagine if you took a roll of toilet paper and pulled from the center instead of unrolling from the outside, you’d have a twisty mess that is not nearly as useful :D.

Techknitting blog has a great series about yarn twist.

To combat this problem, there are various yarn lazy susan contraptions I’ve seen around, most of which are crafted out of beautiful wood, cost lots of money, and hold only one ball of yarn or the balls are stuck in place. They also have design features that make them prone to tipping or in combination with unnecessary features to combat tipping that make the devices more unwieldy.

Toilet paper yarn holders in action
Toilet paper yarn holders in action

Following up on the toilet paper analogy, I’ve actually been using toilet paper holders for the past year. They are mounted to a pieces of wood bases and yarn balls are threaded onto the spring loaded holders. Looks ridiculous, not very compact, but works.

Since I’ve started color knitting, I think I’m ready for an upgrade. I don’t need the beautiful woodcraft look, but something that:

  • Holds multiple colored balls
  • Colors are hot-swapable
  • Reconfigurable for number of colors in project
  • Easy to transport / is not unwieldy
  • Somewhat durable
  • Works on uneven surfaces (low center of gravity, distributed load)
  • Cheap and easy to make
  • Isn’t bathroom joke fodder

Being the engineer/scientist/whatever it is that I am, I’ve been thinking about this and about how these requirements are met for other twist-prevention applications.  And I have designed something I’m pretty excited about.

Well, my love built it and it is great! Almost perfect!

Materials used were:
5″x8″ piece of MDF, 3/4″ thick
3/8″ pex pipe, cut to 12cm pieces
12″ 5/16″ threaded bolt, cut to 4″ pieces
5/16″ threaded insert nuts
1.5″ washers and rubber bands

Yarn axels were made by inserting yarn ball onto pipe with washer held in place by a rubberband. Posts were assembled by screwing threaded bolts into threaded inserts in MDF board. Yarn balls on axels fit over bolts and turn very smoothly!

Nut placement was great for 2 balls at 5″ apart. Nut placement for 3 balls was totally wrong, needed to calculate spacing better. Also need better care in drilling straight holes for nut inserts.


Dandelion Trestle Love

It’s finally finished!!!!  And I LOVE it!!!

It was a rather ambitious project to make such heavy modifications but it all turned out just perfect!  The sleeves I planned were just right (if only I had followed my calculations properly the first time…) and the shoulder improvisation I did on-the-fly also turned out perfect!  I just can’t believe it all worked.

For all the gory details about the sleeves, see the first progress post; and for the much swifter shoulder process see the second progress post.

Of course, the Noro colors are beautiful and earthy — such a lovely contrast from my bolder first Trestle.  I would totally make this sweater again… maybe in cool colors?  The diagonal stitches are pretty cool I think they would make a great sweater all in one color, too.  Maybe for a men’s version, in stockinette. But how many of the same thing could I make and wear without appearing creepily obsessive?

Selfie of dandelion trestle
Selfie with bad light and messy room, but the sleeves and shoulders are so cute!

My Bosnian-Siberian Slipper Pattern!!!

I wrote my slipper mods into a pattern, download on Ravelry or free below!!!!! I have been working on my slippers and I think the mods have come together so nicely. I’m so excited!!

I am offering this pattern for free and outside of Ravelry (which is also free), but I ask in lieu of “payment” to please post projects on Ravelry with descriptions of your yarn, needles, sizing, etc so that other people can also benefit.  Thanks!

UPDATE: how did I totally miss that the white bands on the cuffs are totally different!? What was I thinking!!!
Continue reading “My Bosnian-Siberian Slipper Pattern!!!”