Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yarn Spindles

If you've read any of my posts lately, you will know that my current favorite yarn is the Aunt Lydia's Fashion 3 Crochet Cotton.  I am obsessed with it.  I love everything about it: the bright colors, the all cotton-ness, the fact that it's so small so all my projects look hand-crafted and not homemade-y.  Yeah, I make up a lot of words, but you get the point. I am crazy about that yarn.

I am not crazy about the way that that yarn comes.  It comes in balls. Not pull skeins.  I suppose that it would tangle too much if it was in a pull skein, but still.  I spend solidly half of my crocheting time pulling yarn from the ball, chasing the ball across the room when I have pulled too vigorously and it rolls off the couch, and then re-winding the mass of yarn that has come off as it rolled around on the floor.  I am unwilling to crochet from a ball rolling around on the floor, if you're thinking that might be an acceptable solution to my problem.  But I had to do something about it.

I went to Target, thinking that they might have something I could use to keep my yarn from rolling around on the floor.  I looked at paper towel holders, closet organizing systems, and I even toyed with the idea of using one of those free-standing toilet paper holders.  None of them were perfect though, and I knew that I would have to fuss with whatever I brought home to make it work.  I knew that I could come up with something better.

When I was in college I took a sculpting class.  One of our projects required an armature, which we made from plumbing supplies and a block of wood.  Something about that project popped back into my mind to use as a solution to my problem. I took a trip to Home Depot to see if I was right.

I picked up two 1/2" metal floor flanges from the plumbing department.  I got two 1/2" x 5" pipes that were threaded at both ends, and I got two 1/2" caps to seal the ends.  I then went to the paint department and grabbed a can of aqua spray paint and some clear gloss spray.  My grand total at checkout was right around $25. (Pardon my hand and camera shadow in the picture! lol!)

I got my supplies home and went to work.  I threaded the pipe into the floor flange, and then twisted the cap onto the other end of the pipe.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy!  It took less than a minute.  I grabbed a sheet of paper, so I wouldn't spray paint the lawn, and I went outside.

I put two light coats of the aqua paint on the pieces.  I used a third coat to hold on some glitter, because I love glitter almost as much as I love size 3 crochet cotton.  Then I sprayed the heck out of it with the clear gloss.  I let it dry for about a half hour.  It was a warm sunny day, it might take longer if it was overcast and cold.

My new yarn holders work great!  The spindle parts work like the thread holder on a sewing machine, so I don't have to pull as hard to get the yarn off, and the ball just spins instead of rolling around.  The floor flange is heavy enough that I don't pull it over, and I can see making a bunch of these for when I'm working with lots of colors.  Tres Convenient!!



  1. Another clever idea. I like that you can have two going at once and they don't get tangled up with each other. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Jake! I did get my threads tangled up this morning, though. But! I was using the super tiny size 20 itsy-bitsy crochet thread, and it got caught in the threads of the pipe. The size 3 thread is larger and works perfectly.

  2. What a great idea! Keep em coming... now if I could just learn to crochet I could put all these to use! I know I will be learning soon! Cant wait!

  3. Love the idea. I've tried using upright paper towel holders and the base isn't heavy enough. There is surely some way of filling the threads on the pipes without creating a problem on the crochet thread. Hmmmm

    1. Hi Jac! I think that even covering the threads with some fabric or felt would be better... Hmmm, now you've got me thinking... Jake is suggesting polymer clay...
      xo Jaime

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  7. Jamie, I just been refered to your site by Crochet Parfait. I am almost obsessed with this idea! That said, I have a question AND a possible idea for you. First, the question ... After painting, do the tops still come off for placing the ball on the post or do they just fit over the bump? Now for the idea. I love to crochet in many colors and have been wanting to crochet a 50-70" round mandala table cover in size 3 or 5. Currently I'm "charting" it out on graph paper and using colored pencils to do my colors: 2 shades of blue (slate & navy), 2 shades of green (sage & hunter), brown, beige, and very light yellow or ivory. 7 colors. I noticed the holes in the base and was thinking of making 7 of your ball holders and maybe screwing them down to a two by four (GLITTER painted, of course) with room in between to rest my feet, elevated slightly. What do you think?

  8. My landlady told me a good system for this. Re-use a plastic margarine container, one that is big enough for your ball of yarn. Make a hole in the lid for the strand to come through and pull it from there. You can either lodge the plastic container between furniture or have some of them rolling around on your floor to keep your cat wondering. Now it doesn't matter if your ball of yarn is rolling around because it's inside the plastic container! :)


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