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Friday, March 12, 2010

kitty: Boye Electric Ball Winder: To buy or not to buy is the question?

Boye Electric Yarn Winder

Boye Electric Yarn Ball Winder White
Manufactured by Boye
Price: 89.99 found on Ebay for 23.99 New

Description: BOYE-Electric Yarn Ball Winder. This machine is convenient and quick: eliminate tedious hand winding and easily wind hanks of yarn into center-pull skeins. This machine winds all sizes and weights of yarn. The Yarn Ball Winder features a suction cup to securely attach it to work surfaces; adjustable speed; labor-saving motor that means less stress on your arms hands and wrists; create flat bottom balls that stack neatly; rewind messy partial skeins into tidy center-pull skeins and wind thin yarns together to create custom sizes or colors; machine is light weight and compact so transport and storage are easy. The instructions include details for use and care. Machine measures 5x10x7in. UL listed (E215890): Input of 100-240V; 50/60Hz; 0.6A and Output of 12V; 2.0A. Imported (Found on Amazon)

One of the things that I hate to do most in knitting is wind a ball of yarn. I can not tell you how many times I have found myself cursing about how much I hate the task. I know some people love it and find it therapeutic, but I am not in that camp.

So when I first heard about the Boye Electric Yarn Winder I was really excited about the concept. I had seen the more expensive electric yarn winders but I had not wanted to invest the money in one to be honest. A couple of months ago I lost my manual yarn winder someplace in my office. I looked and looked and couldn't find it. (I found it the day I ordered the electric one.)So I couldn't bear it any longer, I started to look on ebay for a new one. I ran across Ritz Camera liquidation company who was selling the Boye Electric at a highly reduced price. So I figured it was worth a shot.

So the good.... Well I don't have to hand crank to wind the ball of yarn.

Oh... It is an electrical gadget, and I am a gadget girl.

The Bad... The motor just isn't strong enough for the task and I was expecting any second for that all to familiar smell of burned out motors. It is not capable of pulling the yarn off of my swift without manual intervention. I had to stand there and pull at the same rate that the yarn was winding to get it to form its very loose ball.

I then thought, well maybe it wasn't designed for this task. So I decided to have it rewind a hand wound ball. That probed to be disastrous. It first pulled off a chunk that got knotted only to be followed by me setting there manually pulling off the yarn to be would from the ball. (This is not a task to be preformed with 2 helpful cats)

The next problem is the ball that it produces, though neat if very loosely wound. I have to wonder if it will be able to hold its shape while knitting a project..

As a whole, though I have only used this twice now, I would not recommend buying this device. Even though I had read a lot of very good reviews, bottom line I found myself spending more time winding then I did before on a task I hate.

Habu Item XS-32, 20/18 bamboo, colour 5


  1. I found I like winding a lot more, a whole lot more, now that I have a nice swift. My husband gave me a plain Jane "Mama Bear" swift from The Oregon Woodworker (no affiliation or anything) and it's really nice. It comes apart for compact storage and it requires little, if any, intervention from me to get a nicely wound yarn cake. I just have to make sure that the swift and the winder are at the same level and it works great.

  2. Erm, I guess this is where I am supposed to say you get what you pay for. We bought a Nancy's KnitKacks industrial-strength winder (not the electric one), but have been overjoyed with it. It's a tank.

  3. I hate it too! Most of the time I get my son to do it. :)

  4. Hehehe, the ball winding is my favorite part. I should move up there and wind your yarn for you!

  5. I received mine as a Christmas gift. I totally agree. It's a very disappointing product.

  6. I think this would be a great purchase!

  7. One excuse for why balls wound on ball winders get wound too tight is folks attempt to wind them too quickly. I don't wind any faster than I could make certain there's no pressure on the yarn. I don't let shops wind my yarn anymore after having to come home & rewind one that was too tight.

  8. My suction doesn’t suction to the wood able, help?

  9. I had mine over 5years and it just concked out.�� Guess I need a new one.