Friday, April 20, 2007

Do it yourself Cone Spinnerrette - a tutorial

I love cones of yarn. Not hanks, skeins, center pull balls...nope. If at all possible, I will buy the cone. Did I mention cones I like? Why do I like knitting from the cone? It gives the illusion that you have a never ending supply of yarn (you don't, and there have been times where I have run out). The yarn's all contained on the cone, you don't have to worry about losing that one ball of 16 you needed for a project. And they look so neat and tidy too. However, there's a downside to cones. You can unintentionally put a bias in the yarn. Putting a twist is okay when you're knitting with several strands held together, but when you're only knitting with one, well...

As they say, necessity is the mother of invention, and I had so far just winged it using a paper towel holder to hold my cones. Letting the cone spin on it's own is okay, but the McGuyver in me said there must be a better way. Remember that I met a knitter at the lacy knitter's guild a couple of months ago, and he showed me his cone holder? Remember? He told me that I could make one using a bearing and some wood. He also said I could get my husband or boyfriend to do the woodwork, but we won't go there--I love z&a's dad so much, but if I had asked him to build this for me...well, let's just say that as an engineer, he would have over engineered and spent several years mulling it over and then tried to make it better than I needed and then well, he's an engineer...I figured I could build this thing. The only difficult thing to get was the bearing. btw-they don't carry it at big orange store. Nor did I see it at Orchard. I found it at my local Ace Hardware. But I had to ask. And this will also be the most expensive part (at least for me) of the project. It was $7.99

I was thinking that I would have to buy a wooden disc, and a large dowel and a small dowel, then get a large drill bit and drill a hole on top, then pound a dowel the size of the inner hole of the bearing on to hold...ack! what a project. But I figured out a much easier way.

So, without further ado, here's my tutorial:

Unfortunately, I made it before I took any pictures, so this is a re-enactment.

Title: Yarn Cone spindle developed from simple vertical paper towel holder

Materials and Methods: General tools were used for this construction. A rubber wood paper towel holder (Local thrift store, CA) was dismantled and the screw from the center pole removed using standard procedures. . The screw from the guide pole was also removed with a wrench.The bearing was procured from Ace Hardware (figure 1).
Figure 1

The hole in the guide pole was enlarged using a drill and a drill bit of the same size as that removed from the main pole. The larger screw was screwed in (figure 2).

Figure 2

The top of the guide pole was whittled with an exacto knife to fit the circumference of the bearing(figure 3).
Figure 3

The original guide pole, now with the larger revised screw was replaced on the platform in the center. The spinnerette was assembled and tested. (figure 4, 5).
Figure 4 Figure 5


Stefaneener said...

So far I've been relying on unrolling the yarn with the cone held horizontally. Your way looks much more . . . engineered.

I may have to walk to the Ace store.

jeannie said...

Thank you for showing us! This is 'way cool. I'm going to have to make one, too. I love cones and have Tencel and Bamboo on cones that I've been reluctant to use. Now I'll be able to set them up.
Two things- could one put a cat zapper on it? Not to hurt them -just keep them away from playing with it.
And how 'bout a way to take it with me to knitting group or wherever? Hmmmm. [Wheels in my head turning on overdrive.]

UniquelymeNana said...

Awesome idea. I did something similar I used some of the crafting supplies I had ie: 4" wood circle, 12" -1/2" dia dowel rod. But I had placed a round final on top. But after seeing how you used the bearing I will be going to ACE tomrrow to get me a ball bearing to replace the final. Great idea, who said women can't be crafty has no idea how crafty we can be when it is DIY!

Cheryl ~ TX

LUL said...

I just ordered a huge pile of cones and am definately going to make one. Thanks!

TheBlackSheep said...

Wow! Ingenius! Good for you.