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The Sleepyz Blanket: Playing with Yarn


When I last left you I had just figured out how to crochet a Z. It seems I was so excited about sharing how I made a Z that I totally forgot to tell you about all the fun I had winding up the yarn. I must’ve been super sleepy that day. I hope you don’t mind if I backtrack a bit.

Winding yarn is one of my favorite things to do. It ranks right up there with popping bubble wrap and watching videos of baby animals. So one morning, as soon as hubby was gone and the coast was clear, I whipped out my ball winder and swift and set to work winding up ball after ball of my beautiful new cotton.

It’s not that I don’t want Shelby around. He doesn’t mind my taking up the entire kitchen table with yarn. In fact, he’s very helpful. Last time I had a lot to wind, he noticed how I held the yarn to help feed it onto the ball winder. He offered to hook me up with something that would do that for me. I looked at him like he was crazy and said, “But you don’t understand, that’s the best part. I get to feel the yarn as it winds into a ball. It’s so soft and luxurious, and I can just imagine what fun it will be to work with it and turn it into something wonderful!” He, understandably, looked at me like I was crazy.

I’ve decided, I guess, that people are welcome to watch, but I’m finding it’s more of a thrill if I just wind my balls in private. For those who have never tried it, here’s how the process works. Often the yarn you purchase is in skeins. That just means that it is looped around and around in one big coil (like a garden hose). This isn’t much fun to work with as is. It’s easier to use if it’s in a ball. I used to use the back of a chair to hold the yarn and wind it up by hand. But now that I have my handy-dandy swift and ball winder, it is much easier. You load the skein onto the swift and thread a loose end of the yarn through the guide on the ball winder and into the slot on the top of the post around which it wraps. Then you just turn the crank on the ball winder and the swift gets to going, feeding the yarn to the ball winder. You can get them to go really fast! (I guess that’s the thrilling part.) Before you know it, you have a ball of yarn that feeds from the center. That’s the best kind, in my opinion.

Well, time to get back to crocheting those Zs. I hope that when we meet again I have lots of Sleepy Zs to show you.

Other articles in this series:

Making Zs by Trial and Error

Big Decisions to Make

Introducing the Sleepyz Blanket


12 thoughts on “The Sleepyz Blanket: Playing with Yarn

  1. I really need to invest in one of these. It looks like fun.

    • It’s so much fun! I finally convinced myself it was worth the investment because in addition to being a super happy fun time itself, it also frees up time so I can actually work on the project too.

  2. it is easy to work with all those gadgets!!!
    Lucky you!
    Next time I buy yarn than needs to be winded will send it to you to make me balls of yarn. 🙂

  3. Oh I want/need one now! 😀

  4. Ha ha ha…slightly obsessed 😀 – but don’t worry…I totally can relate eventhough I don’t own a ball winder. But I just might invest in one…Because I can totally picture myself EXCACTLY like you – being overjoyed and clapping in my hands because of this fun “toy” (I’m a gadget-freak – looooooove things that can do things!!!)

    • Hi Lene! I think you would have a blast with these gadgets. They’re so simple to use. Our shared excitement over these things reminds me that we’re not alone. I keep thinking of all the diy ball-winding inventions I’ve seen over the years: standing mixers and drills fashioned for the job come immediately to mind. If I find the article I’m thinking of, I’ll be sure to share it here. Yarn enthusiasts are so clever.

  5. I’d never thought about this stage of wool. Must be lovely to have all that colour and texture. I had to have a giggle at ‘people are welcome to watch but it’s more of a thrill to wind my balls in private’

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