Boye Yarn Winder – My Complete Guide With All The Facts

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

The Boye Yarn Winder was excellent for winding yarns into center pull yarn cakes. It was an electric ball winder and wound by itself. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to manufacture this type anymore. I review the best alternatives for Boye.

Boye Yarn Winder Feat Img

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Want a manual yarn winder? See my review of the best yarn ball spinner.

I reviewed, fact checked and updated this post on April 22, 2023

Table Of Contents

Simplicity Boye Electric Yarn Ball Winder

Boye Electric Yarn Winder

The Simplicity Boye Electric Yarn Ball Winder was a yarn winder created by the popular craft and yarn company Boye for Simplicity. A company also known for sewing tools and patterns. It ran on electricity and the motor did all the winding for you. Saving your wrists. I’ve done a lot of searching, but unfortunately, for some reason, they’re no longer manufacturing it.

Many users found it convenient and were content with it, though others reported it to be unreliable, a not powerful enough engine, and tended to fall apart or break after prolonged use. While you can sometimes find it in stock on Amazon and there are second-hand versions available online for purchase, I wouldn’t particularly recommend it.

Other Electric Yarn Winders

Unfortunately, there aren’t many other options available in the market for electric yarn winders. Read more in my electric yarn ball winder post about premium items.

Which Is The Best Alternative?

Note: The following options are all manual, but they’re the best ones we could find to suit people’s needs. Don’t mind cranking by hand? These make it easy and convenient.

Lacis 10oz

Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Yarn Ball Winder, 10-Oz Check Price On Amazon

Made from durable metal, plastic, and nylon. It’s a workhorse without being unaffordable and has the capacity of winding 10 ounces of yarn. Excellent for most people.


  • Wind up to 10 oz of yarns at the time.
  • Made of solid plastic materials
  • Creates center pull balls
  • No tools required to set it up


  • Excellent capacity it’s able to wind
  • Can withstand some serious cranking
  • Well made and designed to last for years
  • Great value for the price
  • Smooth base so it won’t mark the surface
  • Quiet, continuous winding.


  • Can be a little bit noisy sometimes
  • Can wind the cakes a little too tightly.

Knit Picks Ball Winder

Knit Picks Yarn Winder

Knit Picks has nearly everything you need to further your fiber arts hobby, so it makes sense they sell a yarn winder. A budget choice without compromising on quality, for the price, it’s a pleasant surprise on how well it works. Another excellent companion tool is their yarn swift. If you live in the US receive free shipping for orders over $65. They also offer regular deals.


  • Able to wind up to 3 ounces or 100 grams at one time
  • Small, and doesn’t take up too much space
  • Simple set up and disassembly
  • Instructions included


  • A perfect choice for those on a budget
  • High quality for the price
  • Helpful customer service if anything goes wrong
  • A great first option, though it doesn’t compromise on quality.
  • Easy to assemble


  • Might be too small if you want to wind hanks over 3 ounces
  • You’ll have to cut larger skeins into two or more pieces

FAQs About The Boye Winder

How Do You Use A Boye Yarn Winder?

If you find a second hand one – Here’s a step by step guide on how to set up and use one:

  • To begin attach the strong suction cup at the bottom of the winder to any smooth surface.
  • Position the winder in a place you will find comfortable.
  • Lower the carrying handle and push down on the suction cup lever.
  • Postion the yarn guide bar over the ball holder tube.
  • As the yarn winds, the yarn guide bar will rise to accommodate the ball as it gets bigger.
  • To thread the machine, unwind your hank and connect the loose end of the yarn through the guide hook.
  • Then wrap the yarn through the Metal S tension guide in a zig zag pattern.
  • Slip the yarn through the notch on the guide bar.
  • Then insert the yarn in the notch at the end of the ball holder tube.
  • Place the end of the yarn inside the tube, this will be the end you will have in the center of your ball to make it center pull.
  • Insert the electrical cord into the back of the machine, then plug the cord into an electrical wall outlet.
  • Unwind the hank completely and place over your hands.
  • Switch the winder on, keep it at a low speed when first learning to use it.
  • Move your hands in a circular motion as the machine winds the yarn.
  • As you get comfortable with using the winder, increase the speed.
  • If you are using a skein, place it in a bowl and follow the same steps above to thread the winder, keeping the yarn moving through your fingers to keep tension.
  • When you have a good sized yarn cake, turn the dial to the off position.
  • Gently pull the yarn ball off the holder tube.

Why Do I Need A Boye Yarn Winder? Saves Your Hands & Wrists

Though the boye yarn winder is no longer widely available, there are many reasons as to why you might need or should consider a yarn winder.

  • You find winding by hand frustrating, tiring, time-consuming, or painful.
  • You want to spend more time crocheting.
  • You buy most of your yarn, or most of your yarn comes in hanks or skeins
  • You want to be able to wind it at home on your own time.


Unfortunately, though the boye yarn winder is no longer available, I’ve found what I hope are some good alternatives. Hopefully, these will serve as a functional, high-quality replacement.

Did you have a yarn winder from Boye? What did you like about it, were there any problems you encountered while using it? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Pin For Later

Boye Yarn Winder Pin

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Crochet Penguin

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

[email protected] | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate crocheter and blogger with 17+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother, she fell in love with crocheting after her first child was born. When she’s not crocheting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online crochet community. Please say hello, or see what she's making on socials.

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Don't Know What To Crochet Next?

Banish your crochet dilemmas: discover your next masterpiece in just 7 mins. Get 12 hand-curated designs, 6 invaluable tips, and 6 pieces of inspiring crochet art delivered to you every Thursday.


  1. Hi, I just found this post because I have a Boye Electric Yarn Ball Winder that I want to sell, and I don’t have any idea of what could be a fair price. I don’t have the receipt but it is clean, and it has the original package and the instructions, so it is like new. Could you give me an idea for the price?


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