Boye Yarn Winder – My Complete Guide With All The Facts

The Boye Yarn Winder was excellent for winding yarn into center pull yarn cakes. It was an electric ball winder and wound by itself.

Unfortunately, they don’t seem to manufacture it anymore. I review the best alternatives for boye yarn winders.

Boye Yarn Winder Feat Img

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

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. It ran on electricity and did all the winding for you.

I’ve done a lot of searching, but unfortunately, for some reason, they’re no longer manufacturing it.

Many users found it convenient, 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.

Your yarn won’t tangle in crochet yarn bowls.

Other Electric Yarn Winders

Unfortunately, there aren’t many other options available in the market for electric yarn winders.

There are much better alternatives, and I mention them in my electric yarn ball winder post.

Do you want to know where the best place buy yarn online is? Continue reading.

Which Is The Best Boye Yarn Winder 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.

Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Yarn Ball Winder, 10-Oz

Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Yarn Ball Winder, 10-Oz

Created by Stanwood Needlecraft, this is one of their most popular models. 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.

(It isn’t always available and can be difficult to find.)


  • Wind up to 10 oz of yarn at the time.
  • Made of heavy-duty, high-quality materials
  • Creates center pull yarn balls
  • Protected gear shaft, with gears made of durable nylon
  • No tools required to set it up


  • Excellent capacity of yarn it’s able to wind
  • Heavy-duty, so it’s built to last and 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.


  • Sometimes the gears knock against each other
  • Can be a little bit noisy sometimes
  • Can wind the cakes a little too tightly.

Knit Picks Yarn Ball 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. Just something to be expected of a company like Knit Picks.


  • Able to wind up to 3 ounces or 100 grams of yarn 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 yarn winder, 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

Your Questions Answered

How Do You Use A Boye Yarn Winder?

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.
  • You can either use the center pull end or the outside end for your projects.
  • Tada, you’re done. Great work.

Why Do I Need A Boye Yarn Winder?

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, rather than doing it at the yarn store.

In short, there aren’t many reasons why you shouldn’t have one.

What Is A Boye Yarn Winder?

The boye yarn winder was designed to help those who didn’t want to or couldn’t wind by hand, it did all the cranking for you and ran on electricity.

It was a good idea, but the product received mixed reviews. Now, it’s no longer manufactured, but there are second-hand models available online.

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 for this popular machine.

Did you have a yarn winder from Boye? What did you like about it, were there any problems you encountered while using it? Which of these ones do you think is the best fit? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

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About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan - (Founder)

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Lives In: Chiang Mai, Thailand

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate crocheter and blogger with 17+ years of experience currently living in Chiang Mai, Thailand. 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.


  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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