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A Yarn Winder From Michaels – Are They Any Good? Worth It? (2020 Buying Guide)

Did you know you can buy a yarn ball winder from Michaels, the ever-popular craft store? Yes, you can, but is it truly worth it? Is this product any good, and if so, who is it best suited for?

Michaels is a very-well known craft store based in the United States and has both an online store and shops all across the country. For many years, they never stocked yarn winders, until now!

Their main and only product in terms of yarn winders. 

Here is an honest review of The Loops & Threads™ Yarn Ball Winder from Michaels.

Table Of Contents

The Loops & Threads™ Yarn Winder

Yarn Winder by Loops & Threads

It’s quite different from most yarn winders you may have seen, most prominently in the design. Unlike most yarn winders, it has a solid base.

It can sit flat on a tabletop or similar surface without needing the table clamp to keep it steady.

Though it’s a good idea to use the table clamp if you’re worried about it slipping or moving accidentally when you don’t want it to. This feature is removable and easily put back on so you can use it how you wish.

The main feature of this excellent invention is to transform yarn into a center-pull yarn cake ready straight away to crochet from. It winds horizontally, and the crank is on the other side of the bobbin.

What The Box Includes

  • The yarn winder
  • Removable table clamp
  • Instructions on how to use and set up

Features

  • Is a smaller model than other yarn ball winders, it measures approximately 5″ x 3″ x 5 3/4″.
  • Winds up to 4 oz of yarn at a time.
  • Creates center pull yarn cakes to make crocheting easier.

Pros

  • Compact in design without being cramped or awkward to use, this is a great option if you have limited space.
  • Minimal assembly required
  • Straightforward and simple to use and set up.
  • It’s cheaper than other models on the market, the perfect choice for those on a budget.
  • Economical and a great first yarn winder or for those who don’t have lots of yarn, they need to wind.
  • The gear shaft is completely protected and covered, so your hand won’t snag.

Cons

  • It only comes in one color, the white with a black base and silver metal parts.
  • Isn’t able to wind up much yarn at once, only able to wind up to 4 oz of yarn.
  • It can be quite noisy when in operation, but customers have suggested if you have this issue persistently, use a little bit of oil to lubricate the gears. (You’ll have to unscrew the cover to get to the apparatus.)
  • Can squeak noisily when you crank the handle.
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Is A Michaels Yarn Winder Worth It?

Yes, depending on your individual needs, preferences for your budget, and how much yarn you need to wind. 

It’s worth it for you if –

  • You’re on a budget or want to try something cheaper before committing to a larger, more expensive model.
  • You want something simple, functional, and no-frills to just get the job done.
  • You’re willing to accept things that may not work perfectly, and there may be a few issues to iron out or deal with before it works very well.
  • If you don’t need to do much winding or you only have smaller skeins or hanks to wind.
  • You have limited space or don’t want something that’s going to take up too much room.

All in all, it’s a good pick for your first yarn winder to try out before you’re ready to commit to something more substantial. Suitable for the beginner or amateur crocheter.

However, if you’re a bit more advanced, looking to wind lots of yarn, or want something that can sustain some serious cranking, this wool winder isn’t going to be right for you.

Perhaps you’re looking for something larger, or sturdier, or you’re ready to commit to a larger version.

If so, this is our top pick for the best all-rounder. I recommend the Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal – 10 Oz Yarn Ball Winder.

Stanwood Needlecraft Large Metal Yarn/Fiber/Wool/String Ball Winder - 10 oz

It’s sturdy, guaranteed to last for years, has many well-rated reviews from customers. It also has a large enough capacity of yarn to wind that it suits almost anyone.

Plus it’s smooth, quiet, easy to crank, and a breeze to set up.

If you’re looking for more options, here are the hand-picked best yarn winders in my review. Check it out here.

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How To Use A Michaels Yarn Winder

Choose a space to set up. If the surface may get damaged, place a cloth underneath first before setting up your tools. If you have a yarn swift, put it 12-18 inches away from your winder.

This will help you maintain consistent tension when winding the yarn cakes.

Clamp both down securely to the surface, and you’re ready to start setting them up. Check to make sure they’re both secure.

Put The Yarn On The Swift

Unwind the hank or skein and remove the ties, so it’s a ring of yarn. Don’t cut the yarn when removing the ties.

Find the two ends, checking they aren’t tangled.

Most of the swifts are in the umbrella style. Push the button at the bottom of the pole upwards. The arms will expand.

Place the ring around the arms.

Make sure the yarn sits snug around the swift arms.

Thread The Yarn Onto The Winder

Find the outside end. You need to connect this one to the winder.

Thread it through the metal yarn guide and the slot in the spindle.

Create Your First Center Pull Yarn Cake

Crank the handle, slowly at first.

Guide the yarn between the two instruments. This enables you to control the tension.

You can wind a bit faster now.

Remove Your Newly Created Yarn Cake

In one hand, hold the thread at the slot at the winder’s top part. Take the yarn cake off the yarn winder.

Unwind some of the yarn. Wrap the length around the middle and tuck the end in the center of the cake.

Congratulations on creating your first yarn cake! Here’s to many more beautiful yarn cakes.

(An Important Note: You don’t have to use a swift in combination with this tool if you don’t want to or don’t have one. If you so decide, the unique design means you can wind directly from a skein of yarn or ball.)

Your Questions Answered

How Do You Use The Loops & Threads Yarn Winder?

It’s quite simple to use and set up, but it does require a little bit of work before you can get going and start winding. For those of you who are visual learners, here is a video explaining how.

Christy Vandeusen explains in this excellent video with a helpful tutorial on how to use the Loops & Threads Yarn Winder.

Does Michael’s Sell Yarn Winders?

Yes, they do! Their flagship yarn ball winder is the Loops & Threads Yarn Winder, which is the best of their products.

It’s also the only yarn winder they sell, if you’re looking for other brands, you’ll need to find another store to buy from.

There you have it. I hope you found this review helpful to help you decide whether this instrument is right for you.

It’s certainly not the best product available on the market, but it’s an excellent first or budget choice for the beginner crocheter or fiber arts enthusiast.

Have you ever had one of these yarn winders? What was your experience, did you find it good, or was it a bit basic or didn’t have enough functionality? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

Have a question? Please comment below or get in touch with me here. You can also message me on Twitter.

About Jodie Morgan

Hi. I’m Jodie Morgan, owner and creator of Crochet Penguin. (Yes, I’m a real person :) )

Thanks for being here. I created Crochet Penguin to help show 1,000,000 people the benefits of crochet & highlight alternatives to fast fashion.

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