How To Fix A Yarn Winder: Simple Steps For Easy Repair

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

Sometimes your yarn winder may need some simple repairs when it stops working smoothly. In my experience small problems are easy to fix, and I share my trouble shooting tips to ease frustration.

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How Do You Fix A Yarn Winder?

Sometimes my yarn winder acts up, and I have to step in to fix it. Over the years, I have gathered some tips and techniques that have helped me get my yarn winder back in working order. Here’s what I typically do:

  1. Check for tangled yarn: First, I carefully inspect the yarn for any tangled or knotted yarn. Tangles can cause the winder to malfunction, so I gently remove any knots or tangles that I come across.
  2. Clean the gears: My yarn winder might have accumulated dust or lint in its gears. So, I remove the outer casing to access the gears. I first remove the bobbin then using a Phillips Head screw driver, I unscrew the plate and set aside. I gently clean off any debris using a soft brush or cloth from the gears. It’s essential to avoid using water or moist cleaning agents to prevent any corrosion or rust.
  3. Check Gear Parts are interlocking properly: Sometimes the small gear and large gear parts are not aligned. The teeth are not interlocking or fitting together. Adjust the gear parts by moving them slightly away from each other and manipulate until the teeth from each section fit back together.
  4. Adjust the tension: Sometimes, the tension in my yarn winder gets off balance. I either tighten or loosen it, depending on the issue I’m facing. Keep in mind that different yarn types may need different tension levels, especially when comparing fluffy yarns to more rigid ones. It often helps to keep a little tension on the yarn strand that is going through the yarn guide.
  5. Lubricate moving parts: Just as with any machine with moving parts, a yarn winder can benefit from a little lubrication. I apply a very small amount of machine oil, such as sewing machine oil, to the gears and moving parts. This can help smooth the winding process and keep the device operating efficiently.
  6. Replace damaged components: If I find any damaged parts in my yarn winder, I try to replace them. Some common components that might need replacing include the yarn guide and the cog wheels that form the gears. You can usually order these parts online or purchase them at your local knitting supply store.
    It’s more common to find spare parts for larger winders. It’s more difficult to replace parts for cheap small winders.

Remember that while fixing your yarn winder, having patience is key! Be gentle and thorough in your repairs to ensure the longevity and efficiency of your winder.

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Troubleshooting Common Issues

In this section, I’ll cover some common issues that you might face with your yarn winder and how you can troubleshoot them. Remember, it’s essential to always refer to the user manual of your specific yarn winder model for detailed information and instructions.

Fixing Crooked Yarn Cakes

If my yarn winder is producing crooked yarn cakes, I usually follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the yarn is feeding evenly onto the winder. Adjust the tension if needed.
  2. Ensure the yarn guide is positioned correctly and is not obstructing the winding process.
  3. Check if any parts of the yarn winder are loose, the teeth of the cog wheels that form the gears are interlocking, damaged, or need cleaning. Tighten or replace as necessary.

Gears Getting Stuck

Gears getting stuck can be quite frustrating. Here’s what I do to when I’m faced with this problem:

  • Inspect the gears for debris, dirt, or tangled yarn, and clean them accordingly.
  • Make sure the gears are aligned properly and the teeth of the cog wheels are interlocking. If they have shifted away from each other, carefully shift back into place.
  • Lubricate the gears if necessary, using the manufacturer’s recommended lubricant.

Squeaking When Winding

Squeaking sounds while winding can be a sign of friction or lack of lubrication. I usually try these solutions:

  • Check if any parts are rubbing against each other, and make sure they’re securely fastened.
  • Look for signs of wear and tear, and replace damaged parts as needed.
  • Apply a small amount of the recommended lubricant to any moving parts to reduce friction.

Yarn Compatibility

Different yarn winders support different types of yarn. If I’m having issues with a particular yarn, I:

  • Consult my yarn winder’s user manual for compatibility guidelines.
  • Make sure I’m using the correct yarn feeder or guide for the specific yarn type.
  • Check if my yarn winder’s tension settings need adjustment for smoother winding.

Yarn Slippage

To prevent yarn from slipping or unwinding during the winding process, I follow these tips:

  • Ensure I’m winding at an appropriate speed; winding too fast or too slow can cause slippage.
  • Maintain even tension throughout the winding process to help the yarn grip the winder.
  • Check if my yarn winder has an adjustable tension setting, and modify it if necessary to suit the particular yarn I’m using.

Helpful Tips & Tricks

When I’m fixing a yarn winder, I’ve found some useful tips and tricks that make the process smoother.

First, make sure to have all the necessary tools handy before diving in. I like to have a small screwdriver (usually a Phillips Head), pliers, replacement parts (if needed), and a clean cloth ready.

Here’s the general process I follow when fixing a yarn winder:

  1. Inspect the yarn winder – I begin by examining the yarn winder closely, checking for any visible damage or loose parts.
  2. Tighten any loose screws – If I notice any loose screws, I’ll use my screwdriver to tighten them to ensure stability. It’s essential to be gentle, so I don’t strip or damage the screw.
  3. Check the gears – I pay special attention to the gears as they can become worn or misaligned. If I find any issues like broken teeth or misaligned gears, I replace or adjust them as necessary.
  4. Lubricate moving parts – Once the repairs are done, I like to lubricate any moving parts using a high-quality lubricant. It helps keep the winder running smoothly and reduces wear on the parts.
  5. Test the winder – Finally, I give the winder a test run to ensure it’s in good working order.

When I’m working, I find it beneficial to remember a few things:

  • Always work on a clean, flat surface to keep everything organized and easy to find.
  • Be gentle when handling the winder. Delicate parts can break easily.
  • If I get stuck, I search online for tutorials or step-by-step guides that can help me troubleshoot specific issues with my yarn winder model.


Following these tips and tricks, I can successfully fix my yarn winder and have it running smoothly once again. Don’t be afraid to give it a try yourself if you ever encounter issues with your yarn winder!

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder) | Lives In: Regional Australia

Author: Jodie Morgan is a passionate knitter and blogger with 40+ years of experience currently living in regional Australia. Taught by her mother and wonderful grandmother “Mama”, she fell in love with crafting from a young age. When she’s not knitting, you’ll find her enjoying a cup of coffee with cream, or sharing helpful resources and tips with the online knitting community. Get to know Jodie and the team on our meet the team page.

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