What Size Yarn Winder Do I Need? A Guide For Easy Deciding

By Jodie Morgan

| Updated:

Yarn winders organize yarn into easily manageable cakes, ensuring a smooth knitting experience. But what size yarn winder do you need? Based on my experience, I’ll make it easier for you to decide with my handy tips.

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What Size Yarn Winder Do I Need?

Now, when it comes to choosing the right size yarn winder, there are a few factors to consider. Here’s a quick rundown:

  • Budget: Smaller winders are more affordable, while larger, heavy-duty winders are more expensive.
  • Capacity: This dictates the size of yarn cakes it can handle. For most knitters and crocheters, having a winder with a medium capacity is a great start. However, if you often work with larger yarn hanks, consider a yarn winder with a higher capacity. While they’re more expensive, the investment is worth it for the convenience.
  • Ease of Setup and Portability: I find yarn winders that’re easy to set up and clamp securely to a table are the most convenient. This way, I can start winding yarn quickly and finish my knitting projects efficiently. Portability is essential, especially if you plan to take your yarn winder to knitting or crochet meetups or workshops. While most yarn winders are easy to transport, consider features like folded arms or a compact design.
  • Frequency Of Use: How often do you find yourself winding yarn? If you’re an occasional knitter and only need to wind a skein now and then, a smaller winder should be more than enough. However, if you’re an avid knitter constantly winding yarn, a larger winder saves time and effort.
  • Project Size: Are you planning to knit a small accessory, or are you gearing up for something larger like a sweater or afghan? For smaller projects, a smaller winder should suffice, but for larger projects, you might need a more substantial winder to handle all that yarn.
  • What Yarn Forms You Buy: Yarn comes in hanks, balls, skeins, and more. Most yarn winders are designed to handle hanks and skeins with ease, but some may struggle with certain forms or fibers. If you often buy yarn in hanks, I recommend investing in a yarn winder with a smooth and efficient crank system. This ensures your hank is wound into a neat cake.
  • Yarn weight: Lighter weight yarns, such as lace or fingering, can be wound using a smaller winder. Heavier yarns, like worsted or bulky, might require a larger winder to accommodate the increased yarn volume.

As you consider these factors, keep your needs in mind. The ultimate goal is to make your knitting experience enjoyable!

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Yarn Winder Sizes

In this section, I’ll discuss the various yarn winder sizes.

Compact Yarn Winder

Don’t let the size fool you! These little wonders are perfect for those of us with limited space or who only need to wind small batches of yarn. They typically handle yarn skeins up to 3.5 ounces, but it’s important to check the specific capacity. Compact yarn winders are great for small, lightweight projects.

“Normal” Yarn Winder

It has a well-balanced weight and size, making it suitable for a range of projects. These winders handle skeins up to 7 ounces. They’re fantastic for medium-sized projects like scarves, shawls, and lightweight sweaters.

Jumbo Yarn Winder

Finally, we have the jumbo yarn winder for those of us with ambitious projects in mind. If you’re knitting large blankets, cozy sweaters or have a large skein of yarn, this is the winder for you. These winders tackle hefty yarn skeins of up to 16 ounces or more! They’re an investment, but their capabilities make them worth it.


In my experience, a suitable winder equals a happy knitter – so invest in the size that’ll cater to your needs! If you have questions, ask them below.

About The Author

Jodie Morgan From Knit Like Granny

Jodie Morgan (Author & Founder)

jodie@knitlikegranny.com | 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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