That is my beloved yarn winder. The straight thing infront of it? A circular coiled (self adjusting) tension belt. Doesn't look circular? It was, moments before the photo :(
I bought this little treasure at an out-of-the-way yarn sale, May long weekend of 2004. For one dollar. Yup. I hadn't found much else at the sale, and I casually asked the woman if she happened to have a swift or a ball winder (she had had a yarn store long time ago). She sold it to me for $1 because the cord was wrapped in electrical tape (still is). I spent the rest of the weekend winding up all the odd balls in my stash :)
This is a close up of the label, in case anyone reading can tell me what it says, or when it might have been made.
Last night I went to Knit Night at the LYS. It was a small turnout (but there were some great suggestions to deal with hot coffee while driving, LOL). I spent the entire 2 hours wind one skein of lace weight yarn for a Flower Basket Shawl. I tried it on the shop's swift, and my electric ball winder, but the winder was too fast for the single ply fine yarn. So it was the back of a chair and my hands. There were a few minutes left, so I thought I'd get started on the knitting. You use two end together. Obviously, I wasn't about to start winding the second skein. So I tried the old trick of using both ends of the ball. I thought I had wound it loose enough, but when I pulled the inner end...it broke! I couldn't dig out the end from the middle, so I gave up and browsed the shop some more. I decided I would re-wind the ball on my ball winder today, so I could use both ends, and it would be a neat and tidy ball winder ball. Sob. I didn't get very far.
I'm not sure how I feel about the colour. It's almost the same colour as in the pattern in Interweave Knits. I kinda like yarns with a bit more shading, but this was cheap :) It will be my THursday night project.