Monday, March 30, 2009

Yarn Cores Tutorial

After winding yarn, an empty toilet paper roll inserted into the core keeps the ball from collapsing and getting tangled. This is especially true when using Louet Euroflax Original as the linen yarn softens with use.

Over the weekend I was winding new yarn and realized I was out of the all-important toilet paper tubes. I was contemplating the demise of three new rolls when my husband suggested making replacements out of a length of dowel. “Brilliant idea,” I pronounced and set to work making a set of what I’m calling Yarn Cores.

It took only 20 minutes to do this project, including getting out tools and then putting them away again, as well as sweeping up after.

Yarn Cores Tutorial

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved


  • 1¼-inch diameter dowel rod (I used a 3-foot piece to get 6 Yarn Cores)
  • Saber saw or some other wood-cutting tool
  • Electric sander (or a piece of sandpaper for sanding by hand)
  • Vise clamp
  • Safety goggles (so stuff doesn’t zap your eyeballs)
  • Filter mask (so you don’t inhale all the resulting dust)
  • Pencil
  • Clean cloth

Step 1: Mark 6-inch sections on your length of dowel.

Step 2: Using a saw of some sort (I used a saber saw), cut out your pieces.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Step 3: Now sand the edges (by hand or an electric sander) to smooth and round-off the edges. Run your hand over the entire piece to ensure there aren’t any splinters or rough areas to snag your yarn. If you feel anything, sand some more.

© June Scroggin, All Rights Reserved

Step 4: Take a clean cloth and wipe your new Yarn Cores clean. You can decorate them by painting or maybe doing a decoupage technique with lovely paper but, essentially, they’re ready for use.

Step 5: After winding your yarn, insert your finished Yarn Core into the ball of yarn by holding it against the ball winder center piece and sliding the yarn onto the Yarn Core.

Whether plain or fancied up, Yarn Cores serve a practical purpose and are reusable. If you prefer a PDF version of this tutorial, click

Happy Knitting!


Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

OK June ...confess...did you cut up the wooden dowel rolling pin you used to roll out that lasagna pasta dough in the Daring baker post below? LOL
I actually contemplated buying a dowel to use to make that recipe but ended up using a friend's pasta machine instead.

Your linen yarn looks so elegant. What are you making with it?

nicolette said...

The yarn looks wonderful! And you wind it so beautifuly! Does it originally come in skeins?

Debbie said...

They look like lovely nostepinnes; your husband did a great job. I bet they make winding yarn a lot easier.

Sixpence and a Blue Moon said...

I would never want you to see the yarn I roll.:) It in no way looks the way your does.

A great idea.

Thimbleanna said...

Great idea June -- thanks for the tutorial. (And Pat's comment cracked me up!)

Storybook Woods said...

Now see how smart you are !!!! Clarice

kari and kijsa said...

you are always so clever!! Fabulous!
kari & kijsa