My girlfriend has gotten into crocheting, and someone showed her a yarn spinner they had bought. A yarn spinner is useful for a crocheter/knitter in that they don't have to keep stopping to pull yarn out of the skein. I looked them up online and they were $50!! She explained to me how it worked, and I thought "I can make that!" It was simple and easy, and best of all, CHEAP!
What you will need:
A dowel rod (I used a large chopstick)
A block of wood (I used a hardwood floor sample that I had turned into coaster)
A spindle that comes with blank cds or dvds (longer ones are better, the kind that comes with a 100 pack (as pictured above with the skein on it). Shorter ones are ok for short skeins . Make sure your dowel rod will fit inside the spindle shaft)
A metal clothes hanger
An electric drill.
A drill bit almost as big as the dowel rod, another almost as big as the clothes hanger.
Lets get started!
Mark the center of the block of wood. It doesn't have to be perfect. I just eyeballed it. Drill a hole with the bit about the same size as your dowel rod. I did not use glue, which is why you don't want it to be bigger than the dowel rod. Measure the dowel rod to make sure that when it is pushed through the bottom of the block of wood, it holds the cd spindle off of the wood. The one that her friend had barely had a space between the base and the spindle, but mine had a few inches in gap. As long as it spins easily and doesn't wobble, it will work fine. Hammer the dowel rod through the block of wood.
Once you get the towel rod measured and pushed through the block, set the spindle onto the dowel rod, with the dowel rod going into the shaft of the spindle. You should be able to spin it freely.
Cut out a 6 inch section of the metal coat hanger. This will be used to hold the yarn out away from the spinner and feed it to the user. Drill a hole in the side of the block of wood with the drill bit slightly smaller than the coat hanger. You want to to be tight, so the user can adjust it to where they need (I had to peel off the plastic coating once I started bending it (it cracked) This made the hole bigger than the hanger, so it kept slipping out. I melted some hot glue and wedged it into the hole with the wire. This fixed it). The bend coming out of the wood should be 70 to 90 degrees. The end of the hanger needs to be bent into a curly pig tail. This helps hold the yarn so that it feeds to that point and doesn't slide off.
Step 4: Done!!
Take the skein of yarn and slide it down onto the shaft of the spindle. Now you should be done!! It should look something like this, and allow the user to freely pull on the yarn and it spin freely. This is my second Instructable, so feel free to post any constructive criticism, or message me with any questions. Thank you.