Hello there~ I recently made up a bunch of spindles for my yarn, along with a holder for these spindles, so that when I crochet the yarn comes smoothly and consistently. I thought I would share how to make a similar one.
If you have any questions, just post, I'll try my best to clear it up for you!
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Step 1: Gather Materials/Tools
You will need:
~ Cardboard tubing
~ Coffee can
~ Drill with drill bit larger than chopstick/pencil
~ Glue Gun
~ Glue sticks
~ Saw or serrated knife
~ OPTIONAL: four water bottle caps/cardboard angle
Step 2: Ready Your Tube
Your tube can be any size and thickness really. I chose a thicker tube as I had it available and it will stand up to more abuse. I chose a tube wit ha smaller diameter because it would be less bulky with the yarn on it.
Use what you have with these instructions as merely a guide.
Step 3: Measure Your Spindles
Depending on the size of your outer housing, you can have different lengths of spindles.
I found the best length for me to be the length of my fist. This fits neatly inside my can, and when a skien of yarn is wrapped around it, it only grows about 1" - 2" in diameter, important later!
You will start by marking a line the length you chose (in this case about 3-4") away from the end. Then another that length from the line. and so on down the tube.
Step 4: Cut the Tube
If you are using a thin tube, you can probably make do with a pair of scissors for this. My tube being so thick required a saw, or in this case a serrated knife.
Cut through the tube on each of your marked lines. Don't worry about being perfectly straight, as long as you make a clean cut (ie, no jagged gaps) it will glue down easily and not matter if it is on a bit of an angle.
Step 5: Measure Yarn Stops
Now, you could just wind onto the spindle, but your yarn would fall off easily. So we have to add end caps to hold the yarn on.
Place your spindle upright on a piece of cardboard, about 1/2-3/4" from the edges. Mark two lines 1/2-3/4" from the other two sides, making a square. You can approximate a bit on this, it doesn't need to be exact.
Cut out your square. You will need two squares for every spindle you want to have.
Step 6: Glue the Ends On
Plug in your glue-gun. This is an important step that took me ten minutes to realise I had skipped >.<
Put a thick line of glue all the way around the end edge of one of your spindles. Quickly upend it onto the approximate center of one of your squares and push down firmly.
Put glue on the other end and do the same.
Step 7: Finish Spindles
With these cardboard bits on the ends, the spindle is no longer fully hollow, so won't go onto a spoke. If you don't intend to make a spoke feed, feel free to stop here~
If you are going to put the spindle onto a spoke, you need top punch a hole into each end to allow it through. A moderately sharp pencil is great for this.
You can then use scissors or an exacto knife to expand the hole to be a bit bigger than your intended spoke.
Once that is done, rounding out the corners helps keep the spindle from catching on anything. You can mark out the rounding, or freestyle it like I do. Either way, take off those corners!
Step 8: Mark the Feed
Okay, time to take your coffee can and mark it up for destruction!
First, check that your can will be able to accommodate your spindles. Place them inside. If you have a clearance of 3/4" to 1" all around the end cap, you have a perfect can.
Find the center of the top and bottom and mark them. You will be drilling holes here.
Then, draw a line down the length of the can and place a rectangle in the middle. This is where your yarn will come out, so don't make it too small.
Step 9: Drill!
Make sure you don't imitate me and wear proper protective gear while drilling! Eye gear should be worn the whole time the thing is moving! Also, keep what you are working on in a clamp, not held under your foot >.>
Now you are going to drill in the places you marked. Make sure your drill bit if large enough to make a hole larger than your intended spoke.
Step 10: Cut Yarn Opening
Though the hole drilled in the last step you should be able to get some scissors in and widen the hole for your yarn to go through.
Step 11: OPTIONAL: Stabilize Feeder
A can on its side is very tippy and really annoying. So I chose to stabilize mine by putting a cardboard base on it, as I had a nicely shaped piece of strong board handy. IF you don't have that, four water bottle caps glued in position should hold it up as well.
Step 12: Load in Yarn
Now that you have made spindles, wrap some yarn on them!
Then take the top off of your can, pull the end of the yarn through the yarn hole, and put the spindle on the spoke. Close the can, lining the spoke into the hole at the other end.
Your yarn should pull through the hole smoothly~
Step 13: Clean Up!
Despite the fact that you will now want to go and crochet/knit/other yarn craft we have made a big mess. Don't forget to clean up, or your parent/guardian/spouse/room mate/other will get angry at you.