Tonight's adventure was this contraption - a yarn ball winder.
You stick a hank of yarn (also called a skein) on a frame and feed the tail through a little metal loop. This guides the yarn onto a spindle as you turn the crank to wind a tidy ball of yarn.
Preferrably, the frame for your hank will sit out of the way and spin, so all you need to do is turn the handle, and the whole setup runs itself. That type of frame is called a swift.
My cats were mesmerised!
It took about an hour to wind approximately 400m of yarn, mostly because I stopped every 10 minutes to take photos and watch the Olympics. With a bit of focus, the whole job should take way less.
While shopping for these tools, in my head were the voices of people I'd known in the past who would tell me I was wasting money whenever it came to things I wanted. A swift and winder would be sooo unnecessary because you can just wind yarn by hand; if you really loved the hobby, you'd make the effort.
It highlighted the importance of practising resilience. Seriously, I'm in my 30s and that kind of negativity still echoes around, despite being surrounded by positive influences these days.
So, I bought these lovely toys because echoes are just echoes. I paid about $40 all up on eBay and it was sooo worth it because I can now use this lovely alpaca yarn that would otherwise have sat at the back of a shelf. :)