I’ll admit I’m late to join the admiration society of yarn ball holders.
I used to think a yarn holder was one in a long list of knitting tools that I just didn’t want or need, but after using it for a couple of months I don’t want to knit without one.
A bonus as a spinner, a lot of yarn ball holders can double as a single-bobbin Lazy Kate.
For me, it comes down to three knitting benefits that make it my newest knitting friend.
Smooth yarn. If I'm knitting from a commercial skein, a yarn cake, or a hand wound ball, I always pull my yarn from the outside. Pulling from the inside of a skein, cake or ball adds twist I don’t want in my yarn. A yarn ball holder holds yarn on a spike sitting on a base that turns, so it’s easy to spool yarn off of the outside with no added twist.
Supported yarn. A yarn cake that’s on a yarn ball holder is supported. The shaft holds the cake so it won’t collapse on itself as the cake gets smaller or if the yarn is slippery. The turntable that it sits on spools the yarn off with no tugging, I knit and there is a constant stream of yarn. To me that means the yarn isn’t being stretched as I knit.
Cleaner yarn. My yarn stays where I put it like a baby in a bouncy seat. No more leaping and hopping balls of yarn that get chased by cats and dogs and end up tangled around the leg of the couch covered in grit and fuzz. I knit at movies a lot and using a yarn ball holder means no more accidentally sticky yarn from dropping on the floor.
I’m already thinking about buying another holder, and the two things that it has to have for me are the rotating base (some are a static spike), and it has to pack flat for traveling.