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We named this indispensable and versatile tool "Tom Thumb" because the 1" diameter dowel replaces the thumb of the spinner when holding a ball of yarn for center pull plying. It can be used by fiber enthusiasts such as knitters, spinners, weavers, and crocheters.

Tom Thumb consists of a square platform with a metal dowel (we used a metal dowel because a wooden one is at great risk of snapping off) and a round base that sits on top the metal dowel and spins. The metal dowel rides in a bronze bearing impregnated with lubricant. The larger square platform gives it stability. If it was two circles the same size it could easily tip over. There are 4 rubber feet to prevent it from slipping. The base and platform are made from a beautifully grained 5/8" thick piece of maple which gives added weight so it won't tip over. The generous 1" diameter dowel is made from Poplar, another hardwood.

A ball winder is an invaluable tool for creating balls that can be used from the outside or from the center (or both). When you remove the ball from the winder, there is a large open core in the center. Once you remove the ball from the winder and start using it, you'll notice that this open core begins to soften and collapse. Tom Thumb has a smooth blunt shaped tip that makes it easy to transfer your ball from the ball winder onto the thumb and allows the core to remain intact and prevent it from collapsing.

For Knitters:
If you purchase yarn that is put up in balls you can transfer the ball onto Tom Thumb and pull the yarn from the outside. Tom Thumb spins and prevents the ball from rolling all over the place. In addition, you don't have to fish for the center end and end up pulling half the guts out of the ball and having to deal with the resulting tangled mess.

For Machine Knitters:
The rotating thumb allows easy unwinding of the yarn and prevents the yarn from hanging on the tension mast.

For Spinners:
Tom Thumb allows you to use both ends of the ball at the same time. It is especially suited for plying handspun singles. It's always hard to judge how much fiber is on singles bobbins so you don't have leftovers after plying. Just wind your singles onto a ball winder directly from the bobbin. Take both ends (outside and inside) and knot them together. Transfer from the ball winder onto Tom Thumb and tie knotted ends onto a leader on the bobbin you intent to use for plying. You only use the top half of Tom Thumb to use as a replacement for your thumb. As you are plying watch the singles to make sure both are at the same tension. Tension is controlled with your fingers and thumb. You can take a break from plying and come back to a nicely shaped ball since Tom Thumb prevents the ball from collapsing and resulting in the separate ends tangling.

For Weavers:
If winding a warp from center pull balls you can use Tom Thumb to prevent the center pull balls from collapsing during warping.

All wooden parts have two coats of a clear finish that has been sanded between coats with steel wool.

Approximate Measurements:

Platform: 5-1/2" square with rubber feet.
Thumb: 5" in height; 1" in diameter.
Round Base: 5" in diameter.

When boxed up Tom Thumb weighs 1-1/2 lbs. so buyer pays actual Priority Mail shipping costs.

Another item ships for $1.00 unless the second item is another Tom Thumb. Please ask for combined quote.

We thank you for visiting MagicalMoons.

Tom Thumb - Tool for Knitters, Spinners and Weavers - Handcrafted by Magical Moons in Maple

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  • Handmade item
  • Materials: wood, hardwood, Poplar, maple
  • Only ships within United States.
  • Feedback: 462 reviews
  • Favorited by: 88 people