A ball winder. Such a simple little thing, and yet so practical and useful. I used to put it on and take it off the front beam of my loom every time I wanted to use it until one day inspiration struck and I attached it to the side rails of a little trolley that we have that lives beside my loom area.
I know that it is not in it's expected upright position, but I assure you that it still works wonderfully, and I don't have it cluttering up my work basket. It has been used a lot lately in this configuration to wind center pull balls so that I can easily ply my handspun and not have to deal with leftover bits of yarn. And it has been working wonderfully.
I remember my first real experience winding yarn balls. It was in my first year at the craft school. The first project was to be a blanket, and if I took the time to look at my weaving records I could tell you the exact number of skeins that I had to wind into balls, but if memory serves me, I do believe that it was about 10 or 12 skeins, and I wound half of them by hand before the ball winders and squirrel cages became available. I had taken so long to decide what colours I was going to use that I was the last one out of the store. And therefore was also last in line for the equipment. I was astonished at the speed and convenience of the ball winder.
So let's hear it for the humble ball winder. A wonderful time saving device for weavers and knitters everywhere!