THIS IS A...................?

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A Wool Winder..... 

A SKEIN - Is a length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted. To be used for knitting  it must be rewound into a firm round ball.

The skein of wool is placed around the four arms which are then extended to hold the wool in place.

It can be rotated to allow the wool to be unwound and a very patient person would roll the released wool into a ball

ready to be knitted into a jumper or socks or a scarf.

The alternative to the wool winder would be to ask anyone in hearing distance to hold the skein

looped over both hands held apart untill it had been rewound into a ball.

Any child foolish enough to be in sight when the knitting basket, with many skeins of wool, was produced would get the job.

There was usually a requirement for more than one ball of wool.

It is an extremly boring task requiring total concentration and strong arms.

There were constant exhortations to "Keep your hands wide apart" or 'Hold your hands up" and

"Watch what your are doing" or "Don't let it get tangeled in the pot plant."

The end result was likely to be a jumper you did not want your friends to see you wearing.