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Use Industrial Clips for Yarn Bobbins in Crochet and Knitting

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This weekend I went to visit my sister in Illinois. We spent the entire weekend with friends crocheting/knitting, eating good food, drinking a few drinks, crocheting some more, grilling out, and then crocheting a little more. It was glorious. I don’t think I touched my computer for three entire days. It felt scandalous.

Us group of ladies has a combined nearly thirty years of yarn needlework experience between us. As I was finishing up my son’s Power Rangers blanket, they mentioned that my bobbins were a really neat idea. These old things? I thought these were common knowledge; these bobbins of mine.

Bobbins are quite handy tools when working with yarn. Most notably when you are changing colors often, as in the Power Rangers graphgan blanket I am finishing for my son. At some points I had TWELVE different strands of yarn coming off of my project simultaneously.

*waves fist in air cursing the Crochet Gods*

As you can imagine, that many strands of yarn involves much aggravation and confusion (which naturally paves the way to a few curse words) and then there are the tangled yarn ends to sort and weave in… Ugh.

Enter the life-altering bobbins!

Whether you are crocheting or knitting, these bobbins will change your life. Okay, maybe that’s a little dramatic but then again, you just never know.

Yarn Bobbins for Crochet and Knitting

Using Industrial Clips for Yarn Bobbins in Crochet and Knitting

I personally use industrial steel coated safety clips like these instead of actualyarn bobbins“. These are the perfect size and you get FIFTY of them at a fraction of the cost AND these clip onto your project instead of just hanging there! #winning

bobbins

By looking a few rows ahead on your pattern, you will be able to approximate how much yarn you’ll need to wind around each bobbin as you work. On my Power Rangers blanket, I used the C2C (corner to corner) method which means that I am creating a series of blocks stacked together to make a design or spell a word. I know that each block takes approximately 20” of yarn, so I can guesstimate how much to wrap around my bobbin as I go along.

Yarn Bobbins for Crochet and Knitting

Three blocks of that color coming next? Wind just a bit. Looking at a whole bunch of blocks coming up in that particular color? Wrap that bobbin to maximum capacity!

Yarn Bobbins for Crochet and Knitting

Wrap it up!

In my experience the yarn stays put the best when I start by winding perpendicular to the bobbin a few times, then turning slightly to one side (45° angle) and wrap several times, then turn the opposite (45° angle) direction to continue winding. You’ll be surprised how much yarn you can fit on one single bobbin!

Yarn Bobbins for Crochet and Knitting

While working the Power Rangers blanket I was able to fit enough yarn on one bobbin to crochet the next 25 squares. TWENTY-FIVE squares!

Awesome!

These bobbins help to keep yarn ends from tangling, allowing you to turn your work without the dreaded turning of ALL of your yarn. How much faster you’ll be! If you normally pull just a bit out and let it float around before using it, this will quite possibly revolutionize the way you crochet or knit.

It’s a yarn revolution y’all!

Do you have another yarn hack I need to know about? Let me know in the comments and I’ll get it tested and posted!

See more crochet and yarn tips and tricks:

How to Weave in Yarn Ends {So They Don’t Come Out}
Crochet Tip: How to Create a Straight {Invisible} Seam When Crocheting in the Round
How to Crochet a Classic Granny Square
Finger Burn? You Need a Finger Cuff for Crochet
9 Tips for Traveling with Crochet
The Difference Between Knitting and Crocheting & Master Your Tension


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49 Comments

  1. I have been wanting to learn C2C for a while now and I pick up little tips here and there. With your little tutorial here about the clips it gets me even closer to giving it a try. I am going to be a great grandmother in Sept. The theme of her nursery is Lil Mermaid and I found a mermaid C2C mermaid pattern to give to the wee little one. With your tutorial I think I now will have the guts to try it out. I just have one little question: should I always make sure I have enough yarn on the clips so I always complete my color blocks and don’t end up running out of yarn in the middle of a color block? Do you have advice or a tutorial somewhere showing how to introduce a new color or end using a color that won’t be used anymore. Do you just tie it off so it will never come apart like you would in regular crochet? Do you have a neat way to do this? I hope this question makes sense? This is really the only thing I need to know before jumping into this. Thanks so much for your great tutorial!
  2. Brilliant idea and in 2023 we are still just now finding your site~ Please keep it up & if you are still around I have a question that maybe you can help with. Is there anything or way that helps tighten stitches? I am way too loose and I know it is because my arthritis and I have metal plate & screws in my right hand & fingers. People please try & buy from the USA (or your country) items that are linked in these patterns. I like to help the designers but I really like helping small businesses in my country & I found one on AMAZON that sells these and a buck less! USA Company and small business! Have a great day all!
  3. Brilliant! Now I can finally work up the graphgan of a piano I’ve been wanting to do but was too freaked out about all the color changes to try!
  4. Thank you for the magic circle tutorial! I always had a difficult time with it but you made it simple! Another thing I have a problem with is making the crochet in rounds lie flat! Its either too tight or too loose and it curls!
  5. Is there an advantage to using this type of clip versus regular wooden clothespins? Of course I’m asking this after already buying this clip type lol (different brand).
  6. I am new to your site and love all the tips you give us. Thank you so much for your help. I have been crocheting for many, many years (60 to be exact) and still learn new tricks and tips when reading your blog. Again... thank you, thank you, thank you! And please... keep posting and helping us.
  7. I overestimated and had too much yarn for the first of these bobbin clips that I made, but I didn't want to rewind it. I stuck a popsicle stick through the two "back(?)" ends to hold on the extra yarn. I don't plan to do this again, as I'll try to keep my bobbins neater (would rather join smaller lengths than have a bobbin disaster), but I thought I'd share.
    1. Thanks so much for this, I'm in the process of making a baby graphghan and it's a nightmare with the different colours! I will have to use bobbins unfortunately because the clips that you suggested are not available here in the United Kingdom :( I found them on Amazon UK and they were £98!!! Happy New Year to you xx
  8. Try using those cheap plastic eggs you get at Easter, new method I invented today after not being able to find these clips anywhere https://www.reddit.com/r/crochet/comments/8vdlw9/i_just_had_a_genius_idea_im_doing_a_pattern_but_i/
  9. Thank you for your wonderful tutorial on using clips, EBAY for those who cant find the clips, I just ordered 40 for $10 and Free Shipping. Not bad, cant wait to give this a try!
  10. So I love that you can clip them to the piece so they don’t dangle and unravel! My only problem is we do t have a dollar store anywhere in our state! (I live in Hawaii ) you expense to have a dollar store. So looks like I’ll be ordering from amazon! Thank you for sharing this. Not sure why truefeather77 was so salty. Maybe just having a bad day. But I find stuff like this very helpful! I’m still fairly new to crochet and especially to knitting. I taught myself and have had no one teach me the lingo or these little tips. I do sew, so I know what bobbins are for but was picturing those little sewing ones, lol. These are great and have many uses for crochet and knitting other than as bobbins. You can use them to keep your project from unraveling or you yarn ball from going everywhere as well. Well done! Thank you for sharing
  11. If people don't understand your explanation, I'm not sure how they understand written pattern instructions. SMH.
    1. I don’t understand written patterns which I’m totally happy with video instructions. Yup pattern impaired. Lol
  12. Ok, so Y'all don't try to wind enough for an entire section? There's my problem. I've been winding balls I guestimate to fill an entire section and use locking stitch markers to keep them wound and attached to my work! I will have to try this next time!!
  13. Thank you SO MUCH for this! You explained everything perfectly. I just learned c2c crochet and really want to make something with an awesome design, but I was intimidated imagining all of the strands of yarn hanging down and how exactly to go about it. You really showed the best way to do this and I can't wait to start my project now!
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  15. Hi, Can you tell me if you cut your yarn and then that is what you wrap on the bobbin(clip)? This will be a big help when I do my HD c2c. Thank you!
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  19. Wow, truefeather77! Such manners! I live in Illinois with a knitting sister in MN, and I want to know where this awesome kind of weekend takes place! Lovely. I'll have to commandeer those clips out of the chip cupboard-that's how we use them!
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  22. Clear as mud. We all know what bobbins are used for. You didn't show us anything about the winding or show us the bobbins in use. Thanks for nothing.
    1. I felt that it was self-explanatory, given the photos of them wound up and the part where I tell you exactly how to actually wind them. I suppose I could plan a video series if that would help.
      1. I found it extremely helpful. I am going to attempt my first ever c2c crochet project and I never heard of using bobbins. So thank you very much
      2. I don't understand how someone couldn't understand this, you did just fine. Wrapping yarn around a clip isn't rocket surgery. Thank you so much for this post, these clips are perfect! I was using regular old wooden clothespins but the yarn kept slipping off, these are the perfect shape to keep it wrapped. I'm having trouble finding them in a physical store, but worst case I'll grab some off Amazon.
        1. I'm new to this also and working on my first graphghan. I had that problem with rolling my first bobbin of it sliding off the clip. I'm using the large plastic clip that looks like a clothes pin. I opened the pin and ran the end of the thread through the spring itself then started to wrap the whole clip. It holds the thread in place on the bobbin until I get to the end and tie a new thread to it. Hopefully this tip will help someone, it certainly helped me.
      3. I feel the need to apologize that you had to deal with a rude comment from truefeather, Momma always said if you don't have anything nice to say...zip it! Anyway as a newbie to C2C I would love a video series on how you work your color changes and see your "bobbin" technique in action!
    2. that was not nice,,,how can you complain about something that is provided free by this generous person. Keep searching for information that suits your needs please. I appreciate anything that I can look at and think about.
    3. Actually you are not correct. Not everyone knows am what a bobbin is used for! There are a lot of people just learning to crochet or knit and are just learning all the tricks and techniques. So you are wrong. And to be rude and assume everyone knows is sad. Maybe have some class and just not comment if you have nothing nice to say.
    4. I am new to this type of work and this was very helpful in knowing how to work with bobbins. Thank you for this information.
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      1. Yep, they have the 6 pks for $1. The link up there ^^ is 50 of them for $9.99. Works out to be about the same price. :)