One of my lovely, crafty Christmas gifts was a variety of knitting supplies from knitpicks.com. I was gifted with a variety of yarns in beautiful colors, and even better, a ball winder which makes perfect balls of yarn in minutes.
It's my new favorite toy!
You start by threading one end of your yarn through the metal guide arm and notches along the top end.
Then you simply turn the handle to create a perfect compact ball.
As I do not have an assistant to hold my yarn as I wind, I let the skein bounce around on the floor. Ophelia found this process to be just fascinating.
Once the skien is completely wound you simply pull it gently off the winder...
and impress your loved one's with the finished product!