When winding a warp, it’s very helpful to use a stand to hold your cones or tubes of yarn upright so that you can pull the yarn off the cone smoothly and at an even tension. However, these stands can run fairly steep in price, and even more economical alternatives aren’t always readily accessible.
Locate an empty CD spindle.
Next, remove the lid and plonk on your yarn.
There are a few disadvantages to the Spindle Solution, but nothing too dire. First, there’s no built-in tensioning device for the thread, but holding it carefully seems to work reasonably well. In a pinch, I imagine that you could feed it through some sort of freestanding hook, but so far I haven’t found it necessary. Second, a CD spindle is very lightweight, and can be dragged around if you’re not feeding the yarn straight upwards. A couple of clamps can take care of this, or (less elegantly) something heavy– like a weaving book– laid across one side. Of course, if you’re working with more than a couple of cones at a time, further creativity might be called for.
Also, it’s kind of ugly.
Since I posted this entry, I came up with another option:
It’s an expanding mug rack, intended for wall use, just lying flat on the table. I’m considering screwing it into a flat piece of wood for even better stability, but even as it is it’s pretty decent.