a) a hypnosis device?
b) an antique sex toy?
c) a yarn winder?
(Scroll down to see answer.)
As amusing as b) would be, and mesmerizing as a) would be, it’s c), a huge ball (yarn) winder. According to the funny Engrish instructions, it’s a Professional Wool Winder-Super Jumbo. Not only was it a steal at $3, it makes huge center-pull balls that I can use for hand knitting or machine. It comes with three removable plastic cones, so you can wind yarn onto a cone and leave it on the cone so it doesn’t collapse into itself while you knit.
I have one of the small ball winders, and it’s great, but this works so much better! The weird arm thingies wrap the yarn around the cone uniformly (very cool to watch, so maybe it is a) after all!), and there’s a tension control on it, so you can wind the yarn tightly or loosely with the twist of a screw. Niiiice!
Plus, judging from the looks on people’s faces when they’ve seen my small ball winder lying around, I bet it’ll be a hell of a conversation piece when clamped to the coffee table. (“Dear God, what is that thing?” Ten points if you recognize the quote!)