I then ran into a bit of a problem, a ball winder doesn't work so well by itself, at least not unless you have a minimum of three hands. Next on the shopping list was a swift. These are also not so easy to get in the UK and are really expensive (like REALLY expensive). With a bit of help from the ravelry DIY tools group I found this website:
A bit of converting from inches to mm and a trip to B&Q later I had the stuff to make it for less than £10.
I had a bit of help from my lovely OH to make it, and here it is:
We made a couple of adjustments, like adding a pair of nuts below the CD and another above the arms to minimise wobbling.
The final missing piece of kit in my knitters arsenal was a niddy noddy to wind skeins for dyeing and after spinning.
I opted for a very simple one made from PVC waste pipe and a pair of T joints. Instructions were from www.doctordirt.com/blog/niddy.html but it is pretty straight forward.
Fortunately it didn't need glue to hold it together so can be pulled apart for storage or to change the length of the centre bar to make different sized skeins.
Lots of fun ways to get the toys I need, I have my eyes on a homemade ball winder and maybe a drum carder at some point in the future.