Anyone who works with yarn knows it comes in balls. A lot of times, when a yarn maker starts out, they tend to buy skeins of machine wound yarn. Well, what happens when that skein “vomits” so bad near the end of it’s wound life you need to “rewind” it? Or when you buy an amazing hank of yarn from, say, a wool festival and you want to use it but it’s not wound? You have to get to work and wind that sucker!
If you’re like me, you might not have a ball winder and are coming to find some kind of help (and possibly solace) for your yarn predicament. There are two things you can do for that yarn to get into working shape, wind by hand or by ball winder.
The first method I suggest for small skeins of yarn, like a mostly used skein that is getting tangled near the end of a project or one that is only a couple hundred yards long. This link from wikihow shows you a couple of great methods for using your hands. Funny story how I learned the limits of hand winding. As you know, I went to a festival and bought some lovely local yarns. Well, most of them were not wound and I decided I would wind 500 yds of fingering lace on my own… Do you know that it took me two and a half days, of 8-9 hours of effort each day to get that hand untangled after successfully winding about 75 yds?! It did. And It was really hard. But I loved that yarn so much I worked through it. But I told myself, “NEVER AGAIN!”
The next method is THE way to handle yarn that is being ripped from large projects, multiple skein project or for those lace weight hanks that seem small (refer to ball winding fiasco above). I decided it was time to check a ball winder out for myself and was able to borrow one from a friend. The one I used is from KnitPicks.comand is very affordable.
What’s cool is it has an option for either hand holding or using a table clamp. (No, I wasn’t paid for saying this, but it would have been nice if I had.)
Tension is THE key for either method. If you’re “rewinding” yarn from a frogged project or the last couple yds of a project, you’re find. But if it’s from a brand new hank, don’t go all slacker (pun intended) on winding. That fiasco mentioned before? The tangles from hell happened when I tried to just put the hand on my shoulders like a purse – dumbest idea EVER! While I still don’t have a swift (it’s on my christmas wish list), I was able to find ways around the house to give me the necessary tension, you’d be surprised what you can find. Check it out:
Rocking to audiobook,