As a hand-spinner, I create many skeins of yarn from a variety of fibers. After spinning a bobbin full of yarn the easiest way to remove it is to wrap it onto a Knitty-noddy. However, this is not a productive way to use the yarn when knitting it into a project. That is when turning a skein into a ball of yarn becomes a necessary skill to know.
Tales can be told of the many knitting, crochet, and other yarn projects I’ve attempted only to get stuck in the middle of the project with a knotty, rats nest, bunch of yarn which leads to enormous frustration and the ingredients for procrastination and putting the project away in the “projects-to-do-later” box.
The first step in turning the skein into a yarn ball is to open up the twisted skein and finding the end.
Untwist the skein.
Find the center of the skein.
Find the yarn end.
If working with a partner have them hold the skein taut in the center.
When I do this alone I either stretch it between two objects or place it around my feet. This is how I’ll be demonstrating the process.
With the end of the line start to wrap the yarn around three fingers. The tension should allow your fingers to move slightly.
Wrap enough yarn around your fingers in this position so that you have a substantial amount of yarn without it overwhelming your fingers.
Carefully remove the wrapped yarn from your fingers and rotate it slightly to change the direction the yarn is going.
Start to loosely wrap the yarn in the same direction as before. The yarn should be perpendicular to the last section of wraps you’ve done. Wrap four or five times.
Continuing to wrap in the same direction adjust hand position so that the yarn is getting wrapped around your fingers holding the ball. This will create a loose ball which will keep the yarn from stretching out and allows air through the ball so the fibers can breathe (this is important for natural fibers).
Wrap until there is enough yarn built up in the center of the ball.
Again, rotate the ball so that the last layer is perpendicular to your fingers.
Start to wrap the yarn loosely around the ball.
Build up the layer until there is enough yarn to create a thick layer without falling off either side of the yarn ball.
Continue this process until all of the yarn in the skein has been wrapped up into the yarn ball.
The final outcome should be a neat and tidy ball of yarn.