I love yarn! Yes, I purchase a fair amount of mass produced, mainstream brands from major craft retailers, but I also appreciate a nice skein from my local yarn shop or even from indie yarn dyers online.
Since I don't own a fancy yarn winder, I am always grateful when someone offers to wind a skein for me. However, there are times that's not an option leaving me with the task of transforming a beautiful hank into something besides a tangled mass.
Luckily, I stumbled across a very low-tech method to ball up a skein of yarn without creating a knotted frenzy of fiber. I discovered this little secret when my daughter went to college and her vacant bedroom became my craft studio. She left a panel of large hooks behind her bedroom door.
Winding Yarn By Hand
Here's what I do:
1 - Remove the yarn label, untwist the yarn and drape it across three large hooks.
2 - Remove any of the small strands that secured the hank of yarn and locate the ends of the yarn.
3 - Start rolling a loose ball of yarn.
4 - Continue loosely rolling your yarn. Gravity is on your side and draping the hank over the three hooks helps keep it from tangling as you work.
5 - Finish loosely rolling your yarn. Even when you get to the last few strands of the hank there are no tangles.
This method of yarn winding isn't exactly rocket science, but it's effective. As an added bonus, I don't have to endure the funny looks from my hubby when I ask him to hold an untwisted hank of yarn over his hands so I can roll my yarn into a ball. Win! Win!