When someone is knitting you always see their thread in a ball instead of the oblong shape it comes in. Why is this. What is the purpose of winding your thread into a ball and does everyone do this? :??
I think you only have to put it into a ball when it comes in a hank. Some comes in a ball or a skein which is good because you can just cast on and go. That's what I learned anyway.
Many yarns come in hanks which are not wound. If you try to knit from them, you end up with a tangled mess.
Amen to what Ingrid said...not like I know that from experience or anything.
If you want to try it, it's pretty easy to wind a center pull ball. There's a video here under the knitting tips section.
Tangles aren't the only thing balls help with. When I'd just started knitting on my first project I had to deal with one hank...Nobody told me I needed to roll it into a ball, so to prevent tangling I just untwisted it so it was just the loops and wore it as a necklace. It worked for keeping knots and tangles at bay but I did get my long hair pulled quite a few times. I've taken to balls after that. lol