Do I have to re-wind my yarn into a ball?

Another question - I got all these lovely twisty skeins (hanks?) - the long ovals twisted upon themselves. So pretty. But do I need to re-wind each one into a center-pull ball before I knit? Will it get all tangly if I don’t?

I hope that’s not too silly of a question. Nearly all my knitting experience is on cheapie general store yarn. :wink:

I think it’s always a good idea to wind a hank into a ball (or cake) before knitting with them. They aren’t like a skein where you can pull it out of the center. I learned from the video here in KH.

You don’t have to unless you want to. I do because I don’t like fighting with the skeins from the store. Even when I make my own skeins after taking a sweater apart I still ball it because I hate fighting with yarn while I knit.

I do put my balls in a bag or in the middle of this circle table that I got so it doesn’t roll all around my house lol

I’ve knitted before straight off the hank…for the most part, it works ok. But it does eventually get tangled and takes more effort to untangle every so often than it would have if you wound the ball first. I also bought a ball winder…LOVE it. It’s sooo fast. I tried doing it by hand (I probably did it wrong), as shown in videos, but it still got too tight as it progressed and I ended up pulling more yarn out (bc it was knotted up).

you really don’t. if you just wind it up you’ll be A-O-K!!![QUOTE][/QUOTE]

Well unless you don’t mind if they get really twisty or you have something you can lay them open while you knit, for as long as it takes to knit the project… no. However, it’s really a lot easier in the long run to wind the yarn. It doesn’t have to be a centerpull ball, if that’s part of the question, you can wind it so you pull from the outside.

I tried knitting straight from the hank once, when I was first starting knitting. It was a horrible mess. Things got tangled so bad. I now roll them up into balls by hand (not center pull).

Do NOT knit straight from a hank. You will regret it. Trust me.

it’s always a good idea… i learned the hard way…

Skein of yarn from the store… 1/2 way into a sock, at a part where i wouldn’t be able to cut yarn and join new…

The yarn changed. went from being sport weight down to being twisted so tight it resembled size 10 crochet thread… I called the company that made the yarn, they sent me a SASE for the 6 foot length that was inconsistent with the rest of the skein…

and sent me 3 skeins of that yarn in that dye lot.

Now see, had i wound it BEFORE attempting to knit with it, i’d have known about the bad section before working on the sock and the pair wouldn’t have sat in my UFO pile (naturally it was the second sock this occured on) for a year.

[COLOR=“DarkOrchid”]The first time I ever bot a hank of yarn, the saleslady offered me the use of her ballwinder. I said no thanks, I’ll do it at home.
Then I had to think about it. What did I need a ballwinder for?
Okay… the light dawned and I wound the ball myself. Next time I will take her up on her kind offer.
I put the hank on the back of a chair and wound it by hand. The ball gets really big and awkward and sometimes the yarn doesn’t come off the hank all that smoothly… and I can certainly see why it’s easier to knit from a ball than from a hank. The whole time you are knitting from the hank it could be rolling around getting all tangled up in itself. At least, if it’s in a ball, the rolling does nothing more horrendous than make the ball move around.
:knitting: [/COLOR]

What really makes winding balls easier even by hand is a swift. I was lucky enough to get an old one (1940s, only needed little repair) from an aunt and that changed everything.

Here’s a video of a simple table standing type of swift together with a winder:


i love winding yarn by hand (not the center pull way). i used to do it to help my mom when i was little, and it does help to see all of the yarn before you start a project.

one thing i do to keep it from rolling: i have some small ceramic bowls that i made in college that i keep the ball in as i’m knitting. they’re heavy enough not to move around when i pull out more yarn and it looks great if i want to take photos :slight_smile:

ps…this is my first time posting replying. this is such a great knitting community…so many good ideas!

The Yarnharlot talked in her blog about someone who successfully keeps her yarn in hanks instead of in balls. I haven’t tried it myself, but apparently it works for some people. You could always give it a try.

(Like mountgigantic, I usually wind mine by hand into balls. One of my sisters is a potter and volunteered to make some yarn bowls like mountgigantic mentioned, if we want them. I think we have to go to Texas to get them, though. LOL)

I would also not recommend knitting from the hank. I love winding the wool its almost like the foreplay to knitting the garment, plus it makes me think of my mum as we always do this when she comes to visit. You can always put the wool in a jar to stop it from rolling around as well.

OH, love the lady in the yarn harlot link (not that I’d try that myself!) but it just adds to my dad’s and my list of “things everyone KNOWS/rules everyone follows - until you meet someone who doesn’t” - so while everyone KNOWS knitting from the hank means a horrible yarn vomit mess, and everyone winds first, there we have a woman who doesn’t. Love it.:mrgreen:

I always wind my yarn by hand into a non-center pull ball. I did try not to wind once - only once - lemme tell you, I was pulling out my hair and in tears in 10 minutes. It is much easier to wind them into a ball. Also, be sure to pay attention when untying the hank. Lesson learned the hard way :teehee:

Thanks, everyone, I’ll do that. This leads to my next question – is there a right way / trick even to unwinding the hank into a ball? I had to pass the ball in and out of the hank a few times where the yarn criss-crossed, it didn’t just unwind smoothly around and around. Am I missing some way to make that easier? :aww:


It’s very hard to knit from a hank. In fact,it’s hard to wind a hank without a swift.

Children make great swifts.:wink:

I have seen hanks change direction in the winding and be knotted in the middle. I at first that it was my newbie ways with the hank, but the lady at the yarn store has had to take the yarn off the swift a few times to straighten it out.