General beginner question

I’m a really new beginner and have a silly question. Is it best to pull your yarn from the center of the skein or from the outside? I’ve done all of 6 rows of a baby blanket, ripped it out, and am starting over because it isn’t “perfect”, so I thought I’d try to pull the yard in the correct manner–if I pull from the center it seems to tangle, but if I pull from the outside it rolls all over everywhere. Sorry to be so “begin-erish”, but I really want to know.

Also has anyone tried those round plastic balls that you put your yarn in and pull it through a hole in the ball?

That is one of those things that is really personal choice. I can’t stand to have the ball flopping around and falling off the chair. I want it sitting next to me quietly so I pull from the center. It does sometimes tangle so I often make my own center pull cakes (balls with a flat bottom).

At the bottom of the video page here is a video of how to make a center pull ball.

Some yarns don’t really work with center-skeins – the ones that are really furry like mohair or alpaca really tangle up if you try it. But I prefer center pull skeins whenever possible. I use a makeshift nostepinne (a slender PVC tube) to ball my yarns. If I can, I use it as a center pull. If I can’t, I roll it with a flat bottom so I have a fighting chance of the ball not rolling everywhere.

I use the KnitWit project bags, which are the fabric version of those plastic yarn holders you’re talking about, and love them. I tried using ziplock bags, but eventually ended up with yarn vomit, tugged on the yarn, and ended up with it all over the place anyway. Not very good if you’re out and about on a bus or train. That doesn’t seem to happen with the project bags, so now I almost always use them.

One way I keep my balls of yarn from rolling all over the place is to keep them in an open zip loc bag - they bounce around a bit, but they’re contained in the bad.

If I don’t want my outside-pull skein rolling all over, I put it into an empty tote bag on the couch or floor beside me. Same idea as the zip-loc bag to keep it clean & contained, but easier to pull the yarn free.

Thanks for all the great tips–and such quick responses–you all are great!!! Globaltraveler, where do you find KnitWit project bags? I did a search, but didn’t find anything.

Whups! Sorry, i always do that – it’s KNOWKNITS, not KnitWits. They’re called the GoKnit pouches, which come in three sizes – I have three or four of the smaller ones and one of the medium ones. There’s a review of them here – with more info than the company’s own website has on them! I have to say, I felt pretty spoiled brat buying the first one, even on my LYS’s recommendation. I thought, geez, okay, well, what the heck, but do I [I]really[/I] need one of these?

The answer was, after trying them out, a resounding “yes”. I’ve used zip lock bags, I’ve used fabric bags, I’ve used tote bags, I’ve used those little plastic thingies, but this is the first thing I’ve used that was pretty much flawless at what it does: keeps your yarn clean, running smoothly while you knit, and keeps everything inside and protected in the bag while traveling. They’ve never once gotten a hole in quite a lot of use and keeping my KP or Addi lace needles in them. I’ve used them on trains, buses, airplanes and in pubs, restaurants, hotels, and at home. The little outside snap leash is awesome – you can attach it to your own belt loop, purse strap, on the handle of your tote bag, chair arm, whatever, keeping your stuff off the floor and off the surface of the table, away from the beer, shoes, and dirt.

Love. Them. :slight_smile: They’re expensive, yes, but I think they’re worth it … YMMV, of course!

A less expensive (But not quite as nice) option to the GoKnits pouches are the Creative Couture bags at Michaels. The Yarn Traveler has a drawstring on the top that you use to open and close the bag (but still let the yarn come out of) plus a carabiner to clip the bag to your purse, bag,etc. The Yarn Holder has a hole in the end that you can thread your yarn through and it is long enough to put your needles in. I have 2 of the Travelers and one of the Holders and I like them both quite a bit - very good for small projects and about $8 each (and then there are those 40% off coupons…).

I like pulling my yarn from the outside of a ball - I think I am better able to see how much yarn I have left when I am working on a project.

Thanks for all the great info!!! I need to check out the Michael’s ones, but I must admit I’m leaning toward the Goknit ones because they’re so cute!!! I really think the hot pink one needs to come and live with me. Do you actually put your whole project in there (needle and knitted portion of project) or just the yarn. If you put the whole thing in there, what’s the purpose of a “true” knitting bag? I have become addicted to knitting bags/baskets and have already purchased 3 Lantern Moon ones (different sizes of course). I wonder if I’ll ever stop buying stuff and start knitting?

Yes, I put my entire project in there. So far, none of my projects has been so big that I’ve needed a large bag. Your average sweaters fit pretty well in the medium sized one.

The project goes into the knitting bag…which holds my needles (both the interchangeable bags, and the Lantern Moon needle roll), the other projects in project bags, a bag of raspberry licorice (important for those low blood sugar moments), my knitting notions bag, patterns, etc. Also an umbrella, sometimes my partner’s itty bitty computer, my shopping, etc. :slight_smile: