"the myth of the centre-pull ball/skein"


So… when I first started with yarn (last year), I didn’t know about the end sticking out of the middle of the skein or ball. Obviously, I pulled it from the outside and watched my skein roll around the room as I made things, or in one case, stuck the skein in my shirt and crocheted while walking around at a party. An experienced knitter friend suggested that I pull the yarn from the centre of the skein to avoid having my yarn running all over the place, and since my early projects were mostly small hats or from small balls, it all worked out beautifully.

Nowadays, my projects are bigger: longer, wider scarves, ponchos, and the like. I find that once I’ve used a certain amount of the yarn from the centre of the skein, no amount of kindness will stop the skein from becoming a tangled mess that can’t be fixed without cutting the yarn, untangling, and re-joining.

Is it true that pulling from the centre of the skein really isn’t a good idea, or am I doing something wrong?

Nah, you aren’t doing anything wrong. You’ve discovered that infamous thing called “yarn puke”. Where you pull from the center of the ball or skein (like it’s supposedly designed to) and a huge knot of puke rolls out.:zombie:

Yer sitten there for hours on end when you could be stitchen to unravel and reroll that monstrosity. Being careful all the while, to not pull it too tight so that it doesn’t knot up into a knot a boyscout could be proud of.:noway:

It takes years, dahlin, years, to learn how to unsnarl that tangle of yarn sketti into something even resembling a ball of workable stuff.:waah:

But, you do get good at it after battling with skeins n skeins of the stuff and it just becomes second nature. If it’s one of them there fancy schmancy yarns, I would just roll it into a ball the minute it comes outta the bag from the LYS. No one needs to be punished by trying to reroll mohair yarn puke. If it’s one of them mondo huge arse skeins from like caron or red heart, ummm stick it in a ziplock baggy that’s big enough to hold it, zip almost shut (here I would either staple or tape it to hold) and let the little bugger roll around to it’s hearts content inside the baggy.:woot:

Don’t tighten the tangles and they can be untangled.

If you mean towards the end when the weight of the skein isn’t enough to let the yarn pull out and the ball collapses, at that point I take a break and pull all the yarn out of it and put it into a pile (it takes pulling the yarn out and then repeating the process to start another pile with the end at the bottom of the pile and your work at the top). If you don’t disturb the pile it won’t tangle. If you will want to move the pile simply make that second pile in a large bowl.

My sister told me about cutting out a 2 liter bottle. Put the skein in and thread the yarn out the spout. I never had a problem so I haven’t tried it.
I’ve also seen it described as cutting the bottom off the bottle.

Yarn Holder - Keep yarn from getting tangled when knitting or crocheting. Cut off bottom of bottle and insert yarn, pulling strand through top opening then tape bottom back on. This will keep your yarn from rolling across the room on you and your cat from playing with it.

When the skein starts becoming depleted to the point that it collapses I just pull it all out and rewind it into a center pull ball so that it’s nice and solid once again.

How do you wind a center pull ball?

I either wind it in a ball or a figure 8 butterfly, though I don’t have a lot of problem with it tangling up at that point if it’s just flat on the couch beside me.
There’s a video for winding a ball at the bottom of this page - http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips

Yeah, that’s the part I’m talking about - when the skein collapses. Now, to learn how to wind my yarn…

giggles See, that’s my problem - I rarely knit at home. Most of my knitting is done on the train, on the bus or at work.

Yarn puke!!! LOL! That’s pretty much what it is. I’ve gotten pretty good at dealing with yarn puke, actually - it’s what happens after the skein collapses… so far, everyone’s told me to take a break and re-wind the yarn. Hmm.

When I learn how to properly wind it, I may do that. I think I’ll stick to the old plastic baggie trick for now - thanks everyone!

Amy’s video for winding a center pull ball is excellent. That’s how I learned.

I just went through this recently…and I figured that it was a lesson from the universe in patience. I was knitting with a ball of wool held together with two balls of mohair…and about three quarters of the way through the balls…I looked down and horror of all horrors, all three were tangled to the point of no return.

After THREE, yes THREE, hours…I got them all untangled. Mohair is not my favorite yarn right now. I wouldn’t have continued to be honest except the project was for a gift and the mohair balls had no tags on them and the store had no more so I wouldn’t have had any idea how to match them! Lesson learned… :aww:

[FONT=Comic Sans MS][COLOR=darkorchid]I have also successfully used a rubberband around the middle of a skein (placed on the ball band) to firm up the skein. It somehow keeps the yarn barfs inside and allows me to keep pulling from the center pull skein properly. I do have to keep tightening the rubberband as I work, and by the time it becomes too much trouble, there’s very little yarn left to work with anyway.[/COLOR][/FONT]

I just go ahead and wind the skein into a ball of yarn before I even start knitting. Having to stop to deal with yarn puke in the middle of a project just annoys me too much. Oh, right. Knitting is supposed to teach patience. Yeah…that’s working. :slight_smile:

I’ve always found center pulls to be more trouble than they’re worth. I’ve had Yarn Puke, Multiple balls appear, the amazing reraveling yarn (the more you try to wind it up, the longer your string becomes) and the damn thing still bounces:hair:
But i’m quite happy to use the outside "Pull"

Hi, I have 4 cats and 2 of them love yarn (truly evil creatures), I’ve gotten really good at untangling yarn. And yes pulling on it doesn’t help. I’ve been learning to put the yarn in a room with the door shut, in a zip lock baggie or a knitting bag with some kind of closure. Fun. Cindy

I seldom use the center pull strand. Whether it is a prewound skein or onw I wind myself I fin it easier to locate the outside strand and use the skein from the outside in. It leaves a more conpact and storable skein if you don’t use it all.

me too … :slight_smile:

I wind all my yarn before I knit with it too. I really don’t want to get to the middle or a row and find a knot or the tangles. I’ve started doing a center pull yarn cake. I found this on you tube from someone on here. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qD8wDRgc_-0

I love this way! (Thanks for putting that up) It doesn’t bounce like balls do. And I find it easier to wind too.

Sorry you are having problems with it… HTH

Oh and I rewind mine when it starts to collapse sometimes. I’ve actually found winding yarn to be relaxing now.

Personally I like center pull skeins and have never had a big problem with them. When the skein deflates as it is used that has never been a problem.

But…one thing that I have had trouble with a few times is the skein getting kind of stuck at a point, or something. I have found that the problem is that with center pull skeins there are the two ends, right? Well, sometimes the outside part has a little tail that is sometimes stuck into the one end of the skein, and that needs to be extricated and wrapped around the outside of the skein so it doesn’t get involved in things. If you fail to deal with that tail sometimes it can become caught into the works and cause trouble down the line. That is the first thing to look for when opening a new skein. Find the wrong (outside) end and make sure it is out of the way. THEN dig into the opposite end from where you found that end, to find the pull end.

As far as finding knots. That will happen, and it is always a bit disgusting, but I just cut them out and rejoin. Not that big an issue. I find the convenience of the pull skein outweighs any problems I encounter.

Yeah, knots happen. I don’t think I found any in 5 skeins of Woolease, found a couple in a 300 yd skein of TLC yarn, and a couple in a 120 yd skein of knitpicks. Sometimes you luck out, sometimes you don’t.