Whats the deal with hanks?

i’ve seen all these gorgeous pictures of the yarn people have bought that come in hanks, but why exactly do they come like that? do you knit them as they come or do you have to roll them into a ball?

You HAVE to wind them into a ball… you’ll end up with a HUGE tangled mess if you dont! :shock:

Yarn in hanks is prettier and softer that way… Im not sure WHY, exactly, any company would choose to wind their yarn one way or another… :??

After my experience with my very first hank the other day :oops:

I am not sure why they come like that. But you have to roll them into a ball. I used the back door handle :oops: After a very miserable start on the chair :oops: .

Apparently according to my mum I should have gotten my husband to hold it on both his arms and then done it.

There is a thing you can buy to do this job but I found them quite expensive so arms will have to do :happydance:

Sorry if this is not much help but I have tried.

Good Luck.
:hug: from Sharon still trying to un knot the bit of hank that got into a serious knot before the advice from here :wall:

so they come in hanks cause it looks prettier? :teehee:

well they definitely look prettier but i am wondering if it is better for the yarn too. Not sure about that but they do say not to wind the hanks into balls until you are ready to use them because it stretches the yarn…maybe that is true for skeins too?


Well, I’m not sure why commercial yarn is wound into hanks, but when you spin yarn, you wind it onto a niddy noddy so that you can measure it (if you want) and secure it to wash (to set the twist) and then hang to dry.

Maybe the commercial yarn that comes in hanks is dyed after spinning…that would sort of make sense…

Wow I am learning so much here.

A niddy noddy

Thought that noddy was with big ears :teehee:

I didnt know not to roll the hanks until you were ready… :shrug:
Too late I am NOT pulling them out now they are in the balls. But I will sure remember next time.
If I ever dare have another hank.

:hug: Sharon

I roll all my stuff into balls. They store better that way. Maybe someday when I am making very fancy things with very fancy yarns I will worry about such things. :slight_smile:

It’ll get easier Sharon :smiley:

Would you believe my mom has been knitting for 65+ years and has never owned a swift or a ball winder? She winds everything by hand, by choice :??

Hi Julie I am glad you say it gets easier. Those hanks look so wonderful and the scream at you ‘Buy me’. They look so much better than a standard ball dont you think?

Wow 65 years knitting amazing I bet she does really beautiful complicated stuff without looking :notworthy:

I too will do it by hand by choice the things that help you are too expensive for me. Its my husbands arms next time. He does not know that yet though :teehee:

:hug: Sharon

Carolyn from cyberspace wrote: “I have frequently been asked why some yarns come in hanks or skeins instead of balls. Can you tell us why? (I suspect it has something to do with pricing and shipping.)”

Carolyn, thanks for asking this question. We have several reasons why we choose to package some of our yarns on hanks instead of balls. Perhaps the most important is that we feel that the hank is the best way to showcase the beauty of some yarns. Much like a braid, the strands lay parallel in long lengths to best display the richness and sheen of the fibers. The hanks are twisted and fastened with a self-tie and then with a label to hold all strands in place. While on display in the yarn shop and when in your knitting basket, your yarn remains neatly intact and ready to roll into a ball whenever you need one. No, it is not less expensive for us to package in hanks because the hanking process takes more time than packaging in balls. Of course for you, the customer, the hank also requires your time to roll it into a ball. Our feeling is that like knitting and crocheting, the winding of a ball is a labor of love. As a little girl, I remember holding the hank on my hands while my grandmother rolled balls. I loved this every bit as much as watching her knit. Savor every moment of the process. Remember to enjoy the process as well as the product.

All the best,

Margery Winter
Creative Director

from this link

I always assumed that hank is an easy way to package a bundle of yarn. Since you guys asked, especially even KellyK is puzzled, I googled up this FAQ.

Oh thanks that is interesting and now we all know!!!

Thanks very much.

:hug: Sharon