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beccalovely

Balling yarn

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Apologies if this has been asked before, but I couldn't see a topic...

 

When I first started to crochet, I had no idea I shouldn't just use the yarn straight from the skein... this led to a lot of frustration having to pull a few inches at a time, rest them on my lap and keep the cats away, then crochet until the loose bit was used and repeat the process...

 

Anyway, I then found out about balling my yarn, and how this is supposed to 'relax' the yarn and make it easier to use... 

 

I have watched a couple of YouTube videos on different ways to ball yarn and have tried both. What I end up with is a ball of yarn that successfully makes it flow off the ball easier, but still seems to unravel at some points and I end up with a big knot of yarn!! 

 

 

Can anyone give me some tips, please!

 

Should I invest in a ball winder? Does anyone use one and know if they're any good? 

Is there anything or a trick I can use to keep the ball in one place whilst I use the yarn from it, so that it doesn't roll off my knee and become a cat toy? 

 

Thanks! 

 

Beccalovely xx

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I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my ball winder. 

 

While it's true that they do make center pull skeins I still use the yarn from the outside of them.  Once you use up the middle of a center pull it collapses in on itself and knots up again anyway.  I just toss it in a bowl and let it flip flop around in there.  Of course- I don't have cats.

 

Some skiens are made as center pulls like Red Heart or Caron Pounders and such.  Getting the beginning started and pulling a little bit of yarn at first can be a pain but that phase passes quickly.

 

What you need to wind are HANKS of yarn.  Most commercial skeins today are fine to use right from the center.

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Ha, cats and yarn! That can be a board topic all by itself!! If I think of it before I start a new project, I usually tuck my skein in a plastic drink pitcher type thing, and run the yarn out the spout, it keeps it (mostly) away from them, but they still have those few feet of moving yarn in between to somehow discover, lol.

 

i don't have a ball winder, for years I've found I can make my own center pull balls with no problem. I start out with a plastic pill/vitamin bottle as my center core, tucking a foot or so of yarn inside. Replace the cap. Start winding the yarn on the center for 20 or so times, forming a lump, then turn the bottle sideways and continue carefully winding on the diagonal. Keep moving your wrist, the bottle will turn and you'll lay the threads along side of each other. If you hold the bottle by the cap end, you'll be sure to not cover it over.

 

Be sure to begin those first 'lump' rows loose, or you'll never get that bottle out! Remove the bottle, and you are all set to start your project. I'll sit and do 3 or 4 or these at a time when I want to straighten up my leftover skeins,, takes 10-15 min each.

 

This will make a small ball nicely, good for that last section of a collapsed skein or that big gob that comes out of a pounder when you first start it.... sizewise, you can do up to about a sock yarn size on a vitamin bottle.

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After a little fight with a knotted tangled mess right in the middle of a row of stitches from a ball I had once again attempted to roll myself I have given in and bought a little hand-operated ball winder. 

 

Now I just have to get by until Tuesday next week! 

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I usually am pretty good when using the center pull but every once in a while, they get tangled (usually because of me, LOL) and I will end up rolling it into a ball. I just usually fold over a little piece of paper and use that as the inside. So far, I haven't had any problems.

 

I did find a way to corral those smaller balls you end up with after doing a project. I used to dump them all together in one container and of course, they played together and got tangled up amongst themselves, bad yarn balls, bad yarn balls. Anyway, I found those dividers you can buy (found them inexpensive at TJ Maxx and Marshalls) that you normally use for socks and undies. After I ran out of room in my sock drawers, using the ones a friend had given me for those, I used the couple of extra ones and put them in the plastic underbed storage containers and popped a yarn ball in each opening. Then I bought more and realized they would fit in the little four or six drawer plastic units also so I did the same. Now the yarn balls are nice and neat, though I would imagine a bit upset that they cannot tangle themselves together.

 

LI Roe

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That's a really good tip about the drawer dividers LI, my previous crafting has involved patchwork and that is so much easier to store than yarn. I have the plastic underbed storage drawers like you, and I think one of them is empty so it would be an ideal place to store all my yarns. 

 

Just like with my patchwork when I became a bit of a fabric-a-holic I fear the same is going to happen with yarn!! I can't stop looking at all the pretty yarns on the internet! 

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I resisted buying the ball winder for a long time as a totally unnecessary expense. Finally I brought one and I am Totally In Love. I wound everything in the house that had two ends, I think  :lol

 

I took RoseRed's advice and work from the outside after I wind them so they retain their shape. I think what I like best is that they form cakes, not balls, so they have flat bottoms. They stack easily to store and won't go rolling off my lap or a table. I think you will really love having it.

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I absolutely love my ball winder and now could not live without it.  No more pulling, just watch it unravel. :clap

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The old two-liter soda bottles with a detachable bottom used to make great yarn "safes" for working around kids and animals because all you had to do was pop off the plastic "bowl" on the bottom, cut off the bottom of the bottle, stick in the yarn and put the bowl back on. These days, you need a chunk of duct tape. Wash a bottle, discard the cap and cut the bottom off (the line around the bottom is a good place.) Stuff your yarn inside, feed the end you're going to use out the bottle neck, and put the bottom of the bottle back on with duct tape.

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Can you tell what arrived in the post today?! 

 

post-67796-0-86400900-1373386948.jpg

 

I absolutely love my wool winder!!!! I have been crocheting away from the balled up yarn and it is sooo much quicker, not stopping every two minutes to pull off some slack yarn! 

And the winder itself is so easy to use. Brilliant, would recommend it to anyone. 

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Can you tell what arrived in the post today?! 

 

attachicon.gifYarn balls.JPG

 

I absolutely love my wool winder!!!! I have been crocheting away from the balled up yarn and it is sooo much quicker, not stopping every two minutes to pull off some slack yarn! 

And the winder itself is so easy to use. Brilliant, would recommend it to anyone. 

 

Did you buy an electric winder or a manual? What brand? I've been thinking about getting a winder for some time now and I just don't know what to get!

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Hi Mandy, 

 

I bought a manual one, the one that is shown here:

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/swift-wool-winder-yarn-guide-skein-form-hand-operated-winding-coreless-ball-/281131029042

 

I chose it by looking at some YouTube videos and deciding which one I thought I'd get on with. 

 

I would honestly recommend it, I'm so glad I bought one! 

 

Becca x

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I have a Royal, that looks a lot like the one beccalovely bought.

 

Becca - I'm so glad you like it. Aren't they fun to play with? And it really is easy to work from the cakes.

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Donna - they really are, I've found myself looking for more yarn to wind! 

 

I've experimented with working from the outside of the cakes and the inside. I was amazed at how well it worked from the inside, right to the very end no tangles! Brilliant piece of equipment, so glad I bought one. 

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