How to Ball a Hank of Yarn

4 Tips to ball your yarn

Isn’t it exciting when you look in the mailbox and find your shipment of squishy, sheep smelling skeins of warmth and goodness!? If you are like me, you can’t wait to start casting on!

I want to help you get off to the best possible start with your project and give you some tips on how to get your skein of yarn into a ball or a cake.

1st Tip – When you get your yarn and slide off the Mountain Meadow Wool wrapper, don’t throw the wrapper away, it has information about the yards of the skein and most importantly the dye lot. If you need another skein you will want to know the weight of yarn, dye lot, and the name of the color!

2nd Tip – Inspect the skein:

Mountain Meadow Wool skeins have two ties.  One tie is the two ends of the yarn tied together; the other ties is generally a colored tie that is figure 8ed through the yarn.

Skein of yarn

Look at the colored tie and make sure that all the yarn is going through the tie, and that no strands have gotten doubled back over the tie.  When our team members twist the yarn, they look to make sure that all the yarn is going through the ties, but sometimes a strand will be missed. One strand in the wrong place can cause a lot of headaches, so don’t skip this step.

Skien on swift

3rd Tip - Another look at the skein, this time spreading the yarn out so it will be flatter than in a bunch.

4th Tip – Do you have a yarn swift and ball winder?

If not, you can easily put it in a ball. If you have a yarn swift put the skein around the swift with a little bit of tension.  Snip the colored tie and remove it. Snip the yarn ends just beyond the knot.

Skien of yarn being cut

Skien of yarn being cut

Determine which end is on the inside of the skein and which looks to be on the outside. Choose the outside strand; you may want to tuck the inside strand between the other yarn and the swift so that it doesn’t get tangled up as the swift goes around and around.

Attach the yarn to your ball winder, and turn the handle with consistent speed, don’t go too fast!  When getting toward the end of the yarn slow down, you may need to apply some tension to the yarn as the last rounds come off the swift.

Skien ono ball winder

Don't have a yarn ball winder or swift?

Okay, you don’t have a fancy swift and ball winder, no problem!  Here are a few options:

A) Set two kitchen chairs back to back and put the skein around the backs of the chairs, then spread the chairs apart to put a little tension on the skein, then proceed to cut the ties and make your ball.

Skien of yarn on chairs

B) Put the skein over something round, such as a laundry basket that is upside-down.

Skien of yarn on basket

C) My favorite method is to get the family involved by having a patient person put their hands inside the skein, with the yarn against the back of their hands and applying a little outward pressure as you go around and around making your ball.

A little bit of prep time will make this process a breeze and once you have your yarn in a ball you are ready to knit!

Knit On my fellow Fiberistas!!

{"one"=>"{{ count }} comment", "other"=>"{{ count }} comments"}
Terry November 11, 2020

Thanks for the helpful hints.

Phyllis Webb November 11, 2020

Thank you so much for the lesson on ball winding. It’s always good to know every possible way.

Congratulations on the birth of the most precious babies. They are a treasure.

Judy Wilcox December 05, 2020

New knitters who are making a ball without a swift also need information on how to roll the yarn into a ball so the yarn stays springy and the yarn the knitter is knitting with is accessed from inside the ball and not the outside of the ball. I suggest to knitters to use a large empty pharmacy bottle of vitamins, for example. (Save those empty bottles and lids.) As you start to wind the ball, put the end inside the bottle, put on cap and wind the yarn around the center of the bottle until done. Now undue the cap, remove the yarn inside and slowly slide the ball of yarn off the bottle. Tuck the end of the yarn carefully into the ball of yarn. The yarn that was inside the bottle now become the beginning of your knitting project, coming from the center of the ball.

Judy Wilcox November 11, 2020

New knitters who are making a ball without a swift also need information on how to roll the yarn into a ball so the yarn stays springy and the yarn the knitter is knitting with is accessed from inside the ball and not the outside of the ball. I suggest to knitters to use a large empty pharmacy bottle of vitamins, for example. (Save those empty bottles and lids.) As you start to wind the ball, put the end inside the bottle, put on cap and wind the yarn around the center of the bottle until done. Now undue the cap, remove the yarn inside and slowly slide the ball of yarn off the bottle. Tuck the end of the yarn carefully into the ball of yarn. The yarn that was inside the bottle now become the beginning of your knitting project, coming from the center of the ball.

Showing: 17-20 of 25
Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published