Tuesday, 9 June 2015

How to Wind a Skein of Yarn Yourself

Thanks for the comments on my amaryllis. The bulb was a present for Christmas 2013 and it flowered early in 2014 and then again shortly afterwards. There has been nothing since then until now. It seems like a strange time of year for it to be flowering! Maybe it's because we are having such strange weather.

My holiday is quickly becoming a distant memory so I'd better get on and tell you a bit about it. We started off by staying two nights in the Village Inn in Arrochar. We stayed there last September as well. It's a lovely place to stop off for a day or two, to break the journey. We arrived on Sunday, May 10th. On the Monday we got the bus into Glasgow just to mosey round a bit and do some shopping. The husband bought me two pairs of boots for my birthday (which was last Thursday).

While we were waiting until it was time to have dinner, I decided to start rolling some of the cotton skeins for my sister-in-law's crocheted bag. I got myself nicely seated at the fire in a big leather chair and the husband took lots of photos. So this is how I roll a skein of yarn into a ball using only my own hands.

The skein comes like this; twisted and with one end tucked in.

Pull out the end that's tucked in ....

... and untwist the skein.

If you hold it up, it will just untwist itself.

My skein had a paper label attached; remove any labels.

Now find the place where the two ends of the skein have been used to tie it all up and keep it together.

Just undo the knot or loop.

Normally, if you are holding a skein for someone else to wind, you hold it like this; stretched between your two hands.

If you're going to roll it yourself you need your hands to do the rolling so you have to hold the skein between your wrists. On this occasion I used the label for starting to wind the yarn round. You can just wind it round your fingers if you prefer. Here goes  ...

... keep winding.

When you are winding the yarn across the bottom of the skein and approaching the left hand, use the right hand to lift the yarn round your wrist.

Continue winding the yarn across the top of the skein.

The yarn just works easily across the top of the skein ...

... and then slips over the right hand so you can continue winding across the bottom of the skein.

Now we've reached the left hand side again ...

... so give the yarn a bit of a lift round the left hand ...

... and continue winding across the top of the skein.

Every so often give the skein a good straighten out by stretching your hands apart as far as possible.

 Here I am, winding so fast my hands are a blur!

I hope you can follow what I was doing. It isn't easy to explain without actually being there with you.

That was just the first ball I needed wound! Before I could start crocheting the bag I had to wind another six skeins.

Well, that the just the start of my holiday and not very holiday-ish at all so far. I'll be back with more about the holiday and progress on the crocheting of the bag.

Until the next time! Which, hopefully, won't be too long.


  1. Great exercise for the upper arms - am in desperate need of that so I might be doing this a lot more. Don't you feel ever so slightly sad though at unravelling the skein - they are such a thing of beauty!
    Caz xx

    1. Yes a skein looks so perfect before being wound.

  2. it's so funny you are posting about this. You should try and pop by my blog tomorrow, to see what happens when you don't do what you suggest...yes Yarn Barf!! I'll post a photo tomorrow.

    1. Oh dear! I'll have to have a look tomorrow. I hope you got it sorted.

  3. Wow! I can remember doing the same thing years ago for my mum who was a great knitter. Shows my age i think .
    Thank you for your kind comment on my blog....,,,xx

    1. haha! I can relate - remembering my childhood holding up the yarn between my hands for my knitting mum too!

  4. Very clever. I always need a helper when I'm winding yarn.

  5. just to let you know there will be a link to this post on my blog on Wednesday, as basically you did it right, while I did it wrong!!

  6. I can crochet for some years, but I always hate to wind my skein of yarns. I usually need almost 2 days for winding 1 skein. I hope I can do it faster if using your technique... thanks

  7. Very nice technique Gillian, I think I'd end up being caught in the skein myself! xD

  8. How clever. I usually put the skein around my feet and hold them up. Good on the thigh muscles! x

  9. That's very cool! I love the fireplace. Your amaryllis= amazing!

  10. Hi Gillian,
    Thanks for sharing your winding technique. I hadn't seen it done that way before - my mother used to get me to hold the yarn when I was a child so she could wind it into balls. I use the back of a chair or the smooth sides of my little 'traymobile' trolley. How convenient to be able to do it yourself without any other assistance. I had to laugh at Valentina's concerns (above) about getting caught up in the skein - I have a funny feeling that could happen to me too (especially during a tired moment!) :-)
    Thank you for detailed instructions of how to wind a hank into a ball, and now I am going to check with Gill - That British Woman about what NOT to do! I love the shared expertise that the crochet and knitting blogosphere offers. Thank you! I will be watching this space to see how that lovely yarn works up. Have fun! :-)

  11. Thanks for showing your technique, Gillian, must try this. I remember the good old times, too, when mum was there and we wound yarn together ♥. There are several skeins I should wind and hubby isn't wild about helping ;-). Sometimes I tried a chair's backrest or the sofa's armrest to hang the opened skein on, but both aren't exactly brilliant. I think I have to buy a spinner's weasel someday. But till then I will try your technique :-). Btw, what a wonderful room / fireplace!
    Thanks for your sweet comment on my blanket & have a nice day! Nata xxx

  12. Thanks for sharing your technique, I must try it as I have five skeins to wind and no helper. Hx

  13. I like to wind yarn...I find it quite relaxing. I drape the skein around my knees and that works pretty well for me, but your way may work better....I'm gonna try it.

  14. That's a great way to do it I always get tied up in knots. :)

  15. Thanks for the tutorial; I'll have to give it a try. I usually use my knees.
    The amaryllis is just beautiful! ♥

  16. Excellent information my friend, gosh that fireplace is amazing.

  17. This looks like the most relaxing thing. A great technique.

  18. A great demo and a wonderful setting for it too! Belated Birthday wishes for last week! :-)

  19. Very useful. I made such a mess the first time I tried to wind one of these that it took literally days. I just wouldn't give up. I now use hooks on a door to hold the yarn but will try it on my arms next time.

  20. What a clever idea to wind the yarn on its own paper band and what gorgeous yarn.


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