One of the most difficult things to do when you start knitting/crocheting is to prepare the yarn and make it ready to use. You buy your first skein/hank and you try to use them as they come… but quickly end up in tears of frustration. Then you look at others using yarn and wonder how they manage… why don’t they have their yarn rolling all over the floor? Because they know how to handle the different types of yarn packaging.
For instance last week I bought this beautiful yarn at the Sheep Shop in Cambridge, it is called Anzula For Better or Worsted. However, it doesn’t come in skeins or balls I can use easily, like many other hand dyed yarns, it comes in a hank. I have turned my two green hanks into balls of yarn already, the red still waiting to be processed:
The tool that helps me make the nice balls is my lovely yarn winder:
It normally takes two people to transform the hank into a ball, unless you have another instrument called yarn swift. I don’t have one of those yet, so I enlist my partner every time I need to transform a hank into a ball of yarn. Some people claim you can hold the yarn around your knees and wind it on your own: I haven’t been able to do that and not get myself and the yarn all tangled together.
Skeins are easier to deal with, sometimes you can pull “the good end” from the centre and use it directly, or if bad comes to worse you can wind them into a ball on your own, letting them roll wildly at your feet in the process.