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 Center Pull Ball - wind or not to wind?
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kyench
Chatty Knitter

USA
205 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  11:16:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit kyench's Homepage Send kyench a Private Message
I have been having some problems with skeins bought that don't pull from the center. They unwind and unwind and unwind and it seems like the whole center portion is just stuffed with yarn. I always get a whole bunch of tangles when I reach the center.

So last night, I tried to make a center pull ball, following the instructions from one of the past post here. I need to know from you all if anyone has experienced what I expereience last night.

After making the ball, two things happened.

1. as I use the ball, the yarn around the ball starts to fall off the ball and
2. the yarn coming out of the center somehow gets tangled.

Have you ever experienced that?? I followed the instructions step by step from the web, I even tried different method. I finally just wound it up a stick of deodorant.

Am I doing something wrong?

Also, what do you guys do with skeins of yarn? Just use them, let them bounce off the floor or do you take the time to roll it up again into a center pull ball?

sarakate
Seriously Hooked

USA
818 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  11:46:29 AM  Show Profile Send sarakate a Private Message
I'm a little confused by your first paragraph. There are two types of skeins -- twist skeins, which are basically a big loop twisted back on itself and then the ends tucked in; and pull-skeins, which are the most common put-up for most large-manufacturer yarns. Twist skeins *must* be wound into a ball of some type; they'll tangle far too much if you try to just use them as is. I've never encountered a pull-skein, however, that didn't have one strand starting in the center and therefore capable of being pulled from there (sometimes, however, with much attendant cursing), because pull-skeins are really just a modified ball. So I'm not sure which type you're talking about in the first paragraph -- could you mention a specific type of yarn, so I could look at how it's put up?

As for the behavior of your yarn balls, that happens. You can use the Yarn Bra nets that go around the ball (or I've heard you can get similar netting in some produce aisles), and they'll stop a lot of that nonsense, or just put a couple of rubber bands around it. That keeps the outside loops from falling off as the tension relaxes when you use the ball, and also helps with (although it won't fully prevent) the inside looping around other strands, because there's less freedom of motion.

If you want to use a pull skein from the outside, instead of digging for the center strand, or you want to pull your hand-wound balls from the outside, but you don't want it to bounce all over the place, put it in something. A coffee mug works great for smaller balls, or a bowl for larger ones, or you can construct a holder from a soda bottle or the container for the type of baby wipes that pull out the top of a cylinder.
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GFTC
Permanent Resident

USA
6331 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  11:47:06 AM  Show Profile  Visit GFTC's Homepage Send GFTC a Private Message
When you wind a skein into a center pull ball, use a piece of masking tape to hold the outside end to the ball. It will not become sticky and will prevent the ends of the inside and outside from becoming entangled with each other. Otherwise use a "yarn bra" to keep the ball tight.

GFTC of NYC
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Kelly B
Permanent Resident

USA
2206 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  12:13:11 PM  Show Profile Send Kelly B a Private Message
A sock makes a good yarn bra as well (and pantyhose feet are even better, but I suspect you don't have a drawerful of those?). To find the end inside of a pull skein, sometimes it helps if you stick a finger or two into the middle, on each end, and twist them back and forth, so you can find the actual center. (I'm thinking of Encore, which I used a lot of, for Christmas hats.)
Sometimes that doesn't work, and the whole wretched thing commits hara-kiri.
Then, after stuffing the guts back in, the bowl idea is good, or a zipper bag with the zip open an inch or so.
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elizh
Permanent Resident

USA
1248 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  12:18:14 PM  Show Profile Send elizh a Private Message
When I have a big yarn mess that's come out of center pull ball or a pull skein, usually as a result of my inability to find the %@*ing end of it, I simply rewind the mess into a "mini" centerpull ball, then compress it and stuff the whole thing back into the center of the ball. Likewise, when my center pulled ball begins to take on the appearance of a hollowed out pumpkin and begins to collapse into itself, I'll simply rewind what's left of the ball into a mini center pull ball. You have to hand wind these. Using a crank-type mechanical winder will twist the yarn strand itself.

When you hand wind center pull balls, I find it helps to always wind at an angle and to wind only about 6-8 times around before rotating the ball and then wind some more in a fresh place at a fresh angle. Make sure you wind loosely, or it may affect your gauge.
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kyench
Chatty Knitter

USA
205 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  12:57:51 PM  Show Profile  Visit kyench's Homepage Send kyench a Private Message
Thank you all for your replies. Yes, I wasn't very clear in my first paragraph.

I don't have a problem with hanks of yarn... I guess you can call them twist skeins. I don't have a problem with hanks/twist yarn because when I get them from my LYS, they wind it up with a swift and a ball winder.

I'm talking about the kind of yarn like Lionbrand, Carron... yarn that come in a ball skein with a band on it. I have a real problem trying to figure out where to start... from the center or outside. When I can't find the starting point outside, I kinda prod and prod in the center and like all these yarn come out like intestines....sometimes tangled.

My question is, do you guys automatically re-wind any yarn you buy into a center pull ball?

Other question is, do you have a problem with your center pull ball getting tangled or stuck or knotted up in the center?
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Holly in OK
Warming Up

USA
99 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  1:32:15 PM  Show Profile Send Holly in OK a Private Message
You know what? I think I know which balls you're talking about. I've used some Lion Brand Landscapes yarn like that. It never occured to me to look for the center end of the yarn. I've no idea why now that I think of it! I just noticed that the outer piece was sitting right there, not tucked in, so I just grabbed it and knitted away. As it bounced all over the place. I'd be interested in knowing, too, how you're supposed to use that kind of ball. Don't Debbie Bliss and Rowan do the same kind of ball?

I only re-wind hanks that will obviously become a total mess within seconds otherwise. And boy do I need to get a swift and ball winder now that I've fallen in love with handpaintedyarn.com's exquisite yarns!



I sometimes get a little bit of tangle when I first pull some of the yarn from the center, but it's nothing that doesn't relax and un-tangle with a couple of minutes' effort. Annoying, but I'm not sure how to prevent it. I don't usually have a problem after that first few yards come out, though. Do you all through the ball or just at the beginning?

Holly in OK
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sarakate
Seriously Hooked

USA
818 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  1:33:44 PM  Show Profile Send sarakate a Private Message
Okay, so you *are* talking about pull skeins. They *will* unwind from the center, but sometimes that first bit *is* tough to find. Lion Brand Homespun seems to be particularly bad about that, and LB Cotton-Ease, while the tail isn't usually that hard, it generally does a big ol' "yarn barf" when you pull it out, coming out with a tangle, but any yarn can have this problem; I really wish the manufacturers would just make the end dangle on out, or put a tag on it to make it easy to find, or *something*.

I don't rewind these, generally. I stubbornly find the end, even if I get a blob with it, and then I do just what elizh does if it's a big blob, or if it's a small one then I just wrap it around the outside toward one end, where it won't make the skein tumble too badly, since it'll be used up in the first few rows and then I'll be pulling straight from the center.

I've never had a significant problem with tangling in the center on a hand-wound ball. I usually wind mine around either my thumb (for a small ball) or a toilet-paper core (for a large ball, because it gives it more ease); I start by going around perpendicular to the axis until I have a little bulge built up, and then wind at a 45-degree angle, gradually turning the ball.
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stubbornkelly
Chatty Knitter

USA
122 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  3:23:07 PM  Show Profile Send stubbornkelly a Private Message
I feel your pain. I thought I was doing something wrong at first until I talked to other people who had the same problem.

When I get yarn barf from the center of a skein, I usually will wind that bit into a mini-ball, like elizh does. I haven't found any that was truly tangled, just messy, and as long as I'm careful to set the yarn barf down carefully without moving it around, I don't find that it gets tangled as I wind the mini-ball.

I also will re-wind balls as they get down to the dregs, particularly if it's a portable project. That, and my cat gets interested if there's yarn flopping around.
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elizh
Permanent Resident

USA
1248 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  3:27:51 PM  Show Profile Send elizh a Private Message
Yeah, yarn barf! To answer your question, I always use center pull balls or pull skeins. I never pull from the outside. I start my hand wound mini balls on my thumb since I always have it with me! (I have a tendency to lose things which is why I cable without a cable needle too)Plus it forms a natural 45 degree angle for winding. I'm able to find the end in the center about one time out of eight, which is why I've gotten so expert at making center pull balls. I just let the yarn barf come out and then do my thing.

I hate Lion Brand homespun. It splits on me and it's too hard to fix my mistakes using it.
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knit_cookie
Gabber Extraordinaire

388 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  4:00:17 PM  Show Profile  Visit knit_cookie's Homepage Send knit_cookie a Private Message
The only thing I want to add is: If you've got the end of the yarn from the inside already, but it starts getting difficult to pull the yarn out, do not tug hard on it! If there is a knot beginning to develop, this will only tighten it and turn it into a bigger mess. Gently reach in and pull out the tangled wad. I usually manage to untangle the mess and knit with it. It's annoying, but better than knitting from the outside or rewinding the entire ball. I encounter wads like that a lot, but if you catch it soon enough (instead of trying to tug and pull around the problem), it's usually just a small wad that's easy to handle.

I also run into wads with hand wound balls with very thin yarn. In fact with laceweight, I pull only from the outside because an inside tangle is *very* frustrating.
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 03/01/2005 :  9:58:50 PM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message
A little secret about those "knots" inside the yarn balls. They are not really knots, just intertwined loops of yarn. If you can avoid overtightening them and pull the mess out, then loosen up the tight areas, it will still feed the yarn to you. But if you pass an end through a loop, you are lost and from then on must keep passing the end through loops. What sometimes works for me is to insert a finger into each end of the ball and wind them opposite each other. One finger will get wound with yarn and that is the one you use to pull out the end.

fran
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vicky by the bay
Permanent Resident

USA
4768 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  12:51:45 AM  Show Profile Send vicky by the bay a Private Message
I use the trick w/ my index fingers fran talks about in her posting. I probably got it here from her in the past. But, usually, I always wind any ball I get for a couple reasons. I can then untangle any tangles that are in the ball and I can cut out any knots and use the Russian Join while winding instead of having to do this when knitting....I hate to have to stop and untangle or join knotted ends together. But that's just me. If I'm making something small like socks that comes in a center pull ball, I rarely rewind these. Easy to untangle and I rarely ever see a knot in sock or sport yarn for some weird reason....nice, but weird.

Vicky (Queen O'Yarn archivist-QYA)
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Shelia
Permanent Resident

USA
2345 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  06:23:55 AM  Show Profile  Visit Shelia's Homepage Send Shelia a Private Message
I like to make center-pull balls, but have discovered that they get too messy when using slippery yarns like some of the novelty and ribbon yarns. I found a "wine box" on a sale at a home store, it's a round box that is about 5-6" in diameter, and about 16" tall, and is covered in a pretty floral paper. The top is a slide-on lid. I punched a hole in the lid to feed yarn through, and it works great for working from the outside of balls or pull-skeins. Sort of the oatmeal-box concept, but a better size. Maybe something like this would help if you don't want to re-wind.

Shelia
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greengirl
Seriously Hooked

Taiwan
679 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  06:50:28 AM  Show Profile Send greengirl a Private Message

OK, so I feel a little sheepish posting this, but I decide whether to use yarn from the center or the outside based on the feel of the yarn through my fingers. Many kinds of yarn (especially wool) feel different depending on the direction it flows through your fingers. I take the yarn from the outside, rub it to determine which way (if any) it would feel better in my fingers, and use that to decide if I will bother digging into the center to work with the other end of the yarn. This is important in deciding which way to wind hanks into balls as well.

I guessed that was why they bother selling yarn in center pull balls. That way the consumer has full freedom to decide which way the fibers in the yarn are aligned. Any fiber experts have more insight on the real reason? Maybe simply to keep a ball of yarn from rolling around?
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mokey
Permanent Resident

15375 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  06:54:51 AM  Show Profile Send mokey a Private Message
I rewind everything into centre pull on my ball winder. Even if it's in a centre pull skein, it alerts me to knts and acquaints me with the patterning.

"I firmly believe the Bible is the misinterpreted word of God." Mokey

www.femiknits.blog-city.com
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Fraggle
Seriously Hooked

USA
747 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  09:44:11 AM  Show Profile  Visit Fraggle's Homepage Send Fraggle a Private Message
And I am not a fan of center pull (as I've posted before) I just can't get center pull anything to work for me. I wind my yarns into a ball by hand, stick them in a container to bounce around in as I pull when working on them. I know one other person who does it this way. She can't get center pull to work for her either.

But I'm just letting you know that there are the few and far between of us out there who do it this way. Just in case.



~ Fraggle

"I think they meant it when they said you can't buy love, now I know you can rent it, a new lease you were, my love . . ." From Rent

http://craftingandrambling.blogspot.com/
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Momma78239
Permanent Resident

USA
4859 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  10:45:21 AM  Show Profile  Visit Momma78239's Homepage  Send Momma78239 a Yahoo! Message Send Momma78239 a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by greengirl


OK, so I feel a little sheepish posting this, but I decide whether to use yarn from the center or the outside based on the feel of the yarn through my fingers. Many kinds of yarn (especially wool) feel different depending on the direction it flows through your fingers. I take the yarn from the outside, rub it to determine which way (if any) it would feel better in my fingers, and use that to decide if I will bother digging into the center to work with the other end of the yarn. This is important in deciding which way to wind hanks into balls as well.

I guessed that was why they bother selling yarn in center pull balls. That way the consumer has full freedom to decide which way the fibers in the yarn are aligned. Any fiber experts have more insight on the real reason? Maybe simply to keep a ball of yarn from rolling around?



You are absolutely right. There often IS a difference in feel depending on which way you rub the yarn. That's because the spinning/winding/etc in the factory all happens in one direction. From the "right" beginning end, the fibers will all lay flatter and smoother, and from the "wrong" end, they will fluff more. So - if you want your finished item to look/feel really smooth, then use the "right" end to start, and if you want it fluffier (like angora or mohair fluff) start from the "wrong" end. I do that, too.

Incidentally, on most commercially spun yarns, the center of the center pull ball/skein is the "right" end.

-Wendy
... __ ____ ____
, o`,/__/ _/\_ //____/\
```)( | | | | | | | || |l
,.- ,.-~~-., `-. :


"But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD."

-Joshua 24:15b
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knitsandwrits
New Pal

4 Posts

Posted - 03/02/2005 :  11:23:51 AM  Show Profile  Visit knitsandwrits's Homepage Send knitsandwrits a Private Message
If you're not having success using the thumb method to wind a center-pull ball, you could purchase a nostepinde. They're very easy to use and make nice center-pull balls.
http://www.graftonfibers.com/nostiewinding.htm

Susan
http://ma2ut.blogspot.com
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greengirl
Seriously Hooked

Taiwan
679 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2005 :  06:04:05 AM  Show Profile Send greengirl a Private Message
quote:
Originally posted by Momma78239
Incidentally, on most commercially spun yarns, the center of the center pull ball/skein is the "right" end.




I've noticed that too, but have also found some balls which should be worked from the outside. Manufacturers sometimes make mistakes. It pays to check. :)
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Lace Lunatic
Gabber Extraordinaire

USA
524 Posts

Posted - 03/03/2005 :  12:02:45 PM  Show Profile Send Lace Lunatic a Private Message
And if, despite your best efforts at controlling your yarn, you end up with a hopeless tangle (as I just did with some lovely Muench silk yarn: - toward the end of the center pull skein it suddenly collapsed into a tangled mess - despite being corralled in a zip-lock), enlist a second pair of hands to help you as you carefully backtrack through the mess, rewinding as you go. It reduces the job from a half-day cat's cradle marathon to a matter of half an hour to 45 minutes.

Suzanne
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