Tips & Tricks how to open an unwound skein of yarn When you purchase an unwound skein of yarn, you have to open it up and rewind it. 1. Gently untwist the yarn and remove the label. The yarn will be in a large loop. Don’t try to use the yarn directly from the loop. You need to rewind the yarn into a ball you can knit from. 2. The easiest way to rewind the yarn is to place the loop on a yarn swift (which basically holds the loop of yarn open to keep it from tangling) and then to rewind it into a ball. If you don’t have a swift, it’s easiest if you have a friend hold the loop on their hands while you wind the ball. Other options are to put the loop over a chair back. This helps keep the loop of yarn from tangling. Undo the ties that hold the loop. 3.. If you don’t have a ball winder (which will make winding easier), start winding the yarn on your fingers. Start by wrapping the yarn around two or three of your fingers about 20 times. Once you get a bit of yarn wound around your fingers, slide the yarn off your fingers. 4. Turn this small loop to the side and start to wrap the yarn around the middle of the loop. 5. Turn the ball again and continue to wrap the yarn around the loop. 6. Turn the ball again and continue to wind the yarn until your starter loop is covered. 7. Continue to wind the yarn turning the ball in all directions so you end up with a round shape until all the yarn is wound.
splitting a skein of yarn Because you are knitting with multiple strands of yarn at the same time, sometimes it will be more cost-effective to split a skein of yarn in two so you don’t have to buy more yarn than you need. For example, if you need 4 x 60 yard lengths to finish a project, you can split two 120 yard skeins in half. If you use a ball winder to wind your skeins, you can work from both ends (one from the middle and one from the outside) at the same time. If you don’t have a winder, use a kitchen or mail scale to measure out half a skein (the weight of the skein is usually listed on the label).
how to join yarn mid-project To join yarn mid-project, I like to use a sliding knot. If you’re knitting or crocheting with 3-4 strands at the same time, when you knot the end of one skein to the beginning of a new one in the middle of the work, the knot is buried in the midst of the other strands. You will barely see the join. Make every effort to stagger the knots so they aren’t all in one place. This usually happens naturally because skeins vary in exact length. Trim the ends to vary in length if necessary.
1) Place strands side by side. 2) knot the bottom strand around the top strand, knotting it around and back through itself. 3) Knot the top strand around the bottom strand in the same way. 4. Tighten both knots. 5. Slide the knots together and trim the ends close to the knot. This pattern is for home use only, not for resale. Copyright 2015 Anne Weil www.flaxandtwine.com