how to start the knitting, from skein or ball?

by Joy
(San Diego, CA)

Hello, I am a beginner knitter; have been knitting a scarf from the skein.

As I have reached the end, the rest of the skein is now all knotted and twisted up. I simply pulled the yarn from the center and it worked fine until I have reached the end . . .

Are you supposed to convert a skein into a ball, and knit from the ball of yarn?


Most knitters would.

If you wind the wool in your skein into a ball before you start knitting, there is no guarantee that you will not encounter a tangled mess but if you do, it is easy to deal with when you don't have a half finished garment attached to it.

There are tools available that make this process much easier. I have (and use) two tools.

One is a wool winder, mine came with a knitting machine, but you can buy them separately online.

Basically with this handy little gadget, you attached the end of your skein, free some of the yarn and wind the handle to create the ball.

Before I got the second tool, I would use the backs of two kitchen chairs to hold the skein, and I would unwind a couple of loops from the skein to wind each time.

Time consuming yes, but less likely to tangle is you go slowly.

The second tool is a knitting swift, which works kind of like an umbrella. You place your skein around the swift and open it up wide enough hold the skein in place.

This wonderful gadget spins as you pull yarn off the skein, so if you have it set up properly you can attach the end of the skein to your wool winder and just keep winding until you have wound all of the yarn on the swift into a ball on your wool winder.

Both of these items can usually be purchased on eBay, and in my opinion, they are worth their weight in gold...

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