Unwinding the World of Skein Winding

SO! You've bought this amazing hand dyed/artisan/hand spun/just plain old lovely hunk of yarn.. but it's in this twisted bread formation?

Welcome to the wild wild world of skein winding.

Before & after yarn cake & Skein

Skeins (also known as 'Hanks' of yarn)
Sometimes wool comes in these loopy never ending circular..things, formally known as skeins/hanks. Yarn in this format is usually hand dyed, minimally processed, or, for the aesthetic, or to cut out a time consuming process of winding into balls en masse.

The continuous circle of yarn is twisted onto itself and it looks pretty cute.
What's not so cute, is that you can't knit or crochet straight from a skein (well you can but you'll probably end up crying into a tangled mess..)

Yarn Cakes -
created by using a ball winder
Perks: 'Centre Pull' yarn - having access to both ends of yarn at the same time (using 2 strands at the same time from the same ball), Neat and time efficient to get into a knit-able format
Downsides: Need a ball winder

Hand wound balls - Iconic perfectly wound full spheres. 
Perks: Can be created anywhere without any equipment
Downsides: Only have access to one end of yarn at a time, time consuming, and sometimes can get a bit knotty

Hand wound ball of yarn

There are so many ways to wind skeins, some are more straight forward/less frustrating than others, up until verrrrrrry recently I would wind skeins from placing it on my knees and hand winding into a ball (sorry no visuals for this practise) - I really like the slow process too - but I also relish in untangling knots.. (please email us for my knot untangling services)

How Umbrella Skein Winders work: 

- Place the whole skein onto the umbrella, tighten up the toggle so the yarn is as tight as it can go.
- Cut any ties that hold the yarn in place
- Find one of the ends of yarn and place it onto a ball winder OR wind onto your hand if that's your jam
- Wind away until all the yarn from the swift is on the ball winder and has made a (non edible) cake

How can I get my mitts these contraptions?

You can get both at your favourite yarn store - some more general craft stores may have them but they are a little bit more on the niche side.
Ball Winders:
Best to get a good quality one, that way it will last you for years/a lifetime.
Umbrella Swifts:
There are two main options, wire & wood. Wooden winders have a nicer feel, and seem to be more durable, and slightly more expensive - but each to their own/& budgets!

We stock our favourite KnitPro Ball Winders and we have customised our Umbrella Skein Winders :)

Happy Winding! 

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