Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Delicous cakes! Yarn cakes!

So many of those gorgeous hand-dyed yarns come in hanks. They are wonderful to watch at - but you can't knit them without winding them into a ball. Even better: a centre-pull ball! There are ball winders to help you do that (something like this for example), but I've never been willing to spend money for this. An alternative would be a nostepinne. I don't own one of these, therefore I'm using my standard egg whisker.
And that's how I do it:

First, let me introduce the protagonists:
A hank of Wollmeise 100% Merino in the "Blaue Tinte" colourway:

And a standard household egg whisker:

First, I untwist the hank:

When I'm alone I just sit on the couch, put my feet on the table and the big loop of yarn over me knees. Then I open my knees until the yarn sits tightly and doesn't go anywhere, but is not stretched too much.

One end of the yarn I tie to the wire part of the egg whisker:

Then I wrap the yarn around the handle of the whisker for a few centimeters:

And wrap a second layer on top of this one:

When you have two layers, you start wrapping the thread diagonally around the handle  (white arrow). After each wrap, you turn the whisker a little bit towards you (red arrow):

This way, you get a nice criss-cross pattern:

Keep doing this until you have reached the desired height of the skein:

Then, you go for width: Don't put the thread all the way to the top/bottom of the ball, but stay little bit closer to the center (indicated by the white lines), so that the ball grows to be more cylindrical:

Soon, an edge starts to form:

And it grows ...

And finally, you're done:

Congratulations to your wonderful, easy-to-knit center-pull ball!

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