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 5 hours to wind the yarn into a ball, and not done
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4177 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  07:21:10 AM  Show Profile Send kbshee a Private Message
This isn't even a project yet, but it is a nightmare.

I spent five hours yesterday (honestly) winding 800 yards of a very thin rayon yarn into a ball. It was in a hank, and I thought it would work OK, but after getting it on to the swift and trying to wind it on the ball winder I realized the hank was too twisted and the yarn to slippery to wind on the ball winder. So then I started to wind it by hand. It kept getting twisted and tangled, and it went very slowly. I ended up sitting on the floor watching old L&Os and winding the ball by hand all afternoon. And in the end, i only got about 475 yards wound into a ball. The rest is in a 'skein' in the yarn closet.

DH says he'll tackle it on the next rainy day. His nickname is 'the detangler'.

Luckily I'm off for the summer so I didn't waste an entire evening (just an entire afternoon).

However, it doesn't make me too excited about knitting with this yarn (I was planning a moebius). I can't even look at it right now, but maybe I'll feel better about it later.

kim in oregon

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2460 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  07:29:09 AM  Show Profile Send YarnGoddess a Private Message
I do feel your pain. I recently got hold of a skein of Schaefer Anne sock yarn, one of my favorite sock yarns. Whoever skeined it must have had a bad day or a sick sense of humor. What should have taken me 30-45 minutes to wind by hand ended up taking all d*mn night. It was twisted over and under itself, lots of overhand knots which I was able to undo as long as I worked hard at being patient. I was determined to keep the the yarn in one piece and eventually succeeded, but never have I come so close to cutting yarn as I was then. I still haven't knit the socks it's meant for.

Zipper & Diva

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7254 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  07:30:03 AM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message
I am completely relate and feel terrible for you. I once brought some Cherry Tree Hill off ebay. It was superhank. It was such a mess and kept knotting up on me. It took forever to wind because I had to do it be hand.

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2424 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  12:33:40 PM  Show Profile Send azblueskies a Private Message
Hope the same person didn't skein the Schaefer Anne I have in my stash! You all have my sympathy!

So much to learn, so little time.
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4160 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  12:52:03 PM  Show Profile Send dschmidt a Private Message
Shades of La Boehme yarn that I wound for a friend -- yikes, I would think 10 times before I bought any of that yarn.

Donna in VA
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Warming Up

98 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  3:30:08 PM  Show Profile Send Dakota122503 a Private Message
Ugg that's happened to me all to often. I always hand wind as I don't have a swift or a ball winder (if I'm lucky dh is around to hold the skein!) I am constantly getting it twisted, I always think it's my fault, but now I know I can blame it on whoever skeined it!!!

Wife to Brandon 7/8/00 Mommy to Mathias 11/12/05
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Chatty Knitter

108 Posts

Posted - 07/07/2006 :  4:13:13 PM  Show Profile Send cadavidson a Private Message
I don't have any knitter friends - so the one thing I love about this site and that I can read something and relate to it.
I felt the same way as Dakota - thinking that it was my fault and somehow I just didn't do it right.
Winding yarn by hand is definately a test of patience. [:(!!]

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Permanent Resident

1670 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2006 :  01:43:11 AM  Show Profile Send Mickey a Private Message
>Winding yarn by hand is definetely a test of patience. [:(!!]

If it's badly tangled, yes. It once took me 10+ hours to wind one hank of laceweight cashmere. [**] But generally speaking, I rather enjoy winding yarn, and I'm NOT a patient person! It's rhythmic, soothing, a workout for my arms :-), and such a sensual pleasure!
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Chatty Knitter

284 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2006 :  08:04:50 AM  Show Profile Send MrsD1 a Private Message
I can't tell you how many hours I spent trying to detangle and wind a hank of linen yarn recently! I thought I would go mad! Finally a dear friend took it home with her and within 2 days sent it back to me in a gift bag totally wound into a ball! What a great friend! I usually love detangling yarn, but this hank was unreal.
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Gabber Extraordinaire

486 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2006 :  12:33:31 PM  Show Profile  Visit Sorka's Homepage  Send Sorka a Yahoo! Message Send Sorka a Private Message
I just had the same problem with a skein of Shaeffer Laurel! It took me a few sittings to get it all wound up! Oh boy I had to walk away from it a few times!
My hubby has the role of detangler quite often but he wouldn't touch this one he said I was mad at the yarn and he wasn't going to get between us.heheh

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honorary angel

1650 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2006 :  10:50:04 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message
I don't want to be a thread hog, but nobody tangles the hanks when they're wound. They get over/undered as they are handled and as the tension from the skein winder is released and different sections relax differently due to small differences in the twist.
Believe me, I owned a yarn store and wound more than 500lbs of yarn every week from nasty little hanks of cravanella (wool/rayon that is really stretchy) to lustre sheen to embroidery floss to 5.5 lb hanks of acrylic.
Most of your tangles will go away if you straighten the hank before you wind. Make sure you have the true center of the hank. Go around two or three times tugging on the tie bands tobe sure you don't have any loops coming from the other side of the hank. Now put both hands through the center, so the hank is resting on your forearms. Now slam (HARD) your arms out as if you are committing some type of bizarre calisthenic. You slam the hank over and over and you will be able to SEE the strands lining up.
This will get rid of most kinky bits where a little bit of overtwist has grabbed a lower level loop also.
I know it sounds dumb, but trust me this works.
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honorary angel

1650 Posts

Posted - 07/08/2006 :  10:56:32 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message
And I can't help but repeat what I posted last week about the swift and ball winder thing. Hanks unwind best if they are under a pretty fair amount of tension. It works best if you drop the hank over a trashcan or round cardboard drum and then stuff it with pillow, rolled up towels or long skinny pieces of foam. You don't even have to stand and wind around. Get a coat hanger up to the ceiling above your contraption and throw the OUTSIDE end of the hank through. Then just pull and wind. Works really well. Once in a while it'll stick under and all you have to do is pull out away in a horizontal direction, that will free it up. I just woound about 3 poounds of homespun alpaca the other day in less than half an hour with a ball winder.
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Permanent Resident

1386 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2006 :  06:19:03 AM  Show Profile Send a Private Message
When winding a skein into a ball (by hand), I never know which end to start with. If I start with the wrong end, I have a terrible time winding it. Is there some clue which end is the correct one? Usually one end is more "buried" into the strands, but not always.
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Permanent Resident

3019 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2006 :  12:10:05 PM  Show Profile Send abt1950 a Private Message
Sharon, good question. I have the same problem.

llin, I still haven't ordered either ball winder or swift, but your suggestion about straightening the hank through arm calisthenics works. I tried it on some Cotton Classic a few days back. Cotton Classic isn't the hardest yarn to wind, but your suggestion made it even easier. Thanks.


Never do today what you can put off until tomorrow.
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honorary angel

1650 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2006 :  1:20:27 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message
Okay frenetic, deep breath, in with the good air, out with the bad,
now nice and calm, eh?
Whang on your hank until you have straightened out all those pesky little strands. Now Arrange the hank as you are going to wind it. Sometimes both ends are tied to the same tie band, sometimes each end is tied to a separate tie band.
Figure this part out and leave them alone yet. Cut the other tie bands and pull them off. Now cut the tie band at the bottom which is tied to one or both ends so the tie band stays attached to the end (so you can find it easier) Now holding the end, run your finger under the strand coming fr9m the end. If it swoops up or down and dives under the hank, push it through underneath and let it hang, then repeat with the second end. If it seems obvious that it is coming off the surface, you're good to go. If both ends seem to come from the center, the hank has probably been folded. Put it over something and tension it up (trashcan or whatever) Now reach behind the hank from the top and the bottom edge and sort of unfold it vertically, dragging your fingers to bring the strands to the top and bottom edge.
I hope to goodness this is making sense to you. It really is very easy and simple to do but a bugger to explain without visuals. I have to figure out how to do a web site and get a video up.
Commercial hanks are wound on what looks like a big hamster wheel with pegs sticking out. The tie bands are put on while the yarn is under pretty heavy tension. When the hank is slid off, sometimes the outside strands get kind of rolled intoward the center. You need to "unfold" the top of the hank gently.
Generally, not always, but usually the outside end will come off in a counterclockwise direction, as most skein winders turn clockwise. This is another clue to figuring out which end is outside.
Good luck
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Seriously Hooked

693 Posts

Posted - 07/09/2006 :  6:23:22 PM  Show Profile  Visit umbaba's Homepage Send umbaba a Private Message
We wind weird stuff everyday at the shop (La Boheme, 450 yds handpainted rayon stuff, laceweight anything) and sometimes it takes two folks to do it under the right amount of pressure. We do all the stuff that Lin suggests and don't have too many problems except for that time when 400 yds of fine rayon fell off of the swift because it wasn't put on tight enough - the customer came back the next day to get it.
I think La Boheme has a warning inside the label about winding it (because of the definite difference in the stretchiness of the different yarns) so we happily wind it for our customers and I think it is a stunning yarn - well worth the winding. soon as I finish this row
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