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Chatty Knitter

168 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2006 :  2:05:36 PM  Show Profile  Visit Larjmarj's Homepage Send Larjmarj a Private Message
This is how to ruin your weekend with yarn. Try to wind 500+ yards of fingering weight merino mohair yarn with a ball winder without and extra set of hand to wrangle the yarn[crazy]
Yes, I ended up with the biggest most horrific tangled mess you can imagine. 12 hours yesterday detangling and three so far today and no, I'm not done yet.

Any advice for making this a solo task?


Permanent Resident

4172 Posts

Posted - 09/18/2006 :  2:26:45 PM  Show Profile Send lucylocket a Private Message
Hi Larjmarj - What a disaster![crazy] indeed!! Was this yarn initially in skein-form? Some wool that I buy does come in skeins (or hanks) and I usually either drape it around my knees (risky - but does work depending on size of hank) and carefully wind the ball manually (don't have a ball winder) or If the hank is bigger I drape it round the back of a chair (making sure my cats are nowhere around first!). I then wind it standing - up behind the chair - works for me! Bit harder if you are unwinding from a knitted item though!! Hope you get there soon - Happy Knitting ! Lucylocket
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Permanent Resident

3291 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2006 :  01:11:25 AM  Show Profile Send ozknitter a Private Message
Hi Larjmarj,

I agree with Margaret, that's what I usually do, wrap it around a chair on my knees or if you can get somebody who is willing to lend their hands, that's even better.

Good luck anyway.

I got 2 balls of this Opal wool, which turned out to be not what I thought it was, it was some horrible acryllic silky stuff and it was wrapped on a piece of cardboard, I tried to wind it into a ball and it just all fell into a messy heap, I think I'll just bin it.

Knit in peace and harmony.

Rose in Melbourne, Australia.
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Permanent Resident

7254 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2006 :  05:02:22 AM  Show Profile  Send gwtreece a Yahoo! Message Send gwtreece a Private Message
If the knee thing doesn't work, a bottle of wine won't make the mess go away but you will feel better until the next day(when the mess is still there).

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Permanent Resident

1950 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2006 :  1:35:01 PM  Show Profile  Visit purlewe's Homepage Send purlewe a Private Message
A nice turnable lampshade is a big help sometimes.

My mother made me a homosexual.
And if you give her some yarn, she'll make you one too. ~quentin crisp
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honorary angel

1650 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2006 :  2:07:35 PM  Show Profile Send llinn a Private Message
Look, I'm not going to yell at anybody, but I have posted 3 or 4 times on how to wind a hank without any grief. I know everyone is entitled to working in a way that makes them happy, but these occasional disasters are kind of sad when you KNOW they're not inevitable.

Put the hank over something--a chair back, a trashcan, a box, a basket with a plastic bag over it for friction issues, whatever. Then stuff the hank with pillows or rolled towels so that the hank is kept extremely taut. Spread the hank vertically, like unrolling panty hose, with the fold coming from the inside of the hank, at the top and bottom. Find the tie band which had the ends attached and find the outside end by running your hand underneath the loose ends to see which comes from the outside. Then, to make using a winder simpler and more efficient, throw the yarn end up and over a hook in the ceiling or in a doorway so that the yarn is pulled UP from the hank. Now wind as fast as you want, usually. If it is dragging too much vertically, go find an old, clean bidcycle wheel with no tire and put it on top of the box to throw the yarn out and away from the hank. Big, big skillet lids would work or just a big circle cut from foam core board, as long as there are no rough spots to grab the yarn.

I used to wind more than 500 lbs of yarn every week at the store. I got nearly all my acrylic in 80 oz hanks and had 3 trashcans upside down on stands with bicycle wheels on top and coathangers in the ceiling tiles. I could wind a 5.5 lb hank with an electric winder in about 20 minutes. It really isn't hard.

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Gabber Extraordinaire

572 Posts

Posted - 09/19/2006 :  5:54:04 PM  Show Profile Send tyffaneesue a Private Message
I had some similar yarn--Colinette, no less--that I ultimately gave up on after weeks of trying to untangle four skeins. (This was in my pre-KR days, or I would have been whining). I still have them if someone wants some beautiful but tangled Colinette.
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Permanent Resident

1475 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2006 :  05:58:25 AM  Show Profile Send socks4all a Private Message
Remember, larjmarj says the wool was merino/mohair. That mohair can cause problems by being extra sticky. I've never had a lampshade that was wide enough for the hanks that I've bought. Chair backs etc do not always have the friction to hold the hank down while the mohair tries to pull the whole hand up when the "free" end is pulled. This is the time that an umbrella swift or a friendly pair of hands come in handy. In this case, I would have put the ball down, spread the skein out on the floor or table and tied bits of scrap yarn to resecure the skein, then waited for the extra pair of hands to arrive. Have cookies and tea ready to entice the extra hands (maybe a glass of wine would be better).
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Permanent Resident

4172 Posts

Posted - 09/22/2006 :  6:36:34 PM  Show Profile Send lucylocket a Private Message
Why didn't I think of that - great ideas Socksforall!!!Lucylocket
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