This week I've been busy getting ready for Pressing Knits, prepping yarn and needles and all the essentials. I hope to see you all there, but in the meantime I wanted to share the steps to wind a center-pull ball without a ball winder [this winding method is very helpful for keeping your yarn from running around as you're working with it].
Before you start winding your skein there are a few things to keep in mind...
You don't want to wind your yarn unless you're going to be working with it in the semi-near future. Keeping your yarn in a wound state for an extended period of time can stretch out the fibers, weakening your yarn over time and causing it to lose its squish-factor.
With that said, work loosely. The tighter you wind, the more strain you're placing on your yarn. The more loosely you work, the happier your yarn will be.
Now, onto the winding. You will need a cardboard tube with a 2" slit cut into one side [there are tools out there, like a nostepinne or legit winder, that you can graduate to eventually, but the point of this post is to show you how to wind without these tools]. I do use a swift while winding my yarn, and while it is very, very helpful, you can work around it. You can either hang your skein over the back of a chair or place it over your knees.
Step one: Wrap the end on your yarn around the label, like so.
Step two: Stick your yarn-wrapped label into the tube, placing the yarn through the slit.
Step three: Begin wrapping your yarn around the tube on the diagonal, placing each new wrap just next to the one before it. As you're wrapping, wrap only in one direction-do not alternate.
Step five: Once you've tucked in the end, carefully remove the cardboard tube, leaving the label in the center of your ball. This will make it easy to find the end when you're ready to start knitting [you'll simply pull the label out from the center and unwrap the end.]