In the Summer 2009 Spin.Off, Linda Ligon discussed arms and hands as yarn-wrapping tools. For small amounts (less than 5 to 6 yards), a yarn butterfly neatly arranges yarn for storage or intarsia work.
1) With right-hand palm up, grasp yarn tail between thumb and index finger; let tail (about 9" long) hang near wrist below little finger. Bring working yarn behind index and middle fingers toward middle and ring fingers on back of hand. Form a V between middle and ring fingers and bring yarn to palm side and across ring and little fingers.
2) Wrap behind those two fingers and then back to palm side between ring and middle fingers. Wrap around middle/index fingers from palm to back of hand, through V to palm.
3) Butterfly should rest about halfway down fingers. Continue wrapping in a figure-eight path around ring/little fingers and index/middle fingers until only about 4" remain.
4) Bring working yarn tail to palm side at V and move long tail parallel to bottom of figure eight across palm.
5) Wrap short tail under all strands at center of figure eight to back of hand, securing end under beginning of wrap around center; pull to tighten; wrap around center of figure eight once more and secure.
6) To use yarn from butterfly, pull on the long tail—it should release easily.
Carol Huebscher Rhoades lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she spins, knits, edits, and translates.