To knit with handspun, you usually have to wind a ball of yarn. Winding my handspun from a skein into a yarn ball is one of my favorite activities—seriously! I’m on a mission to help you love it, too. The best part of my method is that no special tools (affiliate link) are needed to create a tidy center-pull ball.
Kate’s Tidy Yarn Ball Tips
1. Start loose. If you wrap the first few yards very loosely on your thumb, the entire ball will rotate easily as it grows. This makes it easier to wrap in even, thin layers.
2. Keep turning. If you are getting a slightly lumpy ball of yarn, try rotating the ball in smaller but more frequent adjustments. When I am winding full-speed, the ball is in almost constant motion. Once the ball is started, try to always lay the bottom wrap against your thumb and take it up to the left corner of the ball at a 45-degree angle.
3. Lefty? If you are left handed or ambidextrous, try reversing your hands from how I hold the ball in the video. I’m very right-handed, so my right hand is doing the harder work. You might have better luck if your left hand does the work and the ball builds on your right-hand thumb.
Posted April 11, 2017. Updated April 9, 2019. All you need to wind a skein whilst away from home: thumb, knees, and handspun yarn. Photo by Kate Larson