Thursday, March 05, 2009

Fun with Yarn! Thanks, Mom!

For Christmas this year, my mom gave me an umbrella swift and ball winder. What on earth are those things and why would anyone want them, you ask? Well! I have pictures to explain. *Ahem* (adjusts glasses).

Lots of yarn comes in skeins, not balls:

When you unwind that thing it looks like this:

If you try to use that to knit with, you will end up with a giant tangled mess in about three seconds flat. I know because that's what happened the first time I bought yarn in this format. It was very bad. In order to do any knitting, you first have to wind this into a ball. A really cool way to do this is to wind a center-pull ball, so that when you pull yarn out, the ball doesn't bounce around...the yarn just pulls out of the middle. One way to do this is by putting the yarn around your knees and winding it by hand. This takes about 10 minutes per skein, though, and some projects use many skeins. The top I knitted last summer, for example, used eight skeins. If what you really want to do is knit, winding balls gets boring really fast. can use a ball winder and umbrella swift instead!

The umbrella swift is the big thing on the left that looks like umbrella. That holds the yarn. The little thing on the right is the ball winder. It winds the yarn into a center-pull ball. Check it out:

Isn't that nifty? This is what you end up with:

Now I can knit with impunity! :) Thanks, Mom!

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