center pull ball

February 9, 2010

My mom taught me how to make these. There are times that you need a ball of yarn that can be pulled from both the inside and outside. I really like to wind my balls of yarn by hand, and this particular technique makes it possible to have both a hand wound, and center pull ball!

Start by taking off the ties that bind the hank. It is important to take care not to tangle the ball of yarn, as this can quickly turn into a disaster. (Never knit from an unwound hank of yarn!!)

I lay the yarn on the floor, sometimes on the back of a chair, or over my toes, to keep the threads straight.

The yarn is wound around the thumb. I hold the inside tail with my fingers so that it doesn’t get lost, and start winding around first the thumb and one finger, and then add more fingers as I go.

It is really important to keep the ball soft, not super tight. I find that wrapping the yarn around my fingers and then slipping them out every few wraps to work well for this.

As the ball gets bigger, I wrap around more fingers, to keep the tension of the ball even. If the ball is too tight, it could result in stretching the yarn, which can result in altering the tension of the finished product.

I keep rotating the ball every 10 or so wraps. This is to keep the structure and integrity of the ball. If you wrap too many times in one place, the ball can come apart more easily. It is better to do fewer wraps, and rotate a little each time (kind of like a machine made ball).

After a while the thumb begins to dissappear. This isn’t a problem, just as long as you keep the base of the thumb defined..

I eventually end up wrapping 3 or 4 of my fingers under the yarn as I go.

It is always fun to watch the ball get larger as the hank of yarn shrinks. It is especially important to make sure that the hank does not become tangled towards the end. (It is tricky to untangle yarn with a large ball of yarn attached to your thumb too…)

One Response to “center pull ball”

  1. mary gomes Says:

    love your blog, Torrey! and this is not as easy as it looks, but of course you would do it well! The tail is in there with the thumb? And then when you are at the end of winding the ball, out comes the thumb and the tail? Can’t wait to try it.

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