Winding Yarn into Two Equally-Sized Balls

Winding Yarn into Two Equally-Sized Balls


[music] in this video, we’re going to talk about how
to take one skein or hank of yarn, and wind it into two equally sized balls. and this is important for a few different
reasons. the one that comes to mind first for me with
my own patterns, and i talk about this a little bit in some of my tutorials. if you’re knitting toe up socks, it’s – one
of the great things about knitting toe up socks is you knit the important part first. you knit the foot first and then you knit
the rest of the cuff using all of the yarn that you have. one hank of sock yarn will make one pair of
socks. so you need to separate it into two equal
balls, so you know exactly how long to make the cuff, and you can make an identical sock. see what i mean? another thing that comes to mind – i can really
only think of two really solid, across the board reasons for needing two equally sized
balls of yarn. you’re welcome to contribute in the comments
if you think of more. if you’re doing a one skein project, and it
is a hand dyed yarn from a yarn dying artist. if you’re doing a project like that with hand
dyed yarns, a lot of times you’ll want to alternate balls of yarn every couple of rows. because hand dyed yarn, as beautiful as it
is, you can sometimes get color pooling in your finished work. i’ve seen some really interesting color pooling,
but not everybody wants to have that. you’ll get zig zaggy stripes or kind of a
pale area of your knitting. but if you alternate every two rows from two
different balls of yarn, that will keep that from happening. but toe up socks is the main reason that i
always do this. now before we get into the technique for how
to do this, i want to talk a little bit about the equipment that you see here on this table. because people have been asking me for years
for advice on ball winders and swifts. and i’ve never had advice before, because
i’ve always just used the same breakable plastic stuff that i couldn’t really recommend to
anybody. but recently i seriously upgraded my stuff! so i’m happy to tell you what i have here. this swift and this ball winder are from Strauch
Fiber Equipment Company. and they’re a really good company, they make
really nice stuff. everythign is made here in the US. they are customer oriented, and their focus
is on fine craftsmanship, and they’re a family company. i’m really careful about where i spend my
money, so i have a lot of information on this company. they have a zero waste policy, and they recycle,
and they’re super nice people. before today, before shooting this video,
i actually called their customer service number for no reason. [laughs] i just called to see if someone woudl
answer. and someone answered! [laughs] so, they actually really do have great customer
service. i’ll give you a link to Strauch Fiber Equipment
Company in the video description below. also they make spinning equipment. i’m not a spinner myself, but i know a lot
of you are, making your own yarn, and you can see what they have. this is the swift, the umbrella swift. and this is what we take the hanks of yarn
like this, and it goes on the swift, and we use the ball winder to wind it into a cake
of yarn like this. this swift is mounted to the table. but this piece unscrews, actually the whole
thing comes apart really nicely. this thing unscrews and can actually be attached
to a different piece that’s a floor base. little floor stand. and thats really handy if you are – well it’s
handy, depending on what your craft room looks like, how you have it set up. but also if you’re going to be winding this
crank on top and making your own hanks, it’s nice to have it on the floor to do that. and this ball winder is so smooth and nice,
and it just works so well. actually, i didn’t tighten it up very much
to this table. which is fine, it detaches and reattaches
really easily. just bringing it to the studio today. the movement is so smooth, and this is made
to accomidate a really big ball of yarn. which is nice because the plastic ball winders
i’ve been using for so many years does not accommidate big balls of yarn. i had to break big balls of yarn into two
pieces. anway, so i’m happy to give you the links
to both Strauch Fiber Equipment Company and The Woolery, which is the retail outlet for
this. because i’m really happy with what i have
here, and it’s like i’ve put two beautiful pieces of furniture in my craft room. okay, on to the technique video! i hope i’ve answered everyone’s questions
about that. on to the technique video. you don’t have to have a ball winder and swift
to get two equally sized balls of yarn, but you do have to have a kitchen scale. and i looked on Amazon this morning, and you
can get a kitchen scale for as little as ten bucks. and if you’re going to be – well, gosh. i
use my kitchen scale – i don’t even know why i call it a kitchen scale. it’s a yarn scale. i have never weighed food on this thing, ever. my brand here is Tefal, it’s about a decade
old, the battery lasts forever. i think tefal might be a good brand, i don’t
know. this is a handy little thing that i’m glad
that i have. you will need a kitchen scale. and when you look at your yarn, you look at
your yarn label. most yarn will come in 50 or 100 gram hanks. you’ll want to weigh the whole thing. i’ve already wound this into a cake. and usually – whooops. i put it on there too
quick. usually you’ll find that the yarn company
has been generous and given you a couple of extra grams of yarn. i have 102 grams of yarn here in this, so
i know to get it equal, i’m going to need to wind it into two 51 gram balls. so i’ll get myself set up here with the ball
winder. and i’m just going to put this cake of yarn
right on the scale, so i can watch it go. i can watch the number go down down down. i could have clamped this to the table better. that’s what we get for setting things up quickly! okay. and i’m just going to watch this number go
down down down. i don’t know if it’s this way with all kitchen
and postal scales, but i watch it go down, and when i start getting close, i drop the
yarn. and it will give the scale a chance to catch
up, and i can see exactly how much i have. anyway, you don’t hvae to watch me do the
whole thing. when it says 51 grams here, i can cut this
yarn. and then take my new cake of yarn off of the
ball winder. and then – obviously i do not have two equally
sized balls here. and then weigh each one of them separately. and they should be really close. you should be within a few feet, if your scale
is working for you, you should be within a few feet of yarn. but when you’re starting toe up socks, always
start wtih the one that’s smaller. even if it’s just one gram smaller. start with that one, knit your sock, and then
you know you’ll have enough yarn to knit a second sock with the second ball of yarn. anyway, as usual, information to everything
you see in the video will be in the video description field below and on my website. good luck. [whooshing sounds] [music]

43 Comments

  • MyWarriorInHiding

    December 23, 2014

    Funny timing. I literally just finished doing this by hand last night, and I was thinking "I really need to invest in better equipment" after my third plastic ball winder broke.

    Reply
  • Angelina Meza

    December 23, 2014

    Your videos have helped me so much. Thank you for your time.

    Reply
  • marquesn77

    December 23, 2014

    Merry Christmas Staci !!

    Reply
  • Yael Shany

    December 23, 2014

    Hello
    I like to wish you a happy Holiday and a Happy New Year. This video is very good and helpful.
    I am so happy to be subscribed because I never had a mentor I liked to watch like you.
    Thank you for all the good information and bright smiles you share with all of us.  

    Reply
  • Valarie Connell /DrawingWithFire

    December 23, 2014

    Happy Holidays Staci! You are always so helpful and I look forward to each new video! Thank you!!!

    Reply
  • Blancslds

    December 23, 2014

    Thank you that's next on my wish list. Merry Christmas and happy new year. Your tutorials have helped me so much… Wish more great videos next year.

    Reply
  • Emily Kim

    December 23, 2014

    Merry Christmas and have a Happy New Year!

    Reply
  • Alexandria Costa

    December 23, 2014

    Have a good holiday!  Thank you for another amazing video.  These technique and knitting help type videos have to be my favorite.  I have learned so much.

    Reply
  • Ann Kinderknecht

    December 23, 2014

    Thank you and Happy Holidays to you…:)

    Reply
  • Trish A

    December 24, 2014

    I also wind equal size balls or cakes for two at a time top down mittens and just about anything that I will be making two of. Socks, boot toppers, mittens, gloves, fingerless gloves and arm warmers… and I often do sleeves in the round two at a time also and sometimes close to the end you may need about another half skein for each arm.

    Reply
  • Jason Joaquin Almonte

    December 24, 2014

    Love your channel! I'd avoided knitting until your great videos. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Sharon Tucker

    December 24, 2014

    Great tips, thanks! I have a question about using self striping yarn to make socks…what's the best way to ensure you start with the same color (and amount of that color) on each sock??? I've had a hard time figuring out a good way to do it without wasting a lot of yarn.  Thanks!

    Reply
  • Janet Russell

    December 24, 2014

    For anybody knitting with self-striping yarn who wants their socks to match as closely as possible, wind off half the yarn like you normally would, but wind the second ball from the end rather than the middle (but always knit from the center pull yarn) — you have a better chance of matching the sequence of stripes to the first sock. Like Staci said, you will also want to find the exact spot where the stripe sequence matches your finished first sock. But do prepare yourself for the chance that the yarn manufacturer had to tie the yarn in the skein somewhere, which will potentially be a frustration for you if this messes up the stripe sequence. I, however, am perfectly okay with fraternal socks: cuff down, one at a time is how I roll.

    Reply
  • Céline Cléroux

    December 24, 2014

    I do the same for my 2 at the time's toe-up socks!

    Reply
  • Apbarr345

    December 24, 2014

    Merry Christmas  and Happy New Year!! Thanks so much for all your videos

    Reply
  • anneirenej

    December 25, 2014

    I always learn so much from your videos. Thank you.

    Reply
  • RiderYen

    December 26, 2014

    Thank you Staci for another well-done and informative video. And thanks also for sharing the information about the ball winder and swift. 

    Reply
  • teddyoggin

    December 26, 2014

    Useful, thanks.

    Reply
  • ecoin86

    December 27, 2014

    I also use equal sized balls of yarn for doing 2 sleeves or 2 fronts together!

    Reply
  • the crochet man

    December 30, 2014

    thank you i have ben working on this forever you are the best

    Reply
  • Just Having Fun

    December 30, 2014

    Staci, I love how you have real life "problems" in your videos like the equipment not being clamped optimally. And your old ball winder held together with earring wire!!!!  It makes me feel like the problems I encounter can't be all that bad if the experts also suffer some stuff! It makes me more willing to try something that might seem a little hard at first.  You do a real service and give me inspiration!

    Reply
  • Sally Carlson

    December 30, 2014

    I recently had to divide a skein of yarn into two equal balls because my project was knit holding two strands of yarn together but didn't require more than a skein in total. Just one more reason.

    Reply
  • Lee Zoldan

    January 3, 2015

    You might also need two equal balls for two cardigan fronts or two sleeves.  If you're tight on yarn, that will give you a better sense about whether you need to add some design accents with other yarn to make everything work.

    Reply
  • Mary Debo

    January 16, 2015

    Do you think I could get away with using a center-pull ball instead of a cake? I don't have a ball winder, and I'm on a SUPER tight budget (thanks, student loans!).

    Reply
  • Amie Locklear

    January 26, 2016

    anyone have any idea how to get two equal balls from one hank with no scale?

    Reply
  • James Craw

    November 10, 2016

    I actually wanted to split a skein as I'm making a protect that needs me to crochet using two threads at the same time and I didn't need a enough yarn to buy more than one skein of any color

    Reply
  • Meko B

    November 22, 2016

    I am trying to wind 2 balls of yarn from a ball of yarn that is not a cake. What are some suggestions on how to hold the ball of yarn that I am pulling from without having a second pair of hands?

    Reply
  • Natalie Thomson

    July 2, 2017

    AWESOME!

    Reply
  • Tonya Corder

    August 12, 2017

    Thanks! Very informational!

    Reply
  • jlnequine

    August 16, 2017

    So helpful, thank you!

    Reply
  • HarperGigs

    September 27, 2017

    Thank you for this video…even for us loom knitters this information is very useful!

    Reply
  • Krystal Caban

    November 18, 2017

    You answer so many questions I️ have!!! You’re the best.

    Reply
  • Linden Bat Asherah

    November 19, 2017

    Can you knit 2 socks at a time by magic look from a ball using both ends at once? Will the twist difference effect the sock coming from each end?

    Reply
  • Susan Holton

    November 21, 2017

    I just discovered you and now all I am watching is your videos. I have knit since I was 7 and I have learned so many new helpful tips I never knew. Thank you!

    Reply
  • Maria R

    March 4, 2018

    What if you don’t have a ball winder, how do you make your yarn into a ball? I want to make toe up socks. Thanks

    Reply
  • Kevin Donohue

    March 7, 2018

    I also have a Strauch ball-winder and I LOVE it! I used to wind balls on a makeshift nostepinne (actually an old drop spindle with the whorl taken off) and it would take HOURS to wind a ball – OK, I'm all for doing it by hand, but really? Hand spun makes a difference. Hand knit makes a difference. But hand winding balls of yarn has no impact on the finished product and is not a smart use of time. So, some friends contributed towards a ball winder for my Birthday a few years back and I settled on a Strauch and it is a great piece of equipment to have! LOVE it!!

    Reply
  • Liz Lee

    June 9, 2018

    What about stranded or fair isle knitting

    Reply
  • wheeltrish

    June 29, 2018

    I know this is an old video but the subject caught my eye. One tidbit you might have wanted to mention is that if you are using a patterned yarn, where the pattern is repeated over and over, the second ball of yarn, if wound off the first, will have the pattern in REVERSE order. So when you're done winding that second ball to size, it will need to be re-wound again so that the patterning goes in the same direction as the first ball. (I'm pretty sure this is why so many people like making fraternal socks with self-striping yarn… it's easier than winding that second ball twice.)

    Reply
  • Fraususemil

    October 7, 2018

    When knitting socks, gloves etc. I knit them two at a time using the outer end of the ball for one and the inner end for the other one. That's much easier.

    Reply
  • Derek Everette

    October 26, 2018

    Why did I not think to use a scale? It seems so obvious now that I've heard it! Lol
    Also, some patterns call for double strands of yarn (two strands as if they are one). It's easier to just buy two skeins and wind them into one cake though

    Reply
  • Kathy Seguin

    March 4, 2019

    Good morning, just discovered your channel, I just found utube a little while back, but addicted to it, so many talented people I just love learning from, I just turned 70 back in Feb, and learning so many cool things. Thank you I just joined you so will be back for more and watch your older video. Be blessed

    Reply
  • Missugarnah

    May 25, 2019

    I have the same yarn ball winder & LOVE it. Shout out to Strauch Fiber Equipment Co.!!!

    Reply
  • Beth Field

    January 18, 2020

    Oh that is just too easy. I never thought of putting the ball ON the scale while winding. Doh! Thanks for teaching an old knitter a new trick!

    Reply

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