Thursday, February 16, 2012


It's that time of year break out the heavy equipment. I like to call them "power tools," but Mr. Baruch's reminded me that they don't require electricity, licenses, or permits to operate, so they don't qualify. Bummer.

Our yarn supplier (Brown Sheep Co.) has a new bulky version in their line of wool that I use for most of our felted items and some of our scarves. It is squooshy and lofty and marvelous. They come in hanks, though, so they have to be wound before using. More about that in a minute.

Ever used a swift? And a ball winder? This is fun stuff, folks! As long as you don't break your nose opening the swift or get your hair tangled in anything spinning, it's loads of fun! 

Testing it out. Miss is checking to make sure it's fastened tightly enough to the table.

When you have a hank of yarn, it needs to be wound into a ball or skein in order to be used. You can try to knit or crochet with it otherwise ('cause some people are stubborn like that and have to learn the hard way) but you will end up with a mess. I'm stubborn, too, so I know.

Your hank's ends ( apologies to anyone named Hank) will be tied around the rest of the yarn in two places. Find 'em, untie 'em, and carefully tuck one of them into the rest of the yarn. The other end is what you start winding.

If you have a ball winder, thread that end of the yarn through the guide and tuck it into the slit in the top of the winder. Ready?

Zoooom! We are all enchanted by the sprinting carousel. It's magical, really.

Everyone wants in on the action. And no one's hair got caught in the swift this time - though Little Miss is currently just short enough to walk underneath it, so next time we'll have to be extra careful to keep her out of the spin zone.

Done! Pretty, hmm? Now you can slide this stack of winded loveliness right off of there, and knit from either the exposed end on the outside, or from the end that you originally started winding with, which is now tucked inside the middle of your skein - this gives you a perfect little center-pull skein. Whichever you prefer. I usually use the exposed end, because when you pull from the middle you end up with a hollow shell that needs to be re-wound anyway to avoid tangles.

This new bulky yarn will be used for felted mittens and...and...matching hats. Finally, hats made to match our felted mittens. So if you want hats to match these... 
 ...or these...
 ...or these...
...we can do that. :)


JulieandMax said...

Ah-ha! I always wondered how my friend Alison got that cool pattern on her wool. This is such a great post - thanks for sharing :)

Tanya said...

Oh fun!!!