Saturday, July 21, 2007

How to make a center pull ball

This came about from a thread on knittinghelp.com. I mentioned how I create a center pull ball of yarn without using a store-bought yarn winder, so I thought I would put together a photo tutorial for those who wanted to see how. Here goes:

Start off by putting 6 inches of your yarn into the center of a paper towel tube. I prefer a paper towel tube over a toilet paper tube because the length gives you something substantial to hold on to.
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Next, hold the yarn against the tube with your thumb.
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Begin winding the yarn perpendicularly around the tube. Go slowly with the first few wraps, these will lock in the yarn tail that you were holding down with your thumb.
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Once you have a few wraps established so the yarn is secure on the tube (about 10 wraps) begin winding the yarn around the tube at an angle.

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Once you have another 10 wraps at an angle, turn the tube 1/4 turn and begin wrapping again at the same angle.
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After you have these two sets of wraps done, you can begin to slowly turn the tube while you continue to wrap. This will form a more uniform ball than if you continue to wrap multiple times in the same place.
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As your ball begins to grow, you can shape it by changing where you place your wraps. If you wrap the yarn slightly away from the tube, a "corner" will form and the ball will begin to take on a cylindrical shape. Keep wrapping the yarn near the "corner" to keep that shape. If you move the yarn closer to the tube, your ball will end up rounder and be less likely to stay put as you pull the yarn from the center.
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When your ball is a big as you want it or your yarn is gone, fish the yarn tail out of the tube and lay it on the outside of the ball. I find this helps to keep the tail in order; if you leave it in the tube as you pull the ball off, it falls into the center of the ball and you have to fish it out of the yarn instead of a nice smooth paper tube.
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All that's left is to slide the ball off the tube and you're ready to go!
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64 comments:

letah75 said...

Very cool! Saw this on KH. Thanks a lot, this is really freakin' cool!

Nimbue said...

Fantastic! The pictures are a great help. I love that you (an obvious guy) have started a knitting blog. I will be a regular reader! =)

Mike said...

Nice job on the tutorial. And MUCH cheaper than a ball winder. :-)

Another crafty dude. That's cool. I'll add you to my blog roll. Feel free to stop by anytime.

http://www.craftydad.blogspot.com

Camping Jason said...

Thanks guys for your nice comment. How did you all find my blog?

Alex said...

Great tutorial! I found your blog through KH and was reading your different entries and this is definitely helpful. Thanks!

aleakamh said...

I often wonder how people found my blog as well! I got here from a link in a post in the Ravelry Forums!
http://aleakam.wordpress.com/

Camping Jason said...

No way! I'm linked from Ravelry and I'm not even invited yet! Not fair!

Elana said...

I found this via Ravelry too!

Heather said...

Thanks for the tips! It helped with my first balls of yarn.

Bev said...

This was great! Thanks so much. I posted a link to your instructions on my blog.

wendydancer.blogspot.com

Ms. Feasance said...

I love this tutorial--the only thing I added to it was to cut a slit in the tube to hold the yarn end in place.

K8 said...

this was just what I was looking for! thank you!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! Thank you! Now i can get rid of the skeems and just have the balls. Much less comlicated. I was linked from Google. Such a resourceful tool.
Thanks again! :D

Tea N. Crumpet said...

I just came by by way of Ravelry-- you just saved me $35! I love you, man!

Zamiel said...

Thanks for this! Searched Google for make center pull ball and it was the 2nd result. Off to make these non-center pulls into center pulls much easier than I had envisioned.

Liz of Wool Boutique said...

You're at the top of the google results page for how to wind a centre pull ball, that's how i found you! Following you now, hope you don't mind. Really cool to see a guy knitter :D

Scousette said...

As a knitting newbie, this is a great idea! And it's great to see that blokes knit too :)

kandi73 said...

I just bought a learn to knit kit and they forgot to put in the kit on how to make a yarn ball but when i was looking on how to make a yarn ball I found your blod and this will be easy for me to do. Thanks

Anonymous said...

Thanks!

I found your blog by a simple google search. Something like how to wind a ball of a yarn with a tube or something similar.

Anonymous said...

Thanks. Perfect! Didn't have an empty paper towel tube around, so I used a turkey baster with the bulb taken off. Worked great.

Gabby said...

oh my gosh! this is so cool!

HüG said...

thank you so much for this tut! I hate when you get those half balls and they are all floppy. I reckon this might just be the perfect solution! So many half balls in my stash lol.

Thank you Jason! :D

Natalie said...

Thank you SO much for this tutorial!!! I ALMOST asked my husband for something MUCH more expensive to do this for me for Christmas! Now I don't have to! Thanks again!!!

Natalie said...

Oh yeah, found this link on Pinterest. ;)

~Rusti~ said...

Thank you! I am new to crochet, and was googling why people ball their yarn. Came across this blog. Gonna try this tonight!

Cheryl N said...

This is beautiful in its simplicity - THANK YOU so much for great instructions & photos!!! Found this on Pinterest.

Kanchan Karai said...

Wow! Thank you so much for this help. You don't know how much you have helped me. I always have a problem in winding skeins in proper ball. But you have solved my problem. Thanks a ton!

Trillian said...

Seriously ~ this is brilliant! Thanks so much for sharing!

Lois said...

Thanks! I found this via Pinterest. I had my husband buy me a small section of PVC tubing to replace the paper towel roll that kept getting squished or recycled. It's perfect!

Diane said...

New to crochet so this is gonna come in handy...Thanks!!!

Teresa Metts said...

Hi....great tutorial...I just wanted to let you know I shared a link to it on my website:

https://www.Lileesgram.blogspot.com

Thanks

Kelli Ann said...

Just found this on Pinterest. Thank you Jason! Knit on man! #2 son's felted lunch bag bi go much easier than #1's with this new winding method.

Jennifer Whitesel said...

Love this! I used a turkey baster instead of the paper towel tube and it worked so great!

Lee Ann said...

Thank you very much for posting this tutorial on making a center-pull skein. :)
______
Lee Ann H
Crochet...Gotta Love It! Blog
Crochet...Gotta Love It! Website (crochet names and rosary patterns)

خياطة و تفصيل said...

very nice thank you so much ^_^

Sandra M. said...

Grande idea. Grazie dall'Italia

Anonymous said...

first link from google search page on how to make a center pull yarn ball. Awesome instructions, very clear and very simple. Thank you so much!

Paco said...

Very cool! Just made one using the leftover tube from my wrapping paper. I needed to do something because my balls always roll all over the place. :-)

Anonymous said...

The paper tube seems like a better option than the beer bottles I've been using ;-) j/k I'll give this technique a try.

I'm a male knitter as well.. it's good to see other guys out there doing this.

Barb Z said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb Z said...

Now I need to figure out how not to get "yarn burn" on my fingers after wrapping several balls in a row! Ouch! LOL! I may have to wear gloves...

Thank you for the tip! :-)

HJ Labores said...

Muchas gracias por compartir esta fantástica idea. -Me vendrá genial-
Abrazos

Nicola Trumbull said...

Hi! I'm the editor of a free crochet pattern site called AllFreeCrochetAfghanPatterns.com and I just love this yarn tip! I'd love to feature it on my site with a link to you - I know my readers would just love it. Let me know if that would be okay and shoot me a quick email - thanks!

Nicola Trumbull, Editor
ntrumbull(at)primecp(dot)com
Prime Publishing LLC
3400 Dundee Road
Northbrook, IL 60062
847-205-9375 Main | 847-513-6099 Fax

Anonymous said...

I have found that a M&Ms minis king size tube works great for this as well. Just put your end in the tube and close the lid that way you don't have to worry about your tail accidentally fall in.

Noel Hinton said...

This is great! I will probably get a PVC Pipe and use it instead of a towel tube since my dog usually demolishes the tubes for me. I am so glad I found this!

Penny T. said...

About a week or so ago I found this little gadget called a Wire Curling Tool that makes 3/8" curls. It has a nice wooden handle with a metal bar with a notch in it. I picked it up for about $.70 at a thrift store thinking that maybe I could use it to wind my yarn. I just found your page and tried it on this thing but using the metal as a handle and wrapping it around the wooden end. It Works Great!! Thank you for showing us how to do the winding. I tried several times but it just never seemed to come out right. I was just doing it wrong. Thank you again!!

therunawaytrain said...

Thank you for posting the pictures it makes it so much easier to follow.

Hamrsark said...

If you use a piece of PVC piping (I use a one inch diameter), it can't accidentally crush or bend! ;)

Anonymous said...

What a clever idea. Am not so good at using the yarn from the middle, always seem to land up with a bird's nest at the end

Patricia @ Corn in my Coffee-Pot said...

This is a great idea and tip... Can't recall how I found your blog... But thanks for posting this, I can't wait to give it a try!

KathyMcCann said...

Thank you for providing this great tip! I visited a lovely yarn shop, The Nest, in Bridgeport, WV, and Diana, the owner, automatically asked if I would like my yarn wound into a ball. I was stunned because the owners of my local yarn shop acted as if I had asked for a kidney when I requested they wind my yarn and agreed to do it because it was my first time. Since I live a few thousand miles away from the lovely Diana I am delighted to find a new way to wind my yarn with a center pull. Thank you!

Anonymous said...

I found that a piece of 3/4" PVC pipe worked really well. I didn't have any paper towel rolls, and since this is my first time winding yarn, I wanted something a little sturdier to learn on. But this was a great tutorial, and I'm so glad I learned about this before I actually started a project!

WanderingMia said...

Thanks muchly for this, I'm new to working with yarn and this came out fantastic. Super easy with your instructions.

Anonymous said...

Found this great tip through Pinterest. Excellent technique wrapping, pulls out clean! I'm going to place my paper roll on one of my mixer tongs and wrap it on low speed, that way hopefully no more yarn burn! Thank you! M.

Anonymous said...

Large Airborne tubes...and might even hold some tools...plain metal hook, markers, etc.

Maria said...

Hi, thanks for this it will sure come in handy! A friend of mine posted your tutorial in a Crochet Group we are in on Facebook. And I just pinned your tutorial in my Crochet Board on Pinterest. Thanks again!

Gwen said...

This is a great tutorial! Thank you!

Dacia Sykes said...

Thank you!! Great tutorial and pics!

Bessie Moore said...

I found you on pinterest and plain to us this method alot...tysm!

Danielle Odin said...

I have been doing this for years. I actually use the inner tube of wrapping paper. It is a bit thinner in diameter than the paper towel tube but it is a lot sturdier. I cut it the length I need and I also put a slit in the edge so I can slip the knotted yarn in and not have to worry about it slipping out while I am winding. It i an excellent way to inventory used stash and organize it at the same time.

Kathryn Ellison said...

On Pinterest.

Kathryn Ellison said...

On Pinterest.

Anonymous said...

WAITING at a Drs office in Dallas, crocheting and this loud lady came over and said "I'm going to help you out" took my yarn and pulled a tail across her hand and held it with her fingers while she wound the yarn around her thumb into a ball---the part she held in her hand came out of the center to be used--not all people in the waiting room enjoyed our visit--some people joined the fun and I have use my thumb to make MANY balls of yarn-- thanks a million Lady in Dr B's office

Anonymous said...

All I can say is Wow! Thanks for sharing