From Hank to Ball with ZERO Tangles!

Helpful tip for hand-winding yarn from a hank to a ball with ZERO tangles!

Helpful tip for hand-winding yarn from a hank to a ball with ZERO tangles!

You get home from that amazing trip to your local yarn store (you know…the one you try to stay away from so you don’t spend all your grocery money on deluxe yarn) and you pull out that incredible, soft, gourmet alpaca yarn.

Then it hits you.

You forgot to ask the shop owner to wind it into a ball for you….and you’re holding a hank.  Darn!

Those hanks looks so pretty hanging on a wall all together, but I’m not entirely convinced they weren’t created by someone mean and evil!  There’s nothing more frustrating than having to stop and wind your hank into a ball of yarn by hand before being able to start your project.  Add the drama of working through the tangled mess that they inevitably become during the process, and well….let’s just say the result isn’t pretty and occasionally involves minor swear words.

I can’t remove the frustration of having to wind that hank by hand….but I can lend a quick tip for doing it with ZERO tangles!  Which, in my world, makes a huge difference!  After all, I’m ashamed to admit it, but before I knew this tip, I made such a mess of a couple hanks that I gave up on them entirely.  They’re still sitting on my shelf waiting for the salvage crew to arrive.

Use a dining room chair to help avoid tangle when winding a yarn hank into a yarn ball!

Use a dining room chair to help avoid tangle when winding a yarn hank into a yarn ball!

So what’s the secret to winding a hank into a ball with zero tangles!?

It’s sitting in the dining room just waiting to come to your rescue.

Simply un-twist your hank into the circular shape it comes in, and then throw it over the back of a dining room chair.  The chair will keep your yarn coming out of the hank form in the same way it went in.  So you’ll be able to avoid any tangles as you wind it into a ball!  Easy peasy.

 

 

 

 

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36 Comments On “From Hank to Ball with ZERO Tangles!”

  1. Lynn Marie Sawicke

    OMG HOW WONDERFUL and at 67 yrs old I should’ve been able to figure that out. God Bless!

    Reply

    • Haha! That’s how I felt when I learned it too….but somehow we just don’t think of the things right in front of us! I’m glad that I could share the tip and help you with that hank 😉

      Reply

  2. I have done this for years or I put it on an umbrella type holder and it spins as I wind it off.

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  3. I have done this ,my Mammy always used the kitchen chair and we all followed suit 🙂 saves tired arms 🙂

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  4. My momma used our arms and we took turns. It gave us One on one time together. I’m one of nine so it was special. She told me when I’m on my own to use a dining room chair. Then when I have children it’s a perfect time to share with my children! It was so very special!!!!

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  5. I like to wind mine by laying them over my wide spread knees while sitting in my recliner and wind while I watch TV. Makes the job less tedious and my bent knees work almost as well.

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  6. I have done this several times too but find it awkward with the yarn falling to the bottom of the chair. i put my puffy down coat on the chair first and that holds the yarn up near the top of the chair making the yarn much easier to wind.

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  7. My Mom did this years and years ago-I learned it from her

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  8. A great hint. You might try this hint also. In addition, use two chairs — back to back — and adjust the distance between them to hold the circle of yarn tight. The yarn will be resistant and make it much easier to form a ball.

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  9. Me, too. Have always used a chair. I do have a yarn swift but it’s been hiding in storage for years. So going back to the basics always works best for me.

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  10. My sister and I use two chairs. Back to back, spread a little apart so the yarn doesn’t slip down 🙂

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  11. Ha ha! This weekend we visited relatives out of state. I brought some hanks to wind. Their children had a table top foose ball game, and I used the rods to wind my hanks!!!! Lololol. Happy New Year!

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  12. I loved your tip, I finally got a thing that expands to hold the hank and it turns and then I got a thing that rolls the ball for me. I found them for free ? and they are super fast. Watch thrift shops and yard sales

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  13. Great tip. Thanks for sharing.

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  14. I have never tried this way. I always hang it from my neck. That way I can still walk around well I’m winding.

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  15. I do this trick! I will sometimes use two chairs back to back. It makes the hank taut, and you can wind it faster.

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  16. Great thing to do, I put mine on the floor and then roll until I had a ball.

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  17. I already do that, or I put the hank around my feet when I’m sitting on the coach and wind that way. I wouldn’t day either results in zero tangles, but it isn’t bad. I like to do it while watching TV. 🙂

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  18. Great idea… If you are looking to rehome tbose disgraced tangled hanks i can give them a lovely new home in my charity stash box… I knit for the homeless nonstop. Judy

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  19. I toss it around my knees while I’m sitting on the couch watching a movie. I then skein it onto an empty tulle tube so I can work from the middle of the skein. I actually find it therapeutic to skein the hank. 🙂

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  20. Have you heard of a swift??

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  21. I wish I had found this tip a few hours ago! Now I wish I had a straight-backed dining chair. 🙁 I will have to figure something out.

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  22. I am a newbie and had to throw away some yarn. I sat for hours trying to untangle it. I’ll have to check around and see if we have any yarn stores in the DFW area. Thank you for the great idea.

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  23. Years and years and years ago before there was center pull yarn, this is how we used to ball the skeins of yarn…either that way or someone would be stuck with the yarn on their extended arms until the yarn was balled…lol

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  24. I hate having to wind my own but when I do I use a chair with a pillow against the back of the chair.

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  25. I have two skeins of yarn that are Tangled Up from trying to unwind them. I will have to try this trick on the other two that I have not unwound yet. Thanks so much!!!!

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  26. Wow! Such a nifty idea! Thank you so much!

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  27. It is so ironic that this got posted. Last week I had to take a skein from Hank to cake, and I do not have a swift. So thank you for sharing, even though it was a day or two late, but next time it will be more efficient.

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  28. do you have a heart crochet coaster pattern? its almost valentines day!

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  29. There is group that untangles yarn as a hobby. You just send yours to them. I read about it. Will have to Google it for specifics. Very interesting stories. Good luck. Name is Knot a Problem

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  30. Perfect timing….. I just ordered some yarn and they came in hanks. First I started knitting with them like that but soon found out it was just getting tangled. So then I started making it into a ball but was getting some tangles, but finally got it all rolled up. I have several more to do and believe me I will be using your chair method. Thank you sooooo much for making this easier. Debbi

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  31. Back in the 50s mum used us kids to hold the wool while she balled it. Mostly me being the oldest and I didn’t figit!
    Quite enjoyed it really. Special time with mum 1 to 1.
    Now I use a chair as my children have children of their own ?.

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  32. Even the “Walmart” yarns used to come in hanks. We always had to wind balls, guess that shows my age… what an invention it was when you could pull from the center. An now here I am back to winding a ball because the neat pull from the center yarns are no longer good enough for me and my socks.

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  33. My grandmother has one of the umbrella looking things. I had no idea it was called a swift. My hunny usually holds the yarn on his hands for me. I used a pillow once. it was better than just lying it in a circle on the floor. I have a winder maybe I should get a swift too. I don’t wind hanks that often they aren’t usually in the budget. I bought a beautiful hand dyed hand spun wool hank at Danish days in Solvang Ca. a few years back $50 it was fascinating watching her spin the wool. I made a scarf with it. It’s beautiful

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  34. Hi Melody, some local yarn shops have a swift and ball winder set up in a back room and will wind your hanks into cakes for their customers. The only drawback is that wound Hanks can not be returned. Well, at least that’s my favorite LYS store policy. But, I don’t mind because I’m a typical yarn addicted chrocheter/knitter. ??
    So check with your LYS and see if this option is something they offer to their customers, it couldn’t hurt to ask.

    Reply

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