Yarn forms

I've realised that skeined yarn is the prettiest way for yarn to be stored. I skeined a ball of the white yarn I bought this morning (on my DIY niddy-noddy!) in preparation for dying, and for some reason it looks so much more appealing than when it was in a centre-pull ball. They are both Paton's classic wool in Winter White.

Skeined or balled?

Maybe it's because the yarn isn't all criss-crossed, or because fancier yarn is usually skeined, or because it looks like a sugar twist, or because it's harder to use in a skein. I just don't know! I have actually noticed that most variegated yarn looks better before it's knitted/crocheted. Which is sad, because I really really like variegated yarn, but then am always disappointed once I've knitted/crocheted it. Self-striping is SUPER satisfying though, oh man. Especially Noro. Mmmmmm, Noro.

I also spun about 116m of yarn, and it's ready for dying too! I'm going to use this for plying, so I'm trying to decide if I want to dye it now, or wait until I've made a second skein. I've only got a drop spindle, so I'm only going to attempt 2-ply for now. I'm leaning towards doing separate initial dyebaths for some spotty colours, then one big dyebath with both of them for overall colour.

Speaking of dying, I read Hand-Dying Yarn and Fleece the other day. It was interesting, definitely had some useful information for a beginning dyer (is dyer the word I want?). I've been baking my yarn to dye it, guessing at the time and temperature, based on vague instructions from the lady at the knitting store. This books deals with using a stovetop or microwave, so I don't know if I've been doing it wrong (probably). Anyway, the basic instructions are useful, and she has some interesting alternative methods, but there's a lot of repetition in the instructions, to the point that I feel like a bunch of different methods could really have been one set of instructions, with a "try these alternatives" section. So yes, worth reading, but I'm glad I got it out of the library.

Is two blog posts in one day excessive? What is your favourite way for yarn to be stored? Should I go eat bacon?

Pressing questions.


  1. I might be wrong, but I think that you made a hank, not a skein. Googling both terms, I found this illustration: http://media.wiley.com/Lux/42/107742.image0.jpg

    In any case...
    Yes, it's definitely more beautiful than any other form. A pain to use, but beautiful. That's life I guess ;-)

    -MsRigby (via swap-bot)

  2. hahaha, oops! Thanks for letting me know!

  3. Janice I think it's actually known as both nowadays. I went through the same "which is it" a few yrs ago and found a number of articles etc online like:

    "a skein is what you make when you wind your yarn on a niddy noddy or a skein winder, or when the yarn is packaged in a continuous circle tied at intervals to prevent tangling. How it's stored, as Kelley says, is an individual thing. A ball is a ball, center pull or not. A hank is also a skein, but at one time I think it had something to do with a specific measurement. I came to knitting through spinning and weaving, and I think the terminology is the same for all three."

    Skein and Hank tend to both be used as terminology for it!!!

  4. Ooh, thanks for clearing it up! I was trying to look it up and everything was just contradicting itself!

  5. Can't wait to see the dyed yarn. Have fun trying out the different methods.

    I usually store yarn the way I buy it and, when it's time for knitting, it's wound into a center pull yarn cake. Even the commercial center pull balls.

  6. Thanks for the info Owlette!

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