Sunday, April 22, 2012


A ball winder and umbrella swift have been high on my wish list for many years.  Is there anything more inspiring than seeing perfect little yarn “cakes” lined up ready to become something wonderful?
So beautifully wound! 
 I love the way yarn streams smoothly from a center pull skein, and that the skein does not roll around the way a ball of yarn does. Stranded knitting is also easier because the skeins don’t tangle as much.
When I purchased the lace weight Jaggerspun Zephyr  that I am using for my Queen Silvia’s wrap I was captivated by the perfectly put up skeins.  I knew the white yarn would stay cleaner because there was no risk of it rolling around.  I also find that intricate patterns are easier to work with a center pull skein, because the yarn comes out so evenly.
Ready to pull center thread...

Delighted with my purchase, I quickly went to Ravelry to read all about my new yarn. ( Do you do that? I learn so much...)
     Good thing I did.  Ravelry is such a font of information.  I stumbled onto a thread which was discussing something I now call the “ball collapse” syndrome.  A center pull skein in very fine yarn unwinds well at the beginning but can deflate and tangle once the center yarn is used up. That sparked the memory  from a few years ago of another fragile merino lace weight yarn  that became so hopelessly tangled that I finally had to snip the yarn and purchase more. The merino fibers literally stuck together, and could not be  separated with out damaging the threads.  I did not have the time or patience to use any tried and true separating methods!
You would think  that I should have remembered,
especially because I clearly kept this as a warning!

   Needless to say, this time I tucked the center end of yarn back in the middle and started working this shawl with the yarn end from the outside of the skein.  I keep it in a Ziploc bag so it is protected as it rolls around. It is working out pretty well.  But, I have to admit, every time the yarn tightens up a little bit as I am working one of the countless nupps (bobbles)in the pattern and I have to unwind the ball to keep the yarn slack, I have to restrain myself from giving into the temptation of  using the yarn from the center of the skein.
Have you ever had a pull skein of fine yarn collapse?

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