Ishbel Beret, and a Swift Lesson

August 25, 2009By

Remember the cute Ishbel beret I had started, that I was all excited about? How I was making it as a way to make myself feel better after the failure of the Backyard Leaves scarf?

Let’s just say, I got ahead of myself and knit a few rounds without realizing that I needed to shift the marker at the start of the row. The result was very, very bad.

365.155 Time Out

The beret is no more. Let us never speak of it again.

I took a few days off from knitting until I could figure out the exact perfect project to start on that I knew would lead me to nothing but success (or at least without feeling too stabby). I decided to pull out some of my most favorite yarn of all time (Dream in Color Classy worsted) and get started on a cardigan for this fall.

Because the yarn comes in hanks, I had to wind it. Hanks of yarn look like this:

365.58 Balanced

(This is not Dream in Color Classy. This is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock. But I like this picture.)

Hanks are large loops of yarn that are twisted back on themselves. For smaller businesses that hand dye their own yarns, this saves a step of having to wind each and every skein after the dyeing process (which in turn probably saves the consumer a  little extra money).

I used to wind my hanks into balls by hand, draping the loop of yarn over my knees and then just winding, winding, winding away. This continued for about a month when I started knitting, and then I decided to spend a little of my yarn budget on a swift and ball winder. It was probably the best money I ever spent.

For the non-knitters reading this, here’s how a swift and ballwinder work. First, you slip the large loop of yarn onto the swift. Mine can be adjusted to keep an even but not-too-tight tension.

365.159 Winding Yarn

Then, finding the end of the yarn (it’s usually knotted and needs to be snipped), bring it over the the ball winder, threading it through the tension guide and affixing it to the top. I usually use tape to make sure the yarn tail doesn’t get sucked into the spinning vortex of the ball winder.

Then, start turning the handle of the ballwinder! The yarn will be pulled directly from the spinning swift onto the ballwinder, creating a perfect yarn cake as seen in the photo below:

365 Outtake - Winding

From there, it’s time to start knitting!

Which I did. Which I’ll show you next time. Stay tuned!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Filed in: KnittingStash Busting

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

Sites That Link to this Post

  1. FOs: Lace Shawl(ettes) aka – Scarves | Almost Crafty | September 16, 2009
  2. Holly Jean Hat | March 27, 2011