Nondaily Tip No. 6: wind a centre-pull ball

gaggleDoneIMG_9540The raison d’être of the centre-pull ball?
Well, let’s not go into that. Let’s just say there are many advantages.

Just to mention one: the yarn slides quietly and neatly from the inside of your ball without getting scuffed and ruffled. Knitting from the outside makes the ball dance around and maybe roll a lot. This can be harsh on a delicate yarn. And makes the ball go all over the place, which can be hard on delicate knitters’ nerves.

A centre-pulled skein is just more dignified.
It stays in place.
It pulls goodies out from the depths of its being little by little, and only when asked.

This tutorial is only ONE way to do it. There are doubtless many ways and many tutorials. This just happens to be how I do it and requires no tools or implements.

Well, the yarn.
And your hands.
Possibly a winder but knees or a chair will also do.

This is how you do it

You begin by making  a small BUTTERFLY. This is your (future) centre, the kernel.


BUTTERFLY Place the yarn as in the photo. Short end palmside, long end up over the back of and around two top fingers.
Then bring yarn through to palmside between middle and ring finger.


BUTTERFLY Bring yarn down and then up the back of your two bottom fingers.
Then bring yarn from back, between ring and middle fingers, through to palm side again.
The yarn is always criss-crossing in the centre.


BUTTERFLY Keep winding in this criss-crossing fashion until you have a plump little winding of yarn.


BUTTERFLY Palm view of plump winding.


BUTTERFLY Rear view.


BUTTERFLY Now slide the wound parcel off your hand and behold the complete butterfly. Pretty!

Now you will transform and/or will the butterfly into a ball. The beginning, like many beginnings, is not beautiful.
Not to worry.


WINDING Pinch the butterfly between your thumb and middle finger.
The top half remains free and visible.
The bottom half will be gradually enclosed.


WINDING The first few winds may be a bit awkward and uncooperative. You are trying to make a mini ball of the little stump that is sticking out below the pinch. It doesn’t matter if it’s neither beautiful nor even.


WINDING Just try to make it roughly ball-shaped, wind by wind.




WINDING Fairly soon you’ll have a cute skeinlet with a disproportionally big tuft wanting to break free of it. Do not let it!


WINDING Keep winding and watch the proportions slowly change.


WINDING Look! A toddler ball.

WINDING From skeinlet to proper ball.


WINDING A tip: press your thumb into the hole at the base of the tuft, so as to protect it and the tuft from becoming engulfed – wind partially over your thumb.


WINDING Depending on yardage and thickness the growing ball may indeed threaten to engulf the bit that needs to remain free. If so, perform a controlled pull on the tuft, being careful not to pull it loose.




Two done!
It is of course entirely coincidental that these particular yarns, Faery Wings by Fyberspates and Curly Irisé by Dibadu are so eminently suitable for my first ever Mystery KnitAlong design, Mysteriosa.
(This fun KAL ran in 2014).

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