How To Wind Yarn Without a Swift or Winder

How To Wind Yarn Without a Swift or Winder

Winding up a skein of yarn into a ball without a swift or yarn winder can be done easily using a couple of household items. Read on to find out how!

Why Does Yarn Come in a Skein?

Yarn is wrapped into skeins or hanks before dyeing, allowing the dye to permeate evenly due to its loose structure. This relaxed method of storing yarn allows it to remain unaffected by stretching. As a result, yarn is often sold in skeins to allow for an uncertain time frame before use.

Why Wind Yarn into Cakes or Balls?

There’s a number of reasons as to why winding up skeins into cakes or balls is an essential practice before you start a project - first and foremost, skeins are prone to tangling, so working straight from a skein can result in a mess of tangled yarn. It also allows for an even tension when knitting or crocheting, and simplifies yarn management and facilitates accurate estimation of the remaining yarn for a project, ensuring a smoother crafting project overall.

This method is especially helpful for beginners who don't have specialised yarn tools. Here's a step-by-step tutorial for you...

Materials You'll Need:

  • A skein of yarn
  • Two chairs (or any other sturdy objects with backs)
  • Scissors
@qingfibre Hey! I’m back with a quick tutorial on how to wind up your skein or hank of yarn without a swift! I remember when I first started knitting I did this all the time and it’s a great technique!! Hope this helped! #knittok #knittersoftiktok #knittutorial ♬ OUT NOW Enzo Smooth Operator - Enzo

How To Wind Yarn, Step-By-Step

Step 1: Set up the chairs. Position the two chairs facing each other with their backs about 3-4 feet apart, depending on the length of your skein. Make sure they are stable and won't tip over.

Step 2: Loosen the skein. We're using our Wensleyhaze yarn to demonstrate. Take your skein of yarn and find the two ends. Gently shake the skein to loosen it up a bit, making it easier to work with.

Step 3: Lay the skein on the chairs. Lay the skein of yarn over the backs of the chairs so that it forms a loop between them. Make sure the loop is evenly distributed and not tangled.

Step 4: Start winding with your hand. Locate one of the loose ends from the loop, and place it between your thumb and palm of one hand. Hold it firmly to create tension.

Step 5: Wind around your fingers. Using your other hand, start winding the yarn around your fingers. Keep your fingers spread apart to create loops of yarn around them.

Step 6: Continue winding. Continue winding the yarn around your fingers until you've used up the entire skein or until the ball reaches a size you find comfortable to work with.

Step 7: Secure the end. Once you've wound up all the yarn, secure the end by tucking it under a few strands of the wound yarn or tying it with a loose knot.

Step 8: Remove the yarn ball. Carefully slide the wound yarn ball off your fingers. If you tied a knot, make sure it's loose enough to easily slip off.

Step 9: Adjust and tidy up. Check the yarn ball for any tangles or uneven spots. Gently adjust the yarn as needed to create a neat and uniform ball of yarn.

Practice Makes Perfect

Congratulations! You've successfully wound up your skein of yarn into a ball using your hand and fingers without the need for a swift or yarn winder. Now you're ready to start your knitting or crochet project! Remember, practice makes perfect, and with time, you'll become even more proficient at winding yarn by hand.

Enjoy this read? Check out more tips, tricks and techniques from our blog.