Peggy’s Weaving tips > Unwinding skeins of yarn

Unwinding Skeins A

Unwinding Skeins of Yarn A

Weaving with a skein is impossible. It must be unwound fist. A skein is a mass of yarn in a large ring (Figure A). You must open skeins carefully so the yarn doesn’t tangle as it’s being wound off the swift.

Unwinding Skeins of Yarn B

Unwinding Skeins of Yarn B

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I If the skein is twisted (Figure B) carefully untwist it. Even though it might not look carefully wound, it is. See the ties around the yarn? There usually are two or three ties that encircle the skein, often in a figure-8 (Figure C). Another tie or two hold the beginning and the end of the yarn itself. Usually, there is one tie for this purpose with the two ends of yarn tied together and also encircling the skein itself.

Unwinding Skeins of Yarn C

Unwinding Skeins of Yarn C

It is important that before you untie any of the ties, you make sure your hands are exactly in the center of the ring of yarn. Check your position at each of the ties. Snap the skein by holding your hands in the middle of the ring of yarn and snapping your hands apart a few times. This process untangles any temporary tangles and confirms that your hands are exactly in the center.Before untying anything, put the skein on the swift, a friend’s hands, a chair back or what-ever you are using to hold the skein open while you wind off the yarn. Check again that you have found the exact center of the skein. Untie the figure-8 ties first and the ends of the yarns last. Be sure to keep track of the ends! One end will likely be on the outside of the skein and is the one to use to start unwinding. You might have to twist the skein some to get this end on the outside. I tuck the end I don’t want to use into the swift and loosely tie it to a spoke so that it doesn’t tangle while I’m unwinding the other end.Never take the yarn over and under other yarns in the skein–never! Always take the yarn as it comes–that way the skein can unwind smoothly. If you come to a tangle, it’s probably just a temporary snag. Snap the skein or strum it, and you’ll find that the yarn isn’t really tangled and comes off smoothly again. If you feel you must take the yarn over and under another thread because of a real tangle, remember that you’ll have to do that over and under process throughout the unwinding. It will be annoying, but may need to be done if you haven’t found the exact center of the skein before untying the ties.

The above tip is an excerpt from “Weaving for Beginners” and Book 3: “Weaving and Drafting Your Own Cloth”


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  1. Pingback: Snap! – Mumbai for beginners

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