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How to Wind a Hank of Yarn into a Ball in 4 ways


Hello Dear Readers,

“How to Wind a Hank of Yarn into a Ball in 4 different ways”- You want to start a new project so you select the yarn and place an order online. The parcel comes to your door, you open it with full enthusiasm, there is a beautiful yarn inside but then suddenly you realize; eeeek, its not in a handy to use off the shelf ball form. You had always worked with ball yarn brought from local shops and had no idea about hank of yarn. You might get little disappointed and feel scared how to use this yarn?

No worries, in this series we will learn, “How to Wind a Hank of Yarn into a Ball in 4 different ways”.

First thing to remember is, do not work directly from the hank whatever you do! I have heard tales that some people do knit from the hank but I cannot see any way that it isn’t going to end in the most horrible tangled mess.

Your hank of yarn will look something like this- shown in photo below. The first thing you need  to do is prepare the hank for winding.


So lets get started!

Step 1: Gently open out hank of yarn by untwisting it so that it forms a circle.


Step 2: Notice that the hank is tied together in multiple places with tie bands. At one of these tie bands you will see yarn ends also tied. Leave that tie band and carefully untie other tie bands, keeping the yarn in the circle. Usually these knots are easy to untie with hands but if you find it impossible to untie the knot, use scissors to carefully cut the tie.


Step 3: Place the skein onto whatever will be holding it while you wind it.

These are the two ways I use:

Your knees…


or use two chairs back to back…


Either works just fine. I prefer chair option because its safe, in case if I have to get up in between there is no worry of tangles. Also if you have a bad back aches or pains it may be best to go with the chairs as sitting with your knees up for extended might hurt you.

Be careful not to untie the tie band with yarn ends before it is held in position as it has a tendency to get out of order, any loops that fall out of place can cause a tangle.

Once you have untied the hank of yarn, gently pull the end and see if it comes away from the hank freely. If it does you are ready to wind. If it doesn’t then you will need to either find the other end and try that or gently manipulate the hank around to free the end a little.

Now that you are all set for winding, there are different methods you can use. Here I am showing “How to Wind a Hank of Yarn into a Ball in 4 different ways”. The center pull ball methods are good while working as ball does not roll around but its little tricky if you are new to winding, so i suggest to use method-1 if you are newbie.

Lets get winding!

Hank to ball- Method -1


Step 1: Hold the yarn end with thumb and four fingers.


Step 2: Lightly wrap yarn around your four fingers.


Step 3: Remove the wrapped loops from your fingers and wrap the yarn at 90 degrees so it looks like a bow.


Step 4: Fold the bow into half and wrap yarn around it.


Step 5: It should now be looking like a small ball. Change directions of yarn every 15 to 20 rounds so you are wrapping over a different area and keeping the shape nice and round.


Step 6: Continue untill all of the yarn mass is wrapped into an easy to manage yarn ball.


  • One word of caution: If you’re not planning to work with your hank right away, don’t wind it into a ball. Winding yarn into a ball can stretch the yarn over time, pulling it out of shape.
  • As you wind the ball stay fairly close to the hank and move the ball around with the yarn as you wrap, this stops more loops pulling off the hank as you lift the yarn.
  • If extra loops come up then lay them back down before you continue working, this will help keep tangles to a minimum.
  • Very important- Don’t wind the ball too tightly, try not to stretch the yarn as you wrap it. This can stretch the yarn which can cause problems with your tension when you work with it they subsequently wash it.
  • You should know that these balls really like to go for a walk while you are knitting or crocheting with them. If you are having trouble be creative and pop the ball into a kettle with free end coming out from spout or soup bowl or put it in cloth bag and tie knot at the handles.

Other methods are…

With Cardboard Inside

Center Pull Ball Method-1

Center Pull Ball Method-2

Enjoy Winding!

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