Yarn hanks need to be wound into cakes or balls before knitting or crocheting! A hank is a loop of yarn with two ends; if you knit directly from an opened hank, your yarn may become tangled. By winding a hank into a cake, you create a portable ball of yarn that is easy to work from and will not tangle. Use a Yarn Swift to hold hanks of yarn open and in place as you wind them into cakes using a Ball Winder.
How to Wind Your Yarn
Secure swift and ball winder to table top or counter up to 1-1/2” thick with bottom clamp. Be sure there is enough clearance around the swift for the umbrella to fully open and spin freely.
Untwist your yarn. It should come in a nicely twisted figure 8 hank, and when it is untwisted, it will look like a big loop of yarn. Drape the open hank over the closed swift and pull it lightly to hold it at the center of the ribs. Open the swift like an umbrella, pushing the runner up the center shaft until your loose yarn hank is held firmly around the swift.
Holding the swift runner in place, slide the center clamp up and tighten it under the runner, securing the swift in the open position.
Make sure your yarn is not twisted anywhere around the swift. Cut the ties around the hank. Now find the end of the yarn and pull, and the swift should spin freely.
Thread yarn tail through the guide on your ball winder.
Secure the thread by pressing the strand down into the notch at the top of the spindle.
Turn the handle clockwise to wind your yarn into a cake around the spindle. Pro tip: For best winding, position your ball winder so that the metal guide is pointing directly toward the swift and not at an angle.
Now your yarn is in a cake! You can either pull a tail from the outside or the inside of the skein. Pro tip: If you pull your tail from the inside of the cake, your strand is less likely to twist and your skein will not roll as you knit!