Friday, 12 February 2016

Is This A Wind-Up?

When I was younger, people frequently seemed to buy wool in hanks, which then needed to be wound into balls. Husbands and children were pressed into service, holding out their arms to support the skein, while the Lady Of The House wound it up. And woe betide you if you lost concentration, or let it slip off! Harold Harvey, one of the artists of the Newlyn School in Cornwall, painted this around a century ago.

People who do lots of this sort of winding often invest in a Swift Machine - which is adjustable and does the job of 'an extra pair of hands' Although you cannot have a conversation with a Swift. If Bob is not around, I usually use the back of a chair - but that does involve a rather complicated dance and waving arm movements!

Wool for the knitting machine has to be wound in a particular way, and I have a neat little gadget for that.

But earlier this week I had a hank to wind up - it had come from a friend. It was too small to fit over a chair, and Bob was out. So I hung it over the door handles. This was relatively successful - mainly because that door has no 'snib' so there was nothing to catch on the yarn

But even that wasn't 100% successful. Near the end, I discovered some tangles, and I did have to enlist Bob's help. The ball is wound now - not sure what I am going to know with it though. It is a very pretty random dye. 
I really need to sort out my wool collection - almost all my recent projects have involved using up the Great Stash - and I have a number of little leftover balls [they can always become Innocent Smoothie Hats next Winter] There are altogether too many half empty carrier bags lurking in cupboards which need properly collating. 
How do you store and organise your wool?


  1. I spent many days just like the girl in that painting (and about her age too), helping my Nan wind her wool, she was a prolific knitter/crocheter. I've never actually had any wool in skeins myself!

    I've just this week bought a storage unit for my wool from that large Swedish store, there's a picture of it on my blog.

    That random dye yarn looks lovely, is it a cotton blend?

  2. I don't have much wool but it is currently sitting in the spare room in a Cath Kidston bag!x

  3. I used to hold the wool for my grandmother as she wound it!

  4. I can wind wool into a ball from a hank holding it on my own arms, no need for a chair, its a very useful skill to develop.

  5. I have never ever understood why wool manufacturers expect the buyer to wind it, why don't they all sell it in balls?!

  6. I keep my yarn (most of it is acrylic, not wool) in a large bin. I store most of the leftover yarns in zipper top bags, sorted by color. I am trying to use up the stash. So far, I've used up some to knit a scarf and am working on another scarf with two other balls of leftover yarn. The scarves will be given as Christmas gifts.


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