How do you deskein your yarn?

Getting your yarn from a skein to a ball is dull and sometimes backache inducing. The skein needs to be kept taut in order to stop the yarn becoming tangled as it unravels (and believe me, it really does get tangled) but there are plenty of ways to achieve this.

As you can see, I use two dining room chairs.

The other methods known to me are:

– sitting with your legs out in front of you on the floor and wrapping the skein around your own feet

– asking a patient spouse or friend to hold the skein as you unravel it

– just using the deskeining gismo in the yarn store (I’m a bit scared of the gismo though, as it does look like a pronged torture device)

Does anyone else have any good ways to get your yarn into a ball?

(And yes, that is the half kilometer skein of yarn on the chairs.)

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “How do you deskein your yarn?

  1. When I was younger I was the yarn-holder for my mom. Bo-ring! And if I forgot to dip the ends of my fingers as the yarn flew around them – well! 🙂 (thanks for the memory!)

    This past summer, we used the skein over the back of the chair method – but we were very lucky to be able to leave the skein loose and not have tangles – but it was cotton so maybe that helped. 🙂 I blogged about it here:
    http://r-anne-dom.blogspot.com/2009/08/wednesday-wonder-mountain-of-cotton.html

  2. I have a swift my husband made for me – not quite as medieval / scary-looking as the umbrella types – doesn’t work quite as well either. I recently aquired a skein winder – which works to turn the skeins back into balls. Before that – it was usually the door-knob method. Boring and usually ended up in a knotty mess at some point.

    • nattyknitter

      That’s it, a swift! I could have looked it up of course, but that would have been way too thorough, thanks for that.

  3. to cheap to buy a swift, (though pondering a erector set if I see one at a garage sale…) so I’ve been using the chair method…

    also I get a nice bit of exercise winding this way.

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