Generally, winding yarn - the process of turning unruly skeins into handy little center-pull contraptions - is a handy thing to know once one has acquired any amount, prodigious or restrained, of yarn. A swift and ball winder are especially helpful if your stash is of a more impressive size. Winding yarn generally goes something like this:
Step 1. Remove the swift and ball winder from their respective containers.
Step 2. Attach said items to various overhanging surfaces - the edge of a table or a countertop.
Step 3. Find the chosen yarn, remove the label, untwist the skein, and place it on the swift.
Step 4. Free an end of yarn, feed it through the coiled metal arm of the ball winder, and slip it into the notch.
Step 5. Turn the handle and wind the yarn until you have a handy little cake of earth-toned goodness. Or jewel-toned. Or neon. Whatever float’s your boat.
I ran afoul of these necessary procedures around Step 2 since I’m lacking in a good place to attach a swift. It is much more likely to make a brazen swan dive onto a hard tiled floor then hold yarn for me. Jerk. So, I decided to wind yarn on the ball winder with the open skein hanging over my arm. As you might guess, this did not go as I had hoped. A task that should have taken less than 10 minutes went on for hours as the yarn tangled and was generally uncooperative. One end of the yarn was on the on the ball winder while the middle trailed off into a giant loop hanging from a bed post. I sat on the other end and was slowly freeing yarn from the giant, tangled mess I had created. When I said I was in the mood for something more complicated, wrangling tangled yarn was not what I had in mind.
What I was aiming for, after knitting several pairs of plain socks, was some more complicated knitting. The pattern, Shur’tugal by Alice Yu, has been a long time resident of my Ravelry queue. The yarn, Sweet Georgia Tough Love Sock - Lettuce Wrap, is a more recent addition to the stash. I knew the second I opened the package that the skein was destined to become a pair of socks. Too awesome, sturdy, and beautiful for anything else.
So far, the pattern and yarn are a great combination. I can’t wait to knit full fledged socks with heel flaps and everything.