How to Wind Yarn into a hank/skein from a cone by hand!

Cottolin Louet 100g cones

Cottolin 100 gr cones from Louet North America, shown in an array of blues

Have you ever looked at yarn on cones and thought, ‘what am I going to do with that?’ Buying yarn on cones can be a great cost-savings (since you’re buying in a large quantity), and you can easily wind the yarn into an easier-to-manage format yourself!

You can wind yarn straight from a cone into a ball using a ball-winder. But today I’m going to show you how to put yarn into a hank!

Beautiful hank of yarn- skein

Are you confused about all of the yarn names? What’s a hank? Skein? Ball? I am too! Check out this post on types of yarn packaging (also called “put-ups” in the yarn industry).

How to use a Niddy Noddy

To make one of these beautiful hanks, you’ll need a wooden device called a Niddy Noddy. If you’re handy, you can even make one yourself!

Watch this video to see how to wind yarn using a Niddy Noddy:

Once you’ve made your skein, you’ll want to tie the ends around the yarn (this keeps the yarn tidy, and you’ll cut them when you’re ready to wind the yarn). Once your yarn is all tied up, you’re ready to put it into a hank!

Why is yarn in hanks?

There are a few advantages to storing yarn in hanks: they are less likely to get tangled (than a ball that can easily unwind), they sit nicely on your shelf and they just look pretty!

Additionally, hanks are preferred by dyers because dye can easily touch all parts of the yarn, and dry quickly. (Try dyeing a ball of yarn… that center won’t dry very easily!)

Have you ever tried dyeing yarn yourself? It’s easy! You can get started with Kool-Aid (really!) Louet Gems is a great yarn to dye because wool absorbs dye really easily… try it!

How to Knit with 2 Strands of Yarn

Guest Post by Debbie Trainor,

Knitting dish cloths and wash cloths is a favorite of myself and many knitters.  It’s a relaxing way to try a new stitch pattern and create something useful at the same time.  For me, taking these hand knit gems a step further to Spa Cloth quality is achieved by knitting them with Euroflax Sport.  The linen becomes soft and luxurious when washed and dried and the fabric leaves the user feeling pampered.

I have found that knitting with 2 strands of Euroflax Sport on a U.S. Size 6 knitting needle creates a fabric that is the ideal thickness for a spa cloth.  The gauge is approximately 5 stitches to an inch similar to using a worsted weight cotton.  Thus, many of the wash cloth patterns can be knit using 2 strands on a U.S. size 6 needle with a similar result in size.

Measuring Gauge

Knitting with 2 strands of Euroflax requires a little practice and I have found that the Kollage Square knitting needles makes the knitting easy on your hands and enjoyable.  Euroflax on the skein prior to washing is not as pliable as a cotton yarn.  Your tension holding the yarn is important.

There are two methods of knitting with 2 strands of yarn.  They both work and it just depends on the one that you’re most comfortable using.  For those that wind their skein of yarn into a ball, just wind 2 balls from the skein each about half of the skein.  This method allows you to pull the yarn from the outside of the balls freely although if you don’t keep it in a small project bag, it will be rolling all over the place.

The other is to wind your skein into a center pull cake and use both the center pull and the outside end to knit with.  Go carefully with this method.  Since Euroflax is not as pliable as cotton, it may get tangled coming off the cake.  I have used both methods successfully and it just depends of how the yarn is wound.  There is less waste using the cake method since you’ll be left with one continuous strand of Euroflax when you finish your spa cloth.  Since each skein is 270 yards, there is usually enough left to use a single strand for another cloth.  I combine it with a complimentary color to knit another cloth.

Casting on with two strands of yarn

I have gifted these spa cloths wrapped in a pretty ribbon with bath products.  My house guests are always greeted with a basket in their room with several cloths and an assortment of bath products to use during their visit.  The cloths are theirs to take home when they leave.

2 strands of Euroflax will also create a wonderful scarf or shawl.  It is the ideal weight for warmer weather when you just need a bit of cover on your neck and shoulders.

The colors of Euroflax are varied.  Different stitch patterns work better on some colors than others.  The stitch definition of Euroflax is terrific especially after it is washed and dried.  As the yarn relaxes, the stitches come together even if your tension varied when you were knitting.


Liquid Gold Shawl

Liquid Gold + Fave Links

I spotted Liquid Gold by Lisa Hannes and instantly loved the cables and thought of making it in Louet Gems Fingering because of the excellent stitch definition!

Isn’t it beautiful?!?

What a beauty!

The pattern calls for 820 yards of fingering weight yarn (so 5 skeins of Gems Fingering is plenty!) and a size 6 needle. You can purchase the pattern for download on Ravelry!

Buttercup is the color to keep it close to the sample… but I think this shawl would look great in any color! Like oooh… Burgundy!

You tell me your fave!

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