Is Your Yarn Already Wound into a Ball?
If the answer is YES, you just need find the end of the yarn and start knitting. There are two ends. One will be somewhere in the center of the ball. The other is on the outside.
I recommend using the end from the center of the ball.
When you pull the yarn from the center, the yarn stays neat and won’t get tangled. Also, if you pull the working yarn from the center instead of the outside, the ball won’t roll around all over the place as you knit.
If your yarn is twisted into a hank, it needs to be wound into a ball. Please, do not attempt to knit with your yarn directly from the hank. Yes, I understand that you are keen to get started…but if you do, you’ll end up with a big tangled mess!
See the next lesson for more info about how to wind a hank into a ball.
Not sure if your yarn is a hank or a ball? See below:
How to Find the Center End of the Yarn
Step 1) Find the Outside End of the Yarn
If the yarn ball has been wound neatly (and it probably will be if you buy it from a respected yarn brand), then you will likely find the yarn end has been tucked neatly into the hole at the top of the yarn ball.
Hold the yarn ball in one hand and look carefully to see if you can see a strand of yarn that comes from the outside of the ball and then seems to enter the hole at the top of the yarn ball.
Once you see that strand, you can pull it out to confirm that it does in fact come from the “outside” of the ball.
Step 2) Turn the Ball to Find the Other Side
Once you have found the end of the ball that the “outside” yarn end was tucked into, you can be sure that you’ll find the yarn end in the center by searching at the opposite side. So, turn the yarn ball around.
Step 3: Start Searching for the Core
Pinch together your thumb and index finger and stick them into the hole at the top end of the ball. Poke around a bit and feel for a small clump or “wad” of yarn inside the center of the ball. (Yes, I’m all about using technical terms here :))
Step 4: Pull it Out
Once you find that little wad of yarn in the center of the ball, pull it out.
This can seem a bit messy sometimes! But don’t worry…within that small wad of yarn you’ll find the end.
Step 5: Find the Yarn End
Carefully, unravel the small pile of yarn until you find the end.
Step 6: Re-wind the Excess Yarn
Once you’ve found the end, you can re-wind the excess yarn as follows:
- Find the end of the yarn, and leaving a short tail, hold it in your left hand and wind it in a figure eight motion around your pinkie and thumb. Once you have a good chunk of yarn wrapped about your fingers and it’s starting to get a bit full, carefully slip the figure of eight off your fingers and pinch it in the centre.
- Start wrapping the yarn around the center of the figure eight, making sure to leave the tail hanging.
- Keep wrapping in this way until you have used up all the slack.
- Tuck the small (and now tidy) wad back into the hole of the yarn ball, leaving the tail hanging out.
Note: I like to keep my yarn tidy at all times. I absolutely loathe to waste time untangling yarn, so I try to prevent tangles in the first place. Prevention is key!
If you’re confused, or you’re a visual learner and prefer to watch this trick in action, then I recommend the video below by Jayda from JaydaInStitches. She does a great job explaining and demonstrating this process.