What Hannah Makes

How to Unwind a Hank of Yarn Without Any Special Tools (Two Ways)

I remember it clearly. The first time I encountered a hank of yarn. I went to a local yarn shop in Pittsburgh and bought what was clearly a superior variety of cotton yarn (compared to the inexpensive acrylic yarn I was used to purchasing at the time.)

My sister-in-law and I each went back to their place and wanted to make something with our yarn. Not knowing how to properly unwind the yarn, we immediately made a mess. A big. tangled. mess.

My brother patiently helped us untangle the yarn but it was really frustrating.

A few years ago I once again purchased a hank of yarn. This time I told myself that I would be really careful so as not to relive my first experience.

I was careful, but I ended up with a big old mess of yarn once again. The problem was I just didn’t know the right way to unwind it.

If you’re used to the skeins of yarn that you pick up at the craft store (the kind that pulls easily out of the end) then you may have encountered a hank of yarn with a similar experience.

Never fear! Because I will show you how to unwind your hank of yarn the right way. Never fear, you don’t even need to purchase any additional tools to do it.

On to step one.

Step One: Untwist the Hank of Yarn

What may surprise you, is the hank of yarn you have is not an infinity symbol. It does not wrap into itself for eternity. There is a beginning and an end to it. And you can find it!

The first thing you will do is take the bottom portion of your hank of yarn and separate it. It will look like the picture above.

Step Two: Find the Knots

At the end of your yarn, you will often find that it is secured with a knot. You can clip this to release the yarn. Your yarn may also have been tied together.  If that’s the case, simply untie the knot. My yarn had a knot that I was able to cut and remove.

Here’s another picture to give you an idea of what it looks like.

Step Three: Lay Your Hank of Yarn Straight

The next step is to take your hank of yarn and lay it out straight.

Step Four: Open the Hank of Yarn Into an Oval

Now that the knots are removed you can open up the yarn so it looks like this.

Step Five: Get the Yarn Ready to Wind (Two Ways)

To prepare for winding your yarn into a ball, you can do it two ways.

Method number one: Have someone hold the yarn for you (as pictured below). This way is easy but it requires another person to help you. If you don’t have someone to help, there’s another method.

Method number two: Use the backs of two chairs.

The chairs will help keep your yarn in place while you wind it into a ball. Doing it this way will help keep the yarn from becoming a tangled mess.

Step Six: Start Making Your Yarn Balls

Wrap the yarn around your four fingers as I did in the picture above.

Remove the yarn from your fingers and start wrapping the yarn the opposite way.

Fold your yarn in half and once again wrap the yarn the opposite way. From here you will start forming your yarn ball.

My daughter started helping too.

Now you can enjoy your yarn ball for ALL your knitting, crocheting, or yarn projects. Hooray!

The yarn pictured here is from WonderLand Yarns. It’s a fingering weight called Cheshire Cat and it comes in a five skein mini pack with the color scheme “#27 Handsome Pig.” Unfortunately, I’m not a knitter and I’m not really sure what I’m going to do with this yarn. It’s a bit fine for my crocheting projects, but I didn’t realize it at the time of purchase. If you have a great use for it, please let me know in the comments below!

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