Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ball Winding for a Toasty Project

Whenever I pack to go on a trip, yarn projects are high on the list of importance. I take projects in progress; spend hours looking through patterns on Ravelry and in the patterns I have in books and notebooks; dig through my stash; and always, always, bring way more than I could possibly finish or even work on. It's almost like I think vacation will give me endless time and super fast ability to accomplish way more than is humanly possible in a very short amount of time. It's a nice dream!

This vacation was no exception. I took my troublesome vest project that I started on a couple years ago, put in time out over and over, and have been trying hard to finish the past couple weeks but keeps giving me trouble. I took a sock project I started a couple of months ago. I took a few small leftover balls of yarn, needles and the pattern for ruffled wine bottle cozies. I took an old shawl project. And, I threw in the yarn I dyed earlier this year, along with needles and patterns for leg warmers. There may have been more, but that's what I remember packing. This was only a five day trip!

The night before we left, I did some quick searches and video watching on how to wind center-pull balls of yarn by hand. Many of the videos used a nostepinne but others said I didn't really need one. It seemed that wooden spoons, cardboard toilet paper rolls, and other things would also work just fine. I have some fat knitting needles and figured one of those would work. So, I threw it in too.

Halfway through our drive to Utah, in the middle of the afternoon and the middle of the desert, I got started. I untwisted one skein of my hand dyed yarn and draped it over my knees, got out my big, fat knitting needle, and got started. Please excuse the poor quality photos. Many of them were taken with my cell phone.

It wasn't a "cake" shaped ball like I would get from my hand-crank ball winder but it was turning out just fine and I was having fun.

When I was all done winding, I slid it off the needle and...Ta Da....I did it! A pull skein!

On the way home, I started winding the second skein of yarn. Looking good!

However, this perfect look was verrrry time consuming. So, when I got home, I watched another video and started over. The next try was turning out well but equally time consuming. I ended up just winding a round ball because it's faster.

Here it is. Not as pretty, but it should (hopefully) work just as well.

That big bag of projects?...the only things I did was wind balls, and start on a pair of leg warmers. But, I had a lot of fun.

Here's the first leg warmer...

I'm using a free pattern from Ravelry called, "Les Cables de Faux" and size 5 double point needles. I started out making the small size but it was huge! So, I re-cast on with 50 stitches and it turned out perfect. It stays up and doesn't slip down. They can be made larger or smaller in multiples of 5. They're pretty easy. I just have to keep track of which row I'm on in the eight row repeat.

I took the advice of another Raveler and changed row 7 to: P2, K1, YO, K2TogTBL. Basically, the only difference is the last stitch. The K2TogTBL replaces SL1, K1, PSSO. It's much easier, quicker, and more fun but it yields the same results.

When I tried on the first one, it was toasty warm. I'm anxious to finish the second one so I can wear them. The weather has been quite chilly lately.


Cindie Kitchin eweniquely ewe said...

I always take way too many projects on vacation - like when do I think I'm going to do them all? I couldn't do them all staying at home with lots of free time!

Love your pretty center pull balls, good thing to do while riding in the car.

jomamma said...

I used to take 2 or 3 projects, now I only take one pair of socks to knit. Those socks are then dubbed the ____ trip socks. We have the Savannah socks, the Key West1 socks, Virgin Island socks and now the Key West2 socks. I wish you lived closer so I could show you how to wind a cake of yarn on your thumb. Aunt Shorty used to have me do nothing but wind her yarn into cakes when I visit her. Maybe I'll blog it.

Anonymous said...

Okay Cheryl, the fact that you have a perfectly hand caked ball is not fair. Every time I try to hand wind a hank it ends up being a tangled mess, and then I give up. Kudos on being able to do that.

Anonymous said...

Okay Cheryl, the fact that you have a perfectly hand caked ball is not fair. Every time I try to hand wind a hank it ends up being a tangled mess, and then I give up. Kudos on being able to do that.