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RuthieinMaryland
01-04-2010, 11:43 AM
Hi! :waving: Happy New Year to all!

I'd like to take this opportunity to rant about a pet peeve that's assumed very large proportions lately - center pull balls of yarn that don't pull until you've got half the guts of the skein pulled out!

GRRRRRRRR.:hair:

I was setting up to do a pair of socks and it took me 20 minutes to untangle the two skeins of Patons Kroy Socks. And Patons isn't the only manufacturer who seems to have a problem giving us a center pull skein of yarn that actually works. Either you can't find the doggone center string and have to pull out a bunch of yarn and untangle it or you occasionally get lucky and find the string but then pull out a huge chunk of yarn that once again has to be untangled.

I've been doing needlework of one kind or another for over half a century (I started young! :) ) and I don't recall ever having the problems with center pulls that I'm seeing today. Years ago the end of the yarn was in plain sight and when you pulled it it came out perfectly with rarely a snarl or tangle.

Am I the only one to remember this? Or do others out there recall a time when starting a project with a center pull ball wasn't an exercise in total frustration?

My plan this new year is to let the offending manufacturers know that they're shortchanging the needleworkers who use their products since I don't believe in ranting about something you're not willing to fix if you can.

But I'd like to hear opinions from others on here as well.

Thanks all, and have a wonderful new year! (Free from tangles and snarls!)

Ruthie :hug:

suzeeq
01-04-2010, 11:51 AM
I don't have a real problem if the middle pull out, I'm going to be knitting the yarn up anyway. Better than having it tangle up on the way out, then I have to pull a wad out and unknot it. But if there's too much that pulls out, I wind it into a figure 8/butterfly skein and stuff it back in the center.

gotta knit
01-04-2010, 12:16 PM
I don't centre pull unless I'm using both ends of the skein at the same time. I've always found a tangled bit came out, over the years.

Is there an advantage to using centre pull regularly, rather than just unravelling from the outside?

suzeeq
01-04-2010, 12:24 PM
When you take from the outside it bounces around. And you have to take the paper off which to hold it together until you get down to the last bit.

trvvn5
01-04-2010, 12:55 PM
When you take from the outside it bounces around. And you have to take the paper off which to hold it together until you get down to the last bit.

I use a yarn bowl when I pull from the outside. Keeps it from rolling all over the place. Or I use the ball winder and make a brand new center pull ball from the other one. I HATE the way that they make center pull balls and skeins. I'd much rather wind my own.

Jan in CA
01-04-2010, 12:59 PM
That's called yarn barf. :teehee: Some skeins do it, some don't. It's annoying when I want to start knitting right away and have to fix it, but I figure it's just part of the process. When it happens I do like Sue does..either butterfly it or center pull ball it and shove it in center of the skein. Sometimes I just wind my own center pull ball and have it done with.

AngelaR
01-04-2010, 03:20 PM
Yarn Barf, I love that! :roflhard:

So far I've had one skein that was hopelessly tangled, but I remember it being horrific about 20 years ago which was why I always grabbed the outer string instead. I only recently started center pulling again when my crocheting neighbor mentioned that it was easier these days. I figured that had been some improvement in the manufacturing process that made it better.

OffJumpsJack
01-04-2010, 03:20 PM
Finding the center end when it is buried deep inside the skein is :hair: in deed!

The yarn barf often happens when you have to fish for the center end, but it can happen on any skein. :nails: I find that it often is easiest to grab an end with each hand and gently pull apart. Otherwise pulling only from the end that returns to the skein is easier to untangle the yarn barf.

Another advantage to center pull (vs unwinding from the outside) is the yarn slides out smoother with less (tension) pulling. I read that the yarn has more time to relax from the winding tension, so it is less likely to be stretched when you knit with it.

If I need to work from both ends of a skein, I first free the inside end and start a small center pull ball with it. Once a tunnel is opened in the skein I put a dowel or long straight needle through the center of the skein and then let the skein turn like a roll of paper towel as I pull from the outside of the skein and wind a center pull ball from the outside end. I alternate winding onto each ball to keep them balanced in size.

When I get to the middle of the skein I put the the two balls end to end with the bottoms together. I then have a center pull from each end. Sometimes I wrap them with the original label or something similar.

Sarah6485
01-04-2010, 03:39 PM
I just hate when I'm pulling from the center and it gets stuck because the yarn is like wrapped around the back side of the skein. That drives me freakin nuts.

Sunshine's Mom
01-04-2010, 03:51 PM
I've taken to winding my own center pull balls no matter what yarn I'm using. It's because of this yarn barf issue. The 20 minutes or so that it takes to wind a center pull ball is nothing compared to the length of time untangling a messed-up "barf" can be. I feel your pain.

melmac51
01-04-2010, 05:05 PM
That's called yarn barf. :teehee: Some skeins do it, some don't. It's annoying when I want to start knitting right away and have to fix it, but I figure it's just part of the process. When it happens I do like Sue does..either butterfly it or center pull ball it and shove it in center of the skein. Sometimes I just wind my own center pull ball and have it done with.

:roflhard: :roflhard:

My friends and I call it "afterbirth". Gross, huh? ...besides, untangling can be sort of therapeutic, don't you think?

Lighting57
01-04-2010, 07:18 PM
It would be a big help it the label had a mark of some sort to alert us which end of the skein to search for the yarn tail.

But, I too have a lot of trouble finding the end at times and usually end with 30-50% of the inside content coming out with the tail end.

linknit41
01-04-2010, 08:06 PM
once upon a time, i had a skein of Red Heart yarn, and there was a little red foil heart stuck to the end of the yarn from the center. what a great idea!!!!!!!probably why no one does it anymore!?!! i like to do what someone else mentioned--wind my own or put the skein in a container--the plastic jars nuts come in are a good size. linknit41

KnitandPurl
01-04-2010, 08:25 PM
I actually like to wind myself - it gives me a good feel of the yarn before working with it.

My center-pull skeins always end up much nicer than the ready-made center-pull skeins I can buy.

meowmeowmeow
01-04-2010, 11:25 PM
Argh.I hate center pull balls.I cannot for the life of me see the advantage it over taking the strand on the outside with the way they always tangle internally. I always wind my yarn into round balls by hand instead.I avoid the rolling around issue by making a little niche for the ball in whatever blanket I have on me as I always have a blanket when knitting.

I will be trying the "flat ball" next project with a nostepinne to see if I like that center pull any better.

Jan in CA
01-05-2010, 01:51 AM
I HATE pulling from the outside. I much prefer from the center so my yarn sits nicely beside and behaves itself rather than rolling all over the place and picking up cat hair or having to sit in a bowl. :teehee:

etoilechaude
01-05-2010, 02:17 AM
LOL Jan... mine picks up dog hair and then sometimes dog slobber when the dog decides the rolling ball is her toy ;o)

RuthieinMaryland
01-05-2010, 06:11 PM
Hi! :waving:

Thanks for the input. Please keep it coming!!!

Jan, "yarn barf" :roflhard: Wow, does that SAY IT! Thanks for that!

I see I'm not the only one who has a problem with screwy center-pull skeins. And I do remember a time when the quality of the packaging was such that it was rare to have a tangle come out instead of a smooth pull of yarn.

I don't know what the change in wrapping methods has been but it's so different now, almost as though we, the consumers, have to do some of the work of the companies we buy the yarn from. Something wrong with that picture, right?

It's like a lot of the knitting books I've bought in recent years. The patterns aren't apparently properly tested and are subject to serious errors, as are portions of the text. It's not that unusual to find an explanation of a technique written up beside the wrong picture. Difficult when you're trying to learn the technique!!! Then the consumer has to figure it out and fix it. Even when there are errata pages on the publisher's website, it's still up to the consumer to fix THEIR product!!!

So I'm going to put my foot down on these sliding-downhill standards and contact some yarn companies that I've had problems with, voice a complaint and find out what their position is. I'll keep you all posted.

Thanks and happy knitting.

Ruthie

suzeeq
01-05-2010, 07:38 PM
It's not that the patterns aren't tested, but in the editing process many typos go uncorrected because someone thought someone else caught them all. Many designers are just as dismayed as you are that their 'babies' go out there with so many errors that the publisher/printer should have caught.

RuthieinMaryland
01-06-2010, 11:56 AM
It's not that the patterns aren't tested, but in the editing process many typos go uncorrected because someone thought someone else caught them all. Many designers are just as dismayed as you are that their 'babies' go out there with so many errors that the publisher/printer should have caught.

Hi, Suz! :waving:

You're absolutely right. Once something leaves the hands of the designer to go to a publisher and then on to a printer anything can happen and a great book can become frustrating for the buyer to use because of carelessness and inattention to detail on the part of the producers.

But there are lots of things like that in today's society. As a knitter I've got that peeve about center pull balls of yarn being so poorly wrapped, unlike those I've used back in the day. And knitting books poorly printed also.

It's as though these producers are letting the public act as their "quality control" function. Put the product out there however you can slam it out the door and let the public contact you with what's wrong with it. How many vehicle recalls have there been in recent years? Even novels and other printed material are showing up with more and more misspellings and gramatical errors. What gives?

So either I have a valid point or I've finally become "old lady Ruth",
the one in the neighborhood who complains about EVERYTHING! Holey Moley! I hope not!!!!! :thud:

In any event, I'll still contact some yarn producers to find out why they're not "wrapped right"! :) I'll let you all know what I find out, and vice versa if anyone else tackles them!

Happy knitting,
Ruthie

OffJumpsJack
01-07-2010, 10:18 AM
It would be a big help it the label had a mark of some sort to alert us which end of the skein to search for the yarn tail.

But, I too have a lot of trouble finding the end at times and usually end with 30-50% of the inside content coming out with the tail end.

once upon a time, i had a skein of Red Heart yarn, and there was a little red foil heart stuck to the end of the yarn from the center. what a great idea!!!!!!!probably why no one does it anymore!?!! i like to do what someone else mentioned--wind my own or put the skein in a container--the plastic jars nuts come in are a good size. linknit41

Last Red Heart label I looked at still had arrows pointing out which end of the skein was witch. And you could find the center end near the end of the skein if it was still (or tucked) inside.

They believe it reads something like ...
<= (left) was the outside end, first pull and wrap around skein, then => (right side) had inside end.


I've been a bit of a snob toward Red Heart lately; I've just passed by with out a look or touch. :oops:

meowmeowmeow
01-07-2010, 09:01 PM
While we're on the topic of declines in quality, my last three skeins of Caron had weird tangled areas. One even had a knot in it that looked like two ends tied together so there was fluff sticking out of the knot. I'm so disappointed cause I really loved that yarn.I've had so much of it too :/ I suppose I should write them to tell them about it?

suzeeq
01-07-2010, 09:35 PM
If it was just one knot, that's rather normal these days. Some of them have 3 or 4. I was on the second sleeve of a top down sweater for my GD and found a knot in the Simply Soft. I don't recall there being any in the other skeins I've used, but that was a few years ago. Contact them and see what they say.

meowmeowmeow
01-08-2010, 12:28 AM
If it was just one knot, that's rather normal these days. Some of them have 3 or 4. I was on the second sleeve of a top down sweater for my GD and found a knot in the Simply Soft. I don't recall there being any in the other skeins I've used, but that was a few years ago. Contact them and see what they say.

It wasn't just one knot per skein.A couple had up to 4 areas of about 3 inches of yarn that looked completely mangled.It looked like it had been jammed in a machine or something. *sigh* I was on such a roll today too writing positive letters to online shops I recently bought from.

Jan in CA
01-08-2010, 01:12 AM
It's a manufacturing problem that can't be seen till you actually use the yarn so it's not the stores fault. :shrug:

suzeeq
01-08-2010, 10:25 AM
Oh well in that case, it's a manufacturing problem, do contact Caron, the stores don't have anything to do with this issue, they just sell what the company sends them in an order. Companies like to know about quality control issues because they want a good product out there.

RuthieinMaryland
01-08-2010, 12:17 PM
I was on such a roll today too writing positive letters to online shops I recently bought from.

Hi! :waving:

Just wanted to congratulate you on acknowledging the shops you bought from in a positive way. That's every bit as important as letting them know if you have a complaint - maybe even more important!

About Caron Simply Soft - I LOVE that yarn, especially for afghans. In fact, I'm about to embark on my 6th or 7th afghan using it. My project has been to do afghans for each close family member. Only two left to go! Yay! And yes, I've found those little knots and some areas of mangled yarn, sadly enough, but I dealt with it because I like the yarn so much.

Caron, though, will hear from me about it. As well as how much I love the yarn. Thanks for the reminder.

Ruthie

mommydearest
01-10-2010, 10:38 AM
Some yarns are much, much worse at finding the center pull than others but unless my yarn comes in a hank I won't re-wind it. I'll pull out the yarn barf and rewind the extra back around the skein. The last time this happened I was starting a pair of socks for my son and the yarn barf took me through 1/2 of one ankle length sock (1/2 way through the foot).

The knots coming up is really annoying and has been happening more often to many different yarns. Can't say one brand is any worse than another. I just pray when I get to the knot I can keep it on the wrong side.

Mary

Sknitter56
01-10-2010, 11:53 AM
Ruthie, I don't know how much this will help because I, too, get so frustrated with half of the skein pulling out when trying to find the start of the center pull yarn. What I do is, I stick my thumb and first finger into the center of the skein as close to the middle as I can and pull out the least amount of the inside as possible. Most of the time, the end of the yarn is in this small amount. Most of the time, but not always. I used to just go in and grab the blob and pull it out, then wind it around the outside, but it seems if you go in and feel around a little, it's possible to find the end with only a few of the innards coming out also.
I agree that companies nowadays don't seem to care about the quality of their product as much as the quantity. And customer service is a thing of the past in most companies. My pet peeve is talking to a computer. UGGHH!! Sometimes I'll just talk jibberish until I get a human on the line. Computers don't understand jibberish:) Doesn't work all the time, but it makes me feel better.

RuthieinMaryland
01-10-2010, 01:42 PM
...The knots coming up is really annoying and has been happening more often to many different yarns. Can't say one brand is any worse than another. I just pray when I get to the knot I can keep it on the wrong side.

Mary

Hi, Mary! :waving:

About the knots - I used to just knit them in figuring they were so tiny they'd just sort of magically meld into the project! This was so annoying when it happened on socks since a knot anywhere had the potential for creating a pressure spot that would rub.

Then I read about how it's not good to just knit those little guys into the project since they could come unknotted so easily. Think about it - they're really only very tiny with not much in the way of ends. I could really see how they could come undone with washing and wear. The solution was to cut out the knot and then work the yarns into the project just as you would if you were adding another ball of yarn. Then you've got ends to weave in and have some assurance that your hard work won't evaporate on you if one of those little knots decides to unravel.

The Russian join is a good one (there's a video here on that and it's a hoot to do, but so worth the effort) or whatever join you normally use rather than just knitting it in where you've got a little time bomb on your hands (or feet! :roflhard: )

Anyway, thanks for responding and I hope this helps!

Happy knotless knitting!

Ruthie :hug:

RuthieinMaryland
01-10-2010, 01:52 PM
Ruthie, I don't know how much this will help because I, too, get so frustrated with half of the skein pulling out when trying to find the start of the center pull yarn. What I do is, I stick my thumb and first finger into the center of the skein as close to the middle as I can and pull out the least amount of the inside as possible. ]

I read somewhere in (I think...) Lily Chin's book, "Knitting Tips & Tricks" that if you stick both index fingers in each end of the skein and then kind of circle your fingers around each other it tends to loosen up the center and makes the center pull string easier to find with less "yarn barf" (I LOVE that term, thanks to Jan) So your trick of loosening up that center would work pretty well. Thanks for the tip.

[..." My pet peeve is talking to a computer. UGGHH!! Sometimes I'll just talk jibberish until I get a human on the line. Computers don't understand jibberish:) Doesn't work all the time, but it makes me feel better.

This is SO funny! I'd love to hear a tape of you jerking the computer answering system around! It would probably make a great You Tube clip! :chair: Keep it up! Anything we can do to annoy the computers, and the people who inflict them on us, is OK in my book! :muah:

Ruthie

suzeeq
01-10-2010, 03:46 PM
The 'no knots' rule is rather flexible, not something to be avoided in all cases. My knots stay better than just weaving in the ends, and knitting with both ends for a few stitches makes them too bulky. And a couple times when I tried 'spit splicing' they didn't stay at all - would rather use knots. When I find one in the yarn, I pull it a bit to see if it's going to stay better that the ones I make. I've been meaning to try the russian join one of these days.

HSRCampbell
01-16-2011, 12:28 AM
Usually the automated systems will send you to a real person if you just say clearly "I want to talk to a person". :D And some of them have the "0" button send you to an operator. On occasion, I would actually prefer the automated system: such as scheduling doctor's appointments for something embarrassing!

Thanks so much for talking about what to do when you have knots in the ball... I was just searching for pulling from the center or outside :knitting: and I love the way this thread changed course.

Mokumegane
01-16-2011, 08:08 AM
I don't centre pull unless I'm using both ends of the skein at the same time. I've always found a tangled bit came out, over the years.

Is there an advantage to using centre pull regularly, rather than just unravelling from the outside?

I prefer to center pull when I can because it stays in one place and doesn't roll or bounce around. As for a tangled mess in the middle... usually, I don't have to pull out too much- about a quarter-sized globe at worst and that's knitted up pretty quick. After getting that first little mess out, there's no other problems that I find. Maybe it's the yarns but I don't know... I use anything from the nice, expensive stuff, to lionbrand and even red heart. It all depends on what I'm doing and what the person wants, really.

crazykntter83
01-16-2011, 11:57 AM
A couple years back, I bought some of Caron's Simply Soft Eco. I had gotten several skeins of this pretty blue color. Well, the pretty blue color had ALOT of knots in it. And when I would go to buy another skein of it, I would usually run into the same problem. Finally I got fed up with it, and sent Caron an e-mail about the problem that I was having. They ended up sending me a box of I want to say 5 or 6 skeins of the yarn. Later on I went to crochet my gf a blanket with the yarn, and there were still problems with the yarn that they had sent me.
I guess it was just a problem with the machinery or whatever they use to wind the yarn up. But my point is, I know how frustrating it is.
Normally, I unravel the yarn and just wrap it into regular yarn balls. My Dad taught me to do that when I was younger, in order to avoid the problems of it getting tangled when you're knitting or crocheting. This is what I had done with the Caron yarn and when I went to unravel it from the skein, ran into the problems.
I've also had numerous problems with getting knots in Red Heart yarns. Maybe it's just me??

TEMA
01-16-2011, 11:26 PM
At Walmart the other day, a lady asked me if I knew the secret to getting the yarn to come from the middle of the ball. I told her that I never worry about it. I just place a bowl on the floor and it unwinds very well... no tangles, no rolling around... and best of all no ceaseless searching or tearing your yarn balls apart!
I do love big bowls! :)
TEMA

Mokumegane
01-16-2011, 11:51 PM
At Walmart the other day, a lady asked me if I knew the secret to getting the yarn to come from the middle of the ball. I told her that I never worry about it. I just place a bowl on the floor and it unwinds very well... no tangles, no rolling around... and best of all no ceaseless searching or tearing your yarn balls apart!
I do love big bowls! :)
TEMA

I would love to do that but all my big bowls get used in the kitchen... just about every day lol Today, it was carrot cake and probably in a few days, it'll be pumpkin bread...

TEMA
01-20-2011, 04:11 PM
I bot a lovely big bowl just for my knitting at ValuVillage but any secondhand store could offer you big bowls for next to nothing.
TEMA:thumbsup:

Annabee85
01-22-2011, 12:56 PM
:yay: i feel your pain! there is almost nothing better that getting a clean center pull ball of yarn. but as this almost never happens i just end up making my own center pull ball, just makes life easier if i do:knitting:

OffJumpsJack
01-27-2011, 05:53 PM
Hi! :waving: Happy New Year to all!

I'd like to take this opportunity to rant about a pet peeve that's assumed very large proportions lately - center pull balls of yarn that don't pull until you've got half the guts of the skein pulled out!

GRRRRRRRR.:hair:

Ruthie :hug:

That's called yarn barf. :teehee: Some skeins do it, some don't.

I bet it only happens when a machine has been spinning a very long time and has gotten too dizzy. Then it makes skeins with yarn barf in the middle just waiting for the unsuspecting knitter like you or me. :roflhard: :roflhard:

I often wind my own center pull ball (or cake) but I don't own an official nostepinne. I make my own from cardboard tubes, plastic center from a register tape mounted on a carpenter's pencil, two fingers of my left hand, or just what ever I find handy.

crazykntter83
01-27-2011, 05:55 PM
lol that's funny. Maybe the machine does just get dizzy.:teehee:

KatzKnitter
02-01-2011, 01:28 AM
My first 4 Lion Wool-Ease skeins pulled beautifully using the 4-finger method. I even taught the technique to a little girl in the yarn dept of the store. Working on my fifth skein of Lion Wool-Ease this month, and this one pulled out half the skein. Grrrr!@#$%^#!?(%$@ IT'S THE SAME YARN!!

What's the fastest way to ball your yarn without spending on a mechanical winder?

OffJumpsJack
02-03-2011, 03:20 PM
My first 4 Lion Wool-Ease skeins pulled beautifully using the 4-finger method. I even taught the technique to a little girl in the yarn dept of the store. Working on my fifth skein of Lion Wool-Ease this month, and this one pulled out half the skein. Grrrr!@#$%^#!?(%$@ IT'S THE SAME YARN!!

What's the fastest way to ball your yarn without spending on a mechanical winder?

Amy of KH has this video (http://www.knittinghelp.com/apps/flash/video_player/play/163/1) right here in the Knitting Help free Video section under the Tips (http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips) heading.

On YouTube by FiberFool, you can find How to Use a Nostepinne

Another on YouTube from ShielaDixon
Winding a centre-pull ball of handspun yarn using a nostepinne

And yet another YouTube vid.
This one by NoreenCroneFindley
How to Wind a ball of yarn on the nostepinne

Now that last one has an entirely to cheerful voice! But much preferable if compared with a Marshwiggle (as portrayer by Tom Baker).

Use anything for a nostepinne:

cardboard tube (from paper towels, or similar)
fat marker (I tape the cap on with paper/masking tape)
bundle of pens or pencils (also taped)
two or three fingers held together
or anything that is about 12 inches (30 cm) long and near one inch (2.5 cm) across the diameter.


I read one suggestion to get a round leg as for a wooden chair from you home improvement or hardware store to make your own Nostepinne.

Remember to enjoy the process. With practice you become quite good at winding your yarn up as you wind down. :cool:

anniewill
02-03-2011, 10:46 PM
I LOVE the prescription bottle suggestion. Makes it so easy. thanks to whomever thought that one up. I'm a novice knitter and it's all mysterious, but not center pull any longer.

KatzKnitter
02-07-2011, 04:00 PM
Re: the videos--Some people have too much time on their hands. :teehee:

KatzKnitter
02-07-2011, 04:08 PM
It would be a big help it the label had a mark of some sort to alert us which end of the skein to search for the yarn tail.

But, I too have a lot of trouble finding the end at times and usually end with 30-50% of the inside content coming out with the tail end.

Exactly. If I can't find the outside tail, how can I find the inside tail? If I had the kind of patience and time shown in those videos, I would just ball from the outside, BUT I DON'T! And I'm not giving up my day job. :rofl:

I use medium-priced yarns. I suspect that expensive yarns have a more obvious outside tail or some kind of label.

Little Audrey
02-13-2011, 05:12 PM
Too true! I recall (many years ago) seeing instructions on skeins on how to start the center pull - they showed pulling the yarn tucked in at one end of the skein first, then the yarn tucked in at the other end second - presto, the second yarn made a lovely center pull every time. I have not seen these in years .... sniffle,sob,weep!

KatzKnitter
02-13-2011, 08:05 PM
Maybe they save a hundredth of a penny on each skein by not having the first end dangling. Then again, some of the most expensive yarns are not skeins at all, but hanks.

Made my first yarn cake today around a bathroom tissue holder. Not exactly like the videos, but not bad.

Lighting57
02-14-2011, 01:19 PM
Thanks for the videos.

I can make a center pull ball by just using my hands, but I really like them by using the nostepinne.

I have several things around the house that would work great for that: small diameter handle of my lambskin duster, large dowel, and a left over thread cone just to name a few.

They look so much nicer to. Good enough to make all leftover yarn into balls to display in a nice bowl as a centerpiece until needed to knit with.

Breezed
02-20-2011, 10:15 AM
Ugh, I had this frustration just 3 days ago. Picked up a new project to start and could not get the center pull. The middle of the skein was so tangled it drove me crazy. I gave up even trying and just started with the outside strand.

KatzKnitter
02-20-2011, 05:45 PM
Yarn barf.