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Old 01-04-2010, 11:43 AM   #1
RuthieinMaryland
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So called "Center Pull" Ball rant...
Hi! 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.

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
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Old 01-04-2010, 11:51 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:16 PM   #3
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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?
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:24 PM   #4
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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.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:55 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by suzeeq View Post
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.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:59 PM   #6
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That's called yarn barf. 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.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:20 PM   #7
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Yarn Barf, I love that!

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.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:20 PM   #8
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Oh Yes!
Finding the center end when it is buried deep inside the skein is in deed!

The yarn barf often happens when you have to fish for the center end, but it can happen on any skein. 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.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:39 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 01-04-2010, 03:51 PM   #10
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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.
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