The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 07-29-2005, 12:46 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Why Does Yarn Come in Skeins and Not Balls?

Most knitters and crocheters that I am aware of take a skein of yarn and wind it into a ball so that the yard will roll off as they work.

Why doesn't yarn come in a ball to begin with?

Having just wound the World's Largest Skein (780 meters!) into the the World's Largest Yarn Ball this question is fresh in my mind.
Reply With Quote
Advertisements  
  #2  
Old 07-29-2005, 01:05 PM
Phlosphr Phlosphr is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: in a Moot
Posts: 11,619
Yarn is made by a machine. I assume, a machine cannot be programmed to make a ball out of yarn. Much easier to make a skein.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 07-29-2005, 01:13 PM
Ruken Ruken is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: DC
Posts: 2,320
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phlosphr
Yarn is made by a machine. I assume, a machine cannot be programmed to make a ball out of yarn. Much easier to make a skein.
They have machines to make balls, or at least ball-like things that work pretty much the same. The may be better because they won't roll away when the cat swats it. I'm not sure how to explain what the final product is. It's kind of donut-shaped. Maybe someone who knows the name will come along and explain better.

It still may be a mechanical issue for skeins. I'll ask my mother .
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 07-29-2005, 02:12 PM
caveman caveman is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: City of the Violet Crown
Posts: 1,459
I imagine skeins pack more densely than balls would, thereby reducing transportation costs.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 07-29-2005, 02:24 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Hm. There's a thought. I'm not sure. Skeins are usually loosely wrapped, balls are wrapped more tightly - usually a ball is smaller than the skein it came from. But a ball gives you a lot of dead space per box.

Either way, in the absence of proof to the contrary I refuse to believe that we can put a man on the moon but we can't wrap yarn in a spherical manner.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 07-29-2005, 02:48 PM
dlack dlack is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
So it's a common practice to unwind a skein of yarn and the rewind it into a ball?
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 07-29-2005, 03:27 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Yep. .There are even tools to facilitate it: a swift to hold the yarn, and a ball winder to wind it up.

Last edited by TubaDiva; 10-19-2011 at 08:13 AM.. Reason: fixed coding
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 07-29-2005, 03:39 PM
FilmGeek FilmGeek is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
I never rewind center pull skeins into balls. Hanks, on the other hand (long loop of yarn all twisted onto itself have to be wound.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 07-29-2005, 04:03 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Thanks, I forgot there were two terms. Is a commercial yarn that's wound into an oblong shape a hank or a skein? In other words, what do you call this?

Whatever its called, I rewind them. They always get tangled as you pull from center.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 07-29-2005, 04:13 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
Thanks, I forgot there were two terms. Is a commercial yarn that's wound into an oblong shape a hank or a skein? In other words, what do you call this?
That's a skein. A hank looks like this.

And I personally have no idea why the most common packaging for average yarns is a skein. I know that hanks usually start to show up when you head into relatively expensive/natural/premium-fiber yarns.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 07-29-2005, 04:32 PM
InternetLegend InternetLegend is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: New Mexico
Posts: 3,511
My mother-in-law, who is my authority for all things domestic, once told me not to wind yarn into a ball unless I was going to use it right away. She said that winding it can cause it to stretch out, which leaves the finished piece with poorer shape and elasticity. She may have been talking only about natural fibers, but I don't remember.

Given that I've only finished three pieces over 25 years of knitting/crocheting, I'm not sure you should listen to me.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 07-29-2005, 04:58 PM
Sattua Sattua is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
It is true that tight winding can cause a yarn to stretch out, which creates problems when you knit it up.

To avoid this, when hand-winding a ball of yarn, put two fingers under the strands while you're wrapping them. Remove and replace your fingers every few wraps.

Wool winders on the other hand (the nifty little machines that create center-pull balls--mine is right here next to me) have a large spool that the yarn is wound around; when you take the ball of yarn off of this spool, the inner yarn collapses into the empty space, creating a loose ball.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 07-29-2005, 06:12 PM
Kiminy Kiminy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
I always used yarn pulled directly from the center of the skein, rather than taking the time to ball it. I've never had any problems with tangling that way, and most mainstream yarn is pretty much designed to be used that way. From a manufacturing point of view, the skein is much more efficient for labelling, shipping, and marketing than balls would be.

However, I've had a hard time teaching my kids or my cats how to pull yarn from the center. So if the yarn is destined for kids or cats (rather than knitting or crocheting), the yarn I buy is likely to be rolled into a ball from the skein.

Yarn hanks are used for specialty fibers, and geared towards people who want to use something other than "mainstream" materials. Again, though, a hank would be much easier to label and ship than a ball would be.

Embroidery floss comes packaged in similar skeins or hanks, BTW. Some emboiderers actually take time to wind the skeins onto bobbins (the emboidery equivalent of winding yarn into balls), but I prefer to simply pull off floss as needed. With skeins, this is very easy. With hanks, you have to remove the labels and treat the floss with care to avoid getting tangles.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 07-29-2005, 06:19 PM
MissGypsy MissGypsy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiminy
Embroidery floss comes packaged in similar skeins or hanks, BTW. Some emboiderers actually take time to wind the skeins onto bobbins (the emboidery equivalent of winding yarn into balls), but I prefer to simply pull off floss as needed. With skeins, this is very easy. With hanks, you have to remove the labels and treat the floss with care to avoid getting tangles.
Then what's your trick for pulling off the floss without tangling the skein? Mine always tangle. I must be doing it wrong.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 07-29-2005, 09:20 PM
Kiminy Kiminy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by MissGypsy
Then what's your trick for pulling off the floss without tangling the skein? Mine always tangle. I must be doing it wrong.
First, don't remove the labels--they hold the floss in place. Take the loose end of the floss (which should be sticking out one end of the skein, rather than from in between the labels) in one hand, and hold the skein loosely by the label closest to the end you are holding. Pull the floss slowly, with resistance against the label, not the skein of floss itself. It's okay if the opposite end of the skein (and the second label) move up to the label you are holding. The floss itself should pull straight through the label and out of the skein. It also doesn't matter which end of the floss you pull, unlike yarn.

These instructions may not make sense, I'll admit. I've been doing it for almost 35 years now, so it's second nature. I tried to teach my daughter how to do it in person, and she never did really get it--but she can't figure out how to thread the needle, either. If you go to a needlework shop that sells floss though, anyone there can probably show you.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 07-30-2005, 02:48 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
I've used your method for pulling embroidery floss, and it always always always tangles.

So far as I know, it is the rule rather than exception for embroiderers to wind their floss onto bobbins. It's much easier to get at and organize that way (in those boxes) aside from the tangling thing. Plus the bobbin holds a half thread (I'm not sure if that's the right term -- the leftover 2, 3, or 4 threads when you work on 2 or 3 threads) much better than wrapping it around the label of a skein
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 07-30-2005, 06:02 PM
ivylass ivylass is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by dlack
So it's a common practice to unwind a skein of yarn and the rewind it into a ball?
I don't. I knit from pulling from the middle of the skein until I get about 3/4 knitted up, then I wind what's left into a ball.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 07-31-2005, 10:48 AM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Mrs Blather owns a yarn store so I got the "straight dope". Many posters have hit on it already. First, as JayJay mentioned, there is a difference between a skein and a hank. A skein is an oblong ball, a hank is just a yarn wrapped in loops. As several poster mentioned, yarn is kept in hanks so that it does not get stretched. A hank may also be loosely twisted on itself for shipping and storage, but it can be untwisted to be put on a swift.

You can knit directly from balls and skeins. Skeins can be pulled from the center, as can balls that are made using a ball winder (a really cool gift for your knitter acquaintences).
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 07-31-2005, 12:10 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
That didn't answer the question at all, though I appreciate your input. Many, many people rewind the skein (the majority of poeple that I know at least) because it gets tangled coming off.

Why doesn't it come in balls? Your answer, so far as I can see is, "skeins are good enough" -- but they aren't to many people.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 07-31-2005, 12:30 PM
DanBlather DanBlather is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
That didn't answer the question at all, though I appreciate your input. Many, many people rewind the skein (the majority of poeple that I know at least) because it gets tangled coming off.

Why doesn't it come in balls? Your answer, so far as I can see is, "skeins are good enough" -- but they aren't to many people.
Mrs B says that a centerpull skein (as opposed to a hank) should be good enough, but occasionaly you will run across a non-centerpull skein that will need to be wound into a ball. and that "some beginners think it is neccessary to wind a skein into a ball". Maybe it's like the old joke about cutting an inch off the end of the roast.

At Mrs B's store she winds hanks into balls for free as a service to customers.
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 07-31-2005, 01:20 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by DanBlather
Mrs Blather owns a yarn store
Did I ever tell you you're my favorite poster? No, really. I'm serious. C'mon, would I kid you? No, no...really, it has nothing to do with the fact that you're married to my equivalent of a crack supplier. Nothing at all. Nope...
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 07-31-2005, 03:31 PM
amarinth amarinth is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Emerald City, WA, USA
Posts: 8,378
And in Portland, too.
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 07-31-2005, 03:50 PM
MissGypsy MissGypsy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiminy
First, don't remove the labels--they hold the floss in place. Take the loose end of the floss (which should be sticking out one end of the skein, rather than from in between the labels) in one hand, and hold the skein loosely by the label closest to the end you are holding. Pull the floss slowly, with resistance against the label, not the skein of floss itself. It's okay if the opposite end of the skein (and the second label) move up to the label you are holding. The floss itself should pull straight through the label and out of the skein. It also doesn't matter which end of the floss you pull, unlike yarn.

These instructions may not make sense, I'll admit. I've been doing it for almost 35 years now, so it's second nature. I tried to teach my daughter how to do it in person, and she never did really get it--but she can't figure out how to thread the needle, either. If you go to a needlework shop that sells floss though, anyone there can probably show you.
Neat, I tried that, and it worked! (Seems my grandma didn't know what she was doing.) No more tangly floss, here. Thanks!
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 07-31-2005, 04:58 PM
Kiminy Kiminy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
That didn't answer the question at all, though I appreciate your input. Many, many people rewind the skein (the majority of poeple that I know at least) because it gets tangled coming off.

Why doesn't it come in balls? Your answer, so far as I can see is, "skeins are good enough" -- but they aren't to many people.
It boils down to the fact that skeins are easier to package, ship, and shelve than balls are.

Skeins are tube-shaped, making it easy to add a product label (or two, as in the case of embroidery floss) to identify the manufacturer, the product, the color, and the lot number, without needing a lot of sticky stuff that could potentially damage the merchandise. You can't put that kind of information on a ball nearly as easily.

You can fit skeins easily into rectangular boxes, without wasting space, mainly because they are squishy. (Sorry for the technical terms here.) Balls are generally not very squishy, and tend to leave a lot of excess space around them when they are packed in boxes. Therefore, you can fit more skeins than balls in any box of a given size.

Once in the store, the skeins can be easily stacked on shelves in plain view of the customer. While they are often put into rack-type shelves, they do not need to be. Balls, on the other hand, tend to roll off of shelves very easily, which creates clutter in the store, and has a higher risk of damaging the merchandise if the yarn should come loose of the ball as it is rolling.
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 07-31-2005, 05:05 PM
Kiminy Kiminy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
I've used your method for pulling embroidery floss, and it always always always tangles.

So far as I know, it is the rule rather than exception for embroiderers to wind their floss onto bobbins. It's much easier to get at and organize that way (in those boxes) aside from the tangling thing. Plus the bobbin holds a half thread (I'm not sure if that's the right term -- the leftover 2, 3, or 4 threads when you work on 2 or 3 threads) much better than wrapping it around the label of a skein
I did try putting floss on bobbins at one point, but it seemed like it used up a lot of the time that could be better spent actually stitching. I also couldn't see how bobbins were any good at storing cut lengths, and I have no problems simply pulling what I need off the skein when I need it.

I use small craft zipper plastic bags to store floss, with one color per bag. Cut lengths go in the bag with the skein, so they don't get separated, and I know what color is what. I put holes in the corners of the bags, and put all the bags for a given project on a loose leaf ring, with the colors in numerical order. I take the color I am currently using off the ring, so that if I have to stop, I know exactly what I was doing the next time I pick it up. It keeps the floss neat and clean, and makes it very easy for me to find a particular color. I also do some very complicated designs, sometimes with dozens of colors, and this is the only system I've found to keep myself organized without wasting time just being organized.
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 07-31-2005, 05:10 PM
ouryL ouryL is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: 21 20' N 157 55' W
Posts: 6,409
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hello Again
Most knitters and crocheters that I am aware of take a skein of yarn and wind it into a ball so that the yard will roll off as they work.

Why doesn't yarn come in a ball to begin with?

Having just wound the World's Largest Skein (780 meters!) into the the World's Largest Yarn Ball this question is fresh in my mind.
If it were in balls, it'd be a pain to weave with. Besides, don't we want the yarn to be as fluffy as possible. Wound in balls might make it thread like.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 07-31-2005, 05:44 PM
BobLibDem BobLibDem is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
I think it would be because if you stack balls on a display stand they would be more liable to get knocked over by customers.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 07-31-2005, 05:59 PM
rocking chair rocking chair is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
then why not put the ball of yarn in a nifty wee box with the labels on the box and a wee hole on the top for the yarn to feed through?

the boxes would pack well and you would have all the label room you need and it wouldn't get the yarn tangled and dusty on the shelf.
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 07-31-2005, 06:06 PM
jayjay jayjay is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocking chair
then why not put the ball of yarn in a nifty wee box with the labels on the box and a wee hole on the top for the yarn to feed through?

the boxes would pack well and you would have all the label room you need and it wouldn't get the yarn tangled and dusty on the shelf.
Because boxage is an additional expense that the spinner doesn't HAVE to go through, and there's no major outcry for pre-balled yarn that would justify going to that expense. You also have to remember that except for the major manufacturers (Caron, Lion Brand, etc) an awful lot of yarn suppliers are small family enterprises that raise their own sheep (alpacas, goats, etc) and spin the yarn on a small scale. There isn't near enough profit margin as it is let alone introducing a major retool in production.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 07-31-2005, 07:02 PM
Kiminy Kiminy is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocking chair
then why not put the ball of yarn in a nifty wee box with the labels on the box and a wee hole on the top for the yarn to feed through?

the boxes would pack well and you would have all the label room you need and it wouldn't get the yarn tangled and dusty on the shelf.
The square box would still take up more room than a skein of the same amount of yarn, not to mention the additional packaging costs that jayjay mentions.
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 07-31-2005, 07:11 PM
dangermom dangermom is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2000
I use Kiminy's floss-pulling technique and rarely have problems. I don't like bobbins either, for the same reason. One thing I pay some attention to is the way the thread is going--I always thread it going the same direction off the skein and store it so that I know which end is which. That way, you can stitch in the direction the floss was orignally spun in, and the floss doesn't get so fuzzy. It stays fairly smooth. I know it sounds boring and obsessive, but I don't have to think about it, I just do everything the same way all the time.
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 09-02-2011, 02:25 PM
rmilo rmilo is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Sep 2011
worlds largest skein

Unfortunately, but proudly, the worlds largest skein is a bit larger than 780 meters. Last year i was happy to help Pluckyfluff make the worlds largest hand-spun skein of yarn totaling a whopping 10.5 miles. She just started the process of getting it in the guiness book. You can see it in the process on you tube, or at the Pluckyfluff website. It is also being shown this weekend and next week at the 1st annual Yarnival!! at Boeger winery in california. If you watch the video, this is the guy in the green over-alls.
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 09-02-2011, 03:34 PM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Portlandia
Posts: 27,258
So would a 'skein of yarns' be another way of saying a pack of lies?
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 09-02-2011, 03:47 PM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
This is a really funny old thread for me. I've learned a lot about yarn since then!
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:01 PM
Septima Septima is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
FWIW, everyday yarn here (Norway + Scandinavia in general) comes in loosely wound ball, while skeins is usually reserved for fancy stuff. Don't know why.
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:30 PM
VOW VOW is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Apr 2002
In my experience, sometimes embroidery floss skeins cooperate, and sometimes they don't. I do like the floss bobbins, and they don't take very long to wind. I haven't embroidered in a while, and I need to get back to it. In a perfect world, there would be a floor lamp using a natural sunlight bulb, that would also contain an arm with a magnifying lens on it for embroidery fans with aging eyeballs.


~VOW
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 09-02-2011, 05:40 PM
Darth Panda Darth Panda is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Firstly, if they were sold by the balls, when we would ever get to use the word skein?

Second, why the paucity of balls jokes?

Third, we resurrected this thread on thread to talk about the world's largest skein, but I see no mention of the world's largest balls.

eta: also something about zombie balls

Last edited by Darth Panda; 09-02-2011 at 05:41 PM..
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 09-02-2011, 09:00 PM
postcards postcards is offline
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2001
Location: The other Long Beach.
Posts: 3,061
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darth Panda View Post
Third, we resurrected this thread on thread to talk about the world's largest skein, but I see no mention of the world's largest balls.
Well, rmilo has pretty big balls to resurrect this thread just to promote his video.
__________________
Talking Pictures
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 10-17-2011, 09:20 PM
rumbera rumbera is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
display

When you buy yarn you want to see the colors, the repeat if it is patterned, feel the texture etc. If the yarn is in a ball it is harder to feel because it is tight and to gauge the squooshiness or softness you'd have to unwind it. With a skein or hank you can just grab and squeeze-like charmin.
The larger surface area of a skein also shows the colors better especially if there is a pattern. If there is a long repeat or the color is slowly graduated it is possible for the outer layer of yarn to look nothng like what is inside.A long skein is more representative of how the yarn will work up when knit or crocheted.
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 10-18-2011, 01:34 AM
Rachellelogram Rachellelogram is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
I would go to a Yarnival based on the name alone. It sounds like pun!
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 10-18-2011, 02:31 AM
Mangetout Mangetout is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: May 2001
Location: England (where it rains)
Posts: 50,172
Is dyeing at all pertinent here?
If not dyed in the wool, Yarn is usually wound loosely in skeins for dyeing, because winding it tighter would result in an uneven colour (for the same reason that makes tie-dye processes work) - afterwards, it may be rewound into balls, or not.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 10-18-2011, 05:42 AM
constanze constanze is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Where do you buy yarn that you only get skeins and not balls, or have to rewind the into balls? I usually buy 50g skeins that roll of by themselves (after poking at bit inside to get the proper start), or balls that have been rolled onto a solid cardboard core. The cones I only get when I buy big supplies of yarn at church bazars for used stuff and it's not special yarn.
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 10-18-2011, 06:47 AM
Ferret Herder Ferret Herder is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Yarn sold by the skein or hank is pretty common in the US, whether in large stores or small knitting specialty shops. In fact, I don't know that I've seen yarn sold in ball form or around a cardboard core (except in big cones), but the "self-feeding" skeins (pull the end from inside the skein and knit) are easy to find. Nicer yarns may only come in "hanks" - basically figure-eight pattern to the yarn and keep adding more loops, then fix in the middle and wrap a paper sleeve around it or on one end. Alternately, make big stacked loops of yarn, then twist up into a long bundle. Those styles need to be turned into balls before knitting.

Last edited by Ferret Herder; 10-18-2011 at 06:50 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 10-18-2011, 06:55 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ferret Herder View Post
Yarn sold by the skein or hank is pretty common in the US, whether in large stores or small knitting specialty shops. In fact, I don't know that I've seen yarn sold in ball form or around a cardboard core (except in big cones), but the "self-feeding" skeins (pull the end from inside the skein and knit) are easy to find. Nicer yarns may only come in "hanks" - basically figure-eight pattern to the yarn and keep adding more loops, then fix in the middle and wrap a paper sleeve around it or on one end. Alternately, make big stacked loops of yarn, then twist up into a long bundle. Those styles need to be turned into balls before knitting.
Its funny when you find an old thread of yours an you say "damn, I was ignorant then!" So at least I've learned something over the years.

The only yarn I have in cones was bought from a UK seller -- other than that, there is one store in NYC where you can buy leftover manufacturer's cones. Truthfully neither of these were packaged for hand knitters - the yarns are treated with machine oil for machine knitting so you have to uncone them, skein them loosely, and wash them before use in handwork anyway.

In "Big box" craft stores you almost never see hanks, mostly center-pull skeins, but at the high-end hanks are the norm (I just got back from a yarn and wool festival, and almost everything was hanks.)
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 10-18-2011, 08:58 AM
Hello Again Hello Again is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 1999
By the the way, the skein that prompted the original question was a center pull skein I just didn't realize it at the time -- making DanBlather's wife quite correct in her response (to paraphrase... "sounds like a rookie mistake").

Last edited by Hello Again; 10-18-2011 at 08:58 AM..
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 10-19-2011, 04:26 AM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
Guest
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Septima View Post
FWIW, everyday yarn here (Norway + Scandinavia in general) comes in loosely wound ball, while skeins is usually reserved for fancy stuff. Don't know why.
Because the everyday yarn is probably mass-produced by big suppliers, who have the machinery to wind it into balls. The fancier yarn is often produced by smaller operations, even just family ones, and they don't have machinery to make balls, they just do it manually into skeins.

Also, as rumbera mentioned, buyers want to see and feel the pattern & colors of the yarn, especially the fancier stuff. That can be done more easily if it's in skeins.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:18 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to: cecil@chicagoreader.com

Send comments about this website to: webmaster@straightdope.com

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to: sdsubscriptions@chicagoreader.com.

Copyright 2013 Sun-Times Media, LLC.