Skein vs. Ball

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on Dec 19, 2008 10:57 AM

I taught myself to knit and crochet but there are a couple of questions I've never found answers to.

1.  Does one "have to" wind yarn into a "ball" before starting to knit or crochet?  I never do and don't seem to have a problem.  But for all I know I could be doing better.

2. Why do some patterns call for a certain number of balls and others for a certain number of skeins?  How do I translate that into something I can use to make sure I have purchased enough yarn, especially if I choose a different brand or type than what the pattern calls for?

I hope someone can help me with this.  There are a couple of patterns I have not attempts because I'm afraid I'll either buy too much or too little yarn.  (Though too much isn't exactly a problem, is it?)

Thank you,



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Posts 2
on Dec 29, 2008 8:21 AM

Good question Laura that's something I'd like to myself.  I hope someone can answere that for us.



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Posts 260
Tephra wrote
on Dec 29, 2008 9:08 AM

1. "It depends." All the yarn I have in skeins is centerpull so I don't have to rewind it. Hanks, which until I recieved my Christmas gift of some laceweight were something I never had to deal with, I'll be winding that into balls because loose hanks and cats don't mix.

2. Because some yarns are put up in balls and some in skeins and still others in hanks or cones. You need to go by yardage, not the put up, when determining how much yarn you need. A well written pattern will include how many yards are in a ball or skein of the called for yarn. Just multiply the per ball/skein yardage by the number of balls or skeins called for in the pattern. If the pattern doesn't list the yardage for the yarn you can try looking it up on Ravelry or Yarndex.

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Posts 13
Just Jo wrote
on Jan 20, 2009 9:13 PM


1. "It depends."


 So true.  If you need to rewind, you'll know it-the yarn will be stubborn and will not let you work.  Centerpull skeins are wonderful, no need to rewind!


2.  You need to go by yardage, not the put up, when determining how much yarn you need.

 Yup.  You can also go by ounces/grams if you're using similar weighted yarn.


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