Thursday, December 10, 2009

Creating Yarn Balls

I'm wanting to shout, "Calgon take me away!" Boy does that date me. For you youngsters, Calgon was a bubble bath that was advertised years ago. Supposedly, every mother and business women who'd had a frantic day, longs for a luxurious bubble bath all to herself and I'd love a non smelly one right now(Do they make such a thing?) with a good book. I'd even settle for time to work on Christmas but Kirk's new web-site is up in Wordpress and I've no idea how to do anything in that program let alone seven or so pages of things. So far I've managed to dog pile three different, of varying sizes, knife pictures on top of one another. Then I spent over an hour trying to figure out how to fix the problem. Shortly before that I down loaded and lost a knife picture six times before I figured out where they all were. They were in the Media Library of course. If Blogspot has one I haven't stumbled across it yet. One would call me computer challenged but that would be an extreme understatement.

On top of that hurry rush job that's taking me forever, a magazine from Greece contacted Kirk and wants an interview, "Great!" -- for him -- but I'm stuck with the list of questions in which to make up answers. Ones of course my dear husband would reply if he spoke that eloquently. We've learned if you give the magazine writers lots of good quotes to use in their articles you have a better control over what's written and from the writers stand point a easier article to write, and a more interesting read for the subscribers. I dread the task profusely and drag my feet every time. I guess that means I'd make a terrible ghost writer or a very reluctant one anyway.

Child's size hat with a double thick layer around the ear and lower head section that I spun ultra soft Merino wool for and knitted. It sits in the drawer for any grand child brave enough to go out with me in this weather. The wool is ultra soft Merino.

But I promised you, dear readers of my blog, a continuation of things to do with toilet paper roll centers, specifically for knitting and crocheting. So though I should be shooting knife photos for my husband's new web-page and knife photos with guns as the writer requested for the magazine, I'm putting you first for the moment. After all, you are very important to me and a whole lot more fun to visit with than what awaits me when I finish.

So here we go. The yarn I' working with is part of an Alpaca fleece I spinning into a fairly fine yarn. It is sitting on my kniddy knoddy ( a spinners tool for yarn). Yes, it sounds like something demoted to the corner and it often sits there waiting for me. Sorry, I forgot to tell you what I'm going to make with the toilet paper core didn't I? Oh well, I'll leave it a surprise. Don't you just love surprises? No --well just keep reading and looking at the pictures it will soon all be revealed. Those of you who already know, be quiet and let the other ones guess. Now where was I? Oh yeah, I passed the yarn through a toilet paper hole and clipped it to the other end with a large paper clip, a small one will do.

Then I pulled the yarn around the body of the tube wrapping it around and around for about a third of the toilet paper roll, use a smaller area if you haven't much yarn. Then I kept winding but in a exaggerated slant position to the right, covering my wound yarn. ( /// like this only more slanted than the computer sign would allow me to show you) I did this for about ten winds and then wound around the tube straight up and down in the middle for about three rotations, and switched directions with the yarn winding to the left for ten rounds. (This will form an X.) Next, I turned the toilet paper core a quarter turn so that I was winding in another spot. In this manner the ball remains even. Now was that "clear as mud"? - one of my husbands sayings.
When done it looked like this. Okay, I'm not done. I'll admit there is more yarn to wind on and you can see it in the corner but homespun yarn needs to be stored in a no stress loop, not in a ball and I'm not ready to knit with it yet. I've still more Alpaca to comb and spin so I've got to wind all this yarn back off when I'm finished with this blog. See how dedicated to your education I am.

If I were done then I would tuck the kniddy knoddy end under a wrapped yarn.

The other end fastened with a paper clip is released from the clip and then I pull the tube out. This form of ball with an open center allows the yarn to relax rather than remain under tension - important when working with natural fibers and beneficial with artificial ones as well. This also allows you to pull your yarn from the center to knit and crochet leaving your ball stationary and not rolling all over the floor enticing the cat to play with it. The yarn keeps from tangling also.

My daughter, who is the assistant editor for Crochet, a magazine published by Interweave Press, has a lovely commercial ball winder which does essentially the same thing but a whole lot faster. It cost a whole lot more than my toilet paper roll cores too. I'd say I was cheap but I just bought some camel down to spin and I've chosen to spend my money on fibers. She on the other hand needs hers as she's lots of store skeins to wind into balls to do projects for the magazine.

If your tired of dealing with tangled skeins then try a toilet paper ball next time for your knitting and crocheting projects. Now that sounds like a advertisement.

Don't forget to check out the comments at the bottom of the Roll On blog. Joanna tells about using toilet paper centers for seed starters and Jenny explains how to use them with dryer lint to make fire starters. I've learned a lot this week. Thanks for sharing!!!

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