Finding the End of Yarn the Yarn at the Center of the Skein

I have been asked a few times if there is a secret to finding the end of yarn, at the center of the skein. Unfortunately the answer is no. I am working with both skeins shown in the image, in a new project, that I started this morning. I found the end pretty easy with the skein of yarn on the right. It happened to be sticking out. I wound up with a big mess, with the skein on the left, so all I can do is wrap the yarn around the skein until I get to the end. It is really hit and miss, 40-60, with finding the end in the center of yarn. 40% of the time I will find it, 60% of the time I get a big yarn-ball mess.


  1. More times than I care to count, I have ended up with a big ole mess myself!!!!!!!!! It drove me absolutely nuts!!!!!!!!!!! I also find the end pretty easy sometimes, but, and its a mighty big but, most of the time, I have knots and tangles and the scream you hear is me. LOLOLOL

  2. Harold2,
    I bet you and others have heard my screams over the years too, lolol. This is something all needle workers share in common at one time or another.

  3. Don't you hate when that happens?!? I always try and remember (operative word there is T R Y.) to locate the center end before buying a skein. That doesn't always happen though. So I, too, struggle with the pop out mass that happens at the most importune times. Maybe adding a "Pull here" tab??? ;)

  4. I agree, it's soooo annoying. Maybe it's my imagination, but there seems to be a direct correlation between the price paid for the yarn and the "mess" it makes trying to find the end.

    I wonder if the yarn companies care at all. Surely they've received complaints over the years...but nothing seems to ever be done about it.

    The only real solution is to purchase very, very expensive yarn from one of those snooty yarn shops...where they would really rather deal with knitters than the poor step-children...crocheters. They sell those fancy skeins of baby alpaca and other beautiful yarns, which cost an arm and a leg, or about the same as the entire national budget of some small countries.

    The knit shop people unfold that skein onto a winder, crank away, and voila! It's magically transformed into a beautiful, well proportioned, and untangled ball of yarn.

    I guess I'm just jealous. To ease my frustration, I always make it into a my grandma taught me, to avoid the knots and dead-ends of pulling from the center.

    Happy unraveling

  5. Actually the answer is fairly simply for me. After many tears and lost hairs, due to me pulling them out in tufts...I bought my self a yarn ball winder. Now I wind my own balls of yarn from those messes before I begin crocheting with them. Seemed like a luxary, but boy has it paid off with my sanity over and over again :o)

  6. Buying your own is such a good idea. Forgive my ignorance, but how does that yarn ball winder work with yarns that have already been processed at a factory?

    For instance, a skein of plain old Red Heart or Caron does that fit around the winder if you're pulling from the center?

    Sorry if that's a stupid question...I really can't visualize it. Thanks.

  7. Reply to alg:
    You are thinking of a swift. Thats what they use when the yarn is hand spun, for example, and layered into a circle, then twisted. (I don't know how else to explain it) What Deb was talking about is the ball winder. It clamps onto a table or counter top, you put the yarn end in a groove to hold it and spin the handle. It is much faster than winding a ball by hand. The knit shops use the swift to hold the yarn, and the ball winder to wind it.

  8. I think a yarn company that took the extra step to put a tab on that end would make a lot of extra money. I know if faced with one that does and one that doesn't, I would pick the one that had the tab unless the price was just too much extra. Maybe I need to come up with a marketing strategy and send it to all the yarn companies!

    I've heard that mass of yarn that comes out when you are trying to find the end described as yarn vomit. I had to laugh as it fit.


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