Easily wind a centre pull ball of yarn (without a ball winder!)

Have you ever got yourself in a tangle trying to turn a skein of yarn in to a usable ball? Or chased a ball of yarn across the floor whilst wishing instead it could be centre pull yarn cake? But you don’t have a ball winder? No problem! Let me show you a really simple way to make your very own centre pull yarn cake using no equipment other than your own two hands!

Easy, gadget free, skein winding trick!

I just have to share with you all this awesome trick I learned recently!

Did you know that you can wind a skein of yarn using absolutely no gadgets? No need for a niddy noddy, or a swift, or even 2 dining chairs, this easy trick will let you make a skein of yarn using only your own arm!

It’s ideal for beginner spinners, particularly those who only spin on a drop spindle, as you can wind off your yarn without having to use any other gadgets. It’s also a great trick to know if you want to spin whilst out and about, or when travelling, as you don’t need to take any other equipment with you!

Let me know if you try it and it works for you!

Demystifying WPI

So you’ve bought a skein of hand spun yarn and it has some mystery code on it: “WPI”. What on Earth is it, what does it mean, and how is it going to help you?

Quite simply WPI stands for “Wraps Per Inch” and it’s the way that spinners calculate the weight of the yarn they have spun. But not only that, it is also incredibly useful if you’ve lost the tag for a ball of yarn and can’t remember what weight it was. Rather than blindly guessing, WPI will tell you exactly.

(Note: at this point it is useful to mention that when I say weight I don’t mean how heavy your ball of yarn is, you’ll need a set of scales for that! Rather I mean calculating whether your yarn is lace weight or super bulky)

Basically all you need to do is wrap your yarn around an object which has one inch marked on it, say a ruler, a pencil, or a specially made WPI gauge. Personally I use a little steel rule which I “acquired” from my husband’s desk (don’t worry, he’s got another!). Then the more wraps of your yarn that are required to fill up the whole of the marked inch, the finer the weight of your yarn. It really is quite simple!

Once you know your WPI you can then translate it into a yarn weight. There are several different tables available (some which I agree with and some which I definitely don’t!), so here is the table I use:

WPI Yarn Weight
>35 Lace
29-34 Heavy lace
23-28 Light fingering
19-22 Fingering
15-18 Sport
12-14 DK
9-11 Worsted
7-8 Bulky
<6 Super bulky

I have also written this out as a handy pdf which you can see here:  Yarn Weight from WPI.

And for those who prefer a video tutorial, I filmed myself measuring the WPI of one of my latest skeins. I hope you find it helpful!