Because of the popularity of hand dyeing, much yarn is produced in a hank format. A hank is a loosely wound coil of yarn tied in at least one place to keep it from tangling. Before using a hank it must be wound into a ball. A ball winder and swift make this a fast process. If you don’t have these tools, yarn can be wound into a center-pull ball by hand or by using a simple hand-tool called a nostepinne. The following shows you how to make a center-pull ball by hand.
Untie the hank and drape the coil over the back of a chair, a person can stretch the hank between their hands, or you can use a swift, like I did.
Find one of the ends of the hank, and pull some of the yarn carefully so it doesn’t tangle. Yarn can simply be wound into a ball by continually wrapping the yarn over and around, however these will roll around on you.
Better yet is making a center-pull ball by hand. To make a center-pull ball, open your hand so it faces you. Lay the yarn across your palm, leaving a long tail hanging free.
Wind yarn in a figure 8 around your thumb and index finger about 15 times. Remove the figure 8 from your hand and fold in half, holding the long tail that now hangs from the center.
Wind all the yarn into a ball while holding your thumb over the center tail.
Now you have a center-pull ball which is easy to work with.