How to wind a ball of yarn & my first KAL

I've started attending my first KAL (Knit along) :) And because I'm using skeins of wool, I thought it would be nice to show you how you can wind your own ball of yarn. This is useful for both winding a skein of yarn and sometimes you've got leftover yarn that you want to wind into a nice ball to store it.

I am taking part in the Cabled Afghan Knit Along on creativebug. It started two weeks ago and is intended for knitting beginners. Although I'm not a beginner, I like the afghan they're making. It's made of different knitted squares and a boarder all around the afghan. I've thought about making an afghan for quite some time but always hesitated. So, this was a great possibility for me that I just couldn't let go by. Step by step in 12 weeks the afghan is growing. This way, it's not that scary big project anymore. Also, there are some cute patterns included that I like. And who knows - there's always something new to learn! :)
Now it's week number 3 and I'm satisfied with my progress. I've made 4 out of 10 diagonal garter stich squares and the classic cable square from week 2. This weeks pattern is snake cables. (I didn't start that one yet)

What also made me join this free knitting class is that I had some yarn stashed that I bought some time ago. The yarn I'm using to make this afghan is Drops  you #3. This yarn  is not always available. And when I saw it at the yarn store, I just bought some skeins in baby pink, off white and red. The yarn is made of half wool and half alpaca. The thread is alternatly thick and thin which gives the knitted piece a very nice structure as you can see in the picture above.

But what always follows with bying skeins of yarn is winding them into a ball. If you've never done this before, you may need to find your method of choice and it also takes a little bit of practice, I think. (my first self-winded ball unwinded itself into a mess after knitting about half the ball ;) ) So, that this is not happening to you and you have to start untangle the yarn and wind again, I want to show you how you wind a nice ball of yarn by hand.

In the first step, unwind the skein, so you have one big strand (see picture 1 above). Somewhere this strand is tied. (picture 2 above) Untie it and you will see the beginning of the strand. I know some are "using" their partner to hold the strand for winding, but a pair of chairs, for example, will do the job as well :) (picture 3 above)

Now the actual winding can start. Hold the beginning between your little finger and ring finger and your hand and wind the strand around middle finger and index finger two times (like in picture 1 above). Now start winding around your fingers diagonally. Alternate direction after a while. When you have some yarn wound around your fingers, you can replace them with a long object in order to build a core. I like to use some big knitting needles. Carefully take out your fingers and replace with a "core object" of your choice. Then, always wind on the inside of your yarn ball, this means close to your core. (pictures 3 and 4 above) While winding, slowly rotate the core to get a nice and  even ball of yarn. (picture 5 above) When you're ready, tuck the end of the yarn in and carfully pull out the core.
TA-DAAA! :) A ready-to-knit ball of yarn! :)

Have a great summer weekend or an even better holiday week! :) I hope you're enjoying the summer! :)

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