Toilet Paper and Twisted Yarn

So I posted this blog post over at my knitting shop's blog yesterday:

I think it's a really fun thing to think about. It's nowhere near as entertaining as "Knittingman"s blogs, but hopefully it's helpful.

The topic is a comparison between yarn and toilet paper that helps explain the best way to pull yarn off of a yarn ball. (Preview: You should pull yarn off as if it's a roll of toilet paper.)



New York Built's picture

HuskerChub wrote a doctoral thesis here about this phenomenon.

I bought a single and a double Yarn Buddie from Sun Valley Fibers.

49 different kinds of wood...drove me crazy with tool desire.

There was a lengthy discussion here about this...and I found the additional twist added by center pull and/or side pull as HuskerChub demonstrated and Thomas quotes here again is absolutely true.

Changes gauge, stretch and character of the spun yarn. Even with side pull, the yarn ball must be on it's side...and I disliked my butch Home Depot solution of toilet roll spinner and glue clamps.

Failed to work well on the subway, and the police looked at me warily.

Yarn Buddies

Every person I encounter teaches me more about myself. Without whom not.

Thunderhorse54's picture

I never realized this. I will pull from the outside of the skein from now on.

Crafty Andy's picture

You actually add twist depending on the way it was plied and the way you wind it. If it was plied clockwise and you wind the ball clockwise, you are adding twist to the yarn. Wind your yarn by hand or gadget you either add or take away twist from the yarn. You also add twist if you knit continental and or are a thrower. You may want to do this on purpose or not.

Thomasknits's picture

It could go either way (add or subtract twist), depending on which direction you pull off the ball (see the video with the toilet paper in the linked video).

As long as you use a swift and ball winder, the way the ball winder works doesn't add or subtract any twist (all of the winding and unwinding happen in the same plane, like a movie reel).


Crafty Andy's picture

Thank you for sharing. I think that HuskerChub was a bit more intense in his description. lol

Tallguy's picture

But you should also realize that you are adding or removing twist when you wind the ball by hand! It all depends on whether you wind right or left-hand, whether you wind away or towards yourself, and then the resulting way you take the yarn off or out of the ball. That is why yarns comes in various forms for hand knitting, or machine knitting or for weaving.

This yarn stuff is more complicated than one first assumes!!

mn-don's picture

I also purchased 2 yarn buddies, a single and a double. Most of the time they work perfectly but every now and then. Even with the occasional hitch I use them all the time.