Brenda K.B. Anderson

Winding a Ball from a Hank Without a Swift

Brenda K.B. Anderson
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Duration:   6  mins

Have you ever wondered how to use yarn that is wound into a hank? Or perhaps you’ve never heard of a “hank” before? In this video, Brenda explains what a hank is and how you cannot crochet directly from a hank of yarn. Instead, you must wind it into a ball first. Many people use special ball-winding equipment for this: a ball-winder and a swift. These tools can be expensive, so Brenda offers another way to wind your hank into a ball without any special equipment.

In this video, Brenda demonstrates how she likes to wind a hank into a ball by using her knees. There are alternatives to this—you can use the back of a chair, a large lampshade, two jugs of juice on a table (these must be full and set apart from each other), or a friend’s set of arms.

Brenda begins by untwisting the hank so that it becomes a large loop. She examines the loop to make sure that it isn’t twisted before placing it around her knees. Brenda shows us how to find the smaller strands of yarn that tie the hank into place, and how to cut and remove them. She explains that the two ends of the hank are usually are tied together to one of the shorter ties, and that you need to untie or cut them loose to begin winding. As she winds the yarn into a ball, she follows the arc of the hank around her knees instead of pulling the yarn from the center. This helps to avoid tangling as the ball is wound.

Brenda mentions that you can wind a center-pull ball instead (see this video for a demonstration), but that since she uses a yarn-bowl to contain her yarn while crocheting, she is just winding a regular ball.

Those beautiful hanks of yarn will no longer intimidate you now that you know how to use them!

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One Response to “Winding a Ball from a Hank Without a Swift”

  1. Kimberly Henry-Karr

    How about a technique for people whose legs can't bend like that? I dislocated my hip some years ago - my days of sitting like the instructor are loooong over.

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