How to start a new ball of yarn

All yarn balls have a beginning and (sadly! 😔) an end too. Curious fact for those who never even questioned it: there is a difference between the two tails of a yarn ball, that has been so beautifully wound by special winding machines.

Choosing either of the two ends to start a new ball of yarn has quite different effects on the way it unravels while knitting or crocheting: as you pull on the thread, the ball could be starting to roll around and away from you (who will be constantly trying to put it back in place) or it could stay still by using a simple trick.

In this blog post, we will talk about this easy hack: how to start a new ball of yarn (preventing it from unceasingly moving around while you’re working)? 😄

Please note ⚠️ We are talking about balls! Yarn rolls and skeins are a different chapter that will be explored soon.

How to pull the inner end out of a yarn ball

Watch the video tutorial on How to find the beginning of a yarn ball!

Be it extra-fine mohair or chunky yarn like our Cool Wool, looking for the inner end of a yarn ball is always the best choice and works almost every time (you’ll see why we say “almost” in a bit).

How to start a new ball of yarn

Working with the inner end of the ball will avoid some troubles. For example, you won’t have to pick it up from the ground if it rolls away from you. Also, every time your working yarn runs short, no more manually unwinding it to release more and continue.

Finding the inner end doesn’t require any special skill: you will only have to insert your thumb and index finger through the center hole of the ball, and poke around until you find a tail. You might prefer to pull out a small quantity of yarn to spot the end more easily and carefully unravel it. This way, the yarn will unravel from the inside by simply pulling on the it, and the ball will stay still.


Is looking for the inner end always a good idea?

There’s not-so-good news though: looking for the inner end of a yarn ball is not always as successful. Sometimes, it can happen that the ball you have, due to the specific winding process it went through, was not meant to be worked using the center-pull method. In this case, trying to pull the inner end out of the ball will only leave you with a gigantic yarn disaster, which apparently doesn’t have any head nor tail.

To avoid over-tangling the yarn and make it unusable, put the yarn back inside the center hole and take the easier (yet annoying) way: using the outer end.

Outer end: how to work smarter

How to start a new ball of yarn

Finding the outer end is surely easier, but as you are working, the ball won’t stop falling off on the floor and moving around. In case you already started working this way, here are some tips to work better:

  • Keep the ball of yarn inside a tote bag, a box or a small container to avoid stains and dirt (especially if it’s a light color)
  • If you are working while standing, you can try to widen the center hole and put your hand through it, so that the ball sits on your wrist as if it was a bracelet

Knitting while standing

…can you recognize this stitch? Go check out the pattern and tutorial!

Let us know in the comment section below if you’d ever tried to pull the inner end out of a ball or if you stay part of the #outerend team! 😄

Remember to share your creations on Instagram using the hashtag #bettaknit!


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