How to turn a hank into a ball

It’s very tempting to buy hanks of artisan yarn, because the colour looks authentic and the fibre is sumptuously attractive  – just like a beautifully decorated wedding cake.  Then the thought of having to wind it into a ball before you can work with it can be daunting.  For those who may have been tricked into buying those beautiful hanks of yarn may curse their own temptations now.

Well, the task should not be as tedious as it looks.  Instead, the process is fun and therapeutic, so take a break and enjoy a quiet moment with your beloved artisan yarn.


manos del uruguay alegria

Note: If you decide to crochet or knit straight from the hank of yarn, the process will ultimately turn into a tangled mess, which can be chaotic.


Hanks are usually come twisted from a large ring of yarn. To make it easier to work with, it is better to wind it into a ball before use.

  1. Untwist the hank to reveal a big yarn circle.

hank into ball 1

  1. On the hank, find where it is tied together in two places.  Untie one knot at a time while keeping the circle of yarn in place. Use scissors to untie if need to, but be sure the correct strand from the knot is cut and ‘not’ the strand from the hank.

hank into ball 4

  1. Keep the circle of yarn in place.  Sitting on a comfortable chair, wrap the circle of yarn around both knees or find the backrest of another chair that can hold the circle in place, but without sliding off.

hank into ball 3

4.  From the circle, find one end of the yarn, this may be one of the ends from the knots.

5.  Wrap the yarn end around your index and middle fingers a few times to form the base for the ball.  Slip this out of your fingers, and then hold it with one hand (Fig. 1-4 below).

hank into ball 2

6.  With other hand, wind the yarn over the base a few times and change direction every few times as you wind.  Repeat until it forms into a large ball.  Continue until yarn runs out.

Tip: Only prepare the hank into a ball when you are ready to work on a new project.  Delaying this process can help preserving the shape of the strands, because winding it can stretch the wool, which may leave it out of shape.

Happy creating,



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