Have you ever had to ball yarn before? Trust me, it’s a pain. I found this video, which I had meant to put up earlier. Hubby bought this baller for me off eBay after he heard how long it took me to turn a skein of yarn into a ball (45 minutes or more). Both the umbrella and the winder came to under $40. Winding yarn into a ball now takes under 5 minutes, if you do it right.
The key is to ensure you start with the correct end. You will know you are using the right end if it is easy to unwind the yarn once you’ve put it on the umbrella, or on chair backs if working manually. If the strand gets tangled, you are probably starting with the wrong end.
Wind at a decent speed, not too fast and not too slow. By winding at the optimal speed, your ball will come out woven perfectly and easy to knit with. Hubby also told me that if I suddenly stop winding, the tension will get messed up and that’s when you can run into tangles. If you do run into tangling, you should stop to assess the situation before it gets out of hand. At one of the yarn shops I frequent that has a yarn baller, I have witnessed disasters. Fixing the disaster ends up being a 2-person manual job. Not fun.