Having a yarn winder is handy when you purchase yarn that comes in hanks. However, not everyone has one. Often you can have it done at the yarn shop, but you can do it yourself if needed too. Here's how.
**Throughout this process it is important not to wind the yarn tightly. Keep it light and loose. This is better for the yarn in the long run and makes the center-pull aspect work better.**
1. Tension your hank around something like someone's hands or a couple of chairs. You can also lay it flat on a table or your lap, but that's asking for tangles. Believe me!
2. Take one end and hold it in your left hand (or right if you're a lefty). You'll want to leave a long tail hanging down past your palm. This is your center, so don't lose it. If you have trouble keeping track of it, tuck it into your watch band or under a rubber band around your wrist.
3. Begin by winding the yarn loosely around 2 or 3 of your fingers.
4. When you've got a nice bunch on your fingers, slide it off and flatten the loop between your fingers. Some YouTube videos show that you should fold over this part before moving on, but I find this makes it more difficult to wind the next part. So I just leave it flat. If it sticks out, who cares. It just needs to work.
5. Still keeping the beginning end towards your palm, begin winding the yarn around the compressed loops. Remember, don't wind tightly. When you have a nice bump you're ready for the next step.
6. Tilt the yarn ball a bit and start winding the yarn on at a bit of an angle. Keep the beginning end down by your palm.
7. When you've got a nice bump rotate the ball slightly and wind on at an angle in a new spot keeping the beginning end of the yarn down by your palm. Continue rotating slightly and winding on at an angle. This doesn't have to look like it was done with a ball winder so don't worry about rotating it every time you wind on. Just keep making bumps of yarn.
8. As you wind the ball will grow bigger and bigger. Throughout your winding be sure that you keep the beginning end down by your palm.
9. When you're near the end of your yarn, wind it around the middle of the ball and tuck the end underneath it. See how the beginning end of the yarn is still hanging down from the bottom of my ball?
10. Here's a view of the bottom with the beginning end hanging out. That center bump is the yarn that I wound around my fingers. As you begin pulling on the yarn end, that bump is what you will use first. If you wind the yarn around it too tightly you'll have trouble getting it to feed out as you use it.
I hope this is helpful. It's not a video, but sometimes still photos are helpful since you don't have to rewind.