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Crocheting and Knitting
Wool

What does skein mean?

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May 03, 2015 5:10AM

After yarn is spun it is wound into a skein on a niddy-noddy or skein winder. A skein is a coil of yarn wound like a garden hose, with a circumference usually of 1-2 yards.

Before it is used for knitting, a skein is placed on a yarn swift which spins freely as the yarn is pulled from it, and the yarn is then wound into a center-pull ball, or cake with a nostapinne or ball winder. Alternately, an unwitting spouse can be used as a substitute swift by placing the skein of yarn over his hands and directing him to slowly move his hands side to side as the yarn is pulled off by the person winding. The back of a chair might also be used as a substitute swift.

Commercially prepared yarns already wound into a center-pull tube-less cone are often mistakenly called "skeins" because they resemble skeins that have been twisted for storage and because they lack the cardboard core typical to cones.