Centre pull balls of yarn are so useful for different kinds of knitting. Especially when knitting colourwork, I like working from two-tone or two-layer centre pull balls. How and when?
I often wind two different yarns (different colours and/or weights) separately into one centre pull ball. I just start winding one yarn on the inside – keep it on the ballwinder – and then add a second layer of yarn on the outside. This yarn preparation allows me to knit comfortably with two different yarns in one project: one end of yarn from the centre and the other end from the outside.
Two-tone centre pull balls make yarn management easier in different knitting techniques:
- with both strands held together, as in marled knitting, see Cecelia Campocharo – Making Marls. A Sourcebook for Multistrand Handknitting;
- with separate strands as in stranded colourwork, in twined knitting and in striped knitting; and
- in a combination of the two techniques mentioned before, as in marlisle: a combination of marled and Fair Isle or stranded knitting, see Anna Maltz – Marlisle: A New Direction in Knitting .
The main photo shows a two-tone yellow yarn ball for Gloed, a shaped intarsia pattern that I recently designed for Making No. 10 / INTRICATE. The yarn in the centre is Le Petit Lambswool by Biches & Bûches in Yellow Mustard and the yarn on the outside is naturally dyed Silk Cloud by The Dutch Yarn Barn in Berk. For Gloed I wound six similar balls (see photo below), each containing two different yarns, one ball for each surface/colour. Every surface in that particular pattern consists of a fingering weight yarn paired with a lace weight mohair and silk yarn.
The first time I read about two-colour balls for colour knitting was in a book on a Swedish colour knitting technique: twined knitting. See Carla Meijsen – So Warm! Twined Knitting . Later on I discovered that these balls are very useful for other knitting techniques too. There are many advantages for different techniques:
- when knitting with two colours, as in marlisle, in stranded knitting, in twined knitting and in knitting stripes, there’s less tangling in your projectbag since there’s only one ball attached to the knitting, instead of two balls.
- when marling with two different yarn weights held together, you will often use more length of the thicker weight than of the thinner weight, since the thicker yarn knits up faster than the thinner yarn.
After a while, the thinner of the two strands will form a loop. You don’t have this problem when winding the two strands separately as described above: in a two-tone centre pull ball each strand gets used up at its own pace.
- after finishing the project, you can easily separate the two yarns and rewind those into single strand balls again.
Planning and preparing your yarns into two-tone centre pull balls may take a little longer, but in the end it saves you time and it makes the knitting process so much more fun and relaxed. Enjoy the combinations of colours and textures while winding your yarn balls!