Thursday, November 3, 2011

Tips: Chinese Knotting Cord - Unwinding Skeins

Some of the Chinese Knotting Cord comes in skeins of about 82 yards each. The Medium Weight is about 1.2 to 1.5 mm in diameter and the Fine Weight, about 0.8 mm in diameter. The skeins are hand wound so yardage is approximate. Dye lot vary as the skeins are hand dyed. The dye lots of the Medium and Fine weight cord do not always match. For your convenience in addition to skeins, I also sell these cords by 10 yard cards bypassing your having to deal with skeins > Chinese Knotting Cord

If you get Chinese Knotting Cord by skeins, here is the best way to unwind them:

Untwist the skein carefully and place it on a umbrella swift or skein winder. I prefer my swift vertically as shown in this picture below. Lay the skein as evenly as possible before removing the ties. Untie the knots at the ends. It is fairly clear where the ends are, they are knotted together and create the tie that encircle the skein.  Before proceeding, tuck the end you are not using into the spoke so it will be out of your way. Then unwind the skein onto a spool or a card.

If you do not have a swift, use the arms of a friend, the back of a chair, or any other way to keep the skein open.

Occasionally the cord is hard to unwind. Resist the impulse to pull the cord over and under - do this as a last resort only. Sometimes moving the cord or turning the skein around on the swift does the trick. It loosens the cord, making unwinding easier again.

See Chinese Knotting Cord Selections > Chinese Knotting Cord
Get an Umbrella Swift/Skein Winder > Tool Section
Read a weaving entry written by Peggy Ostercamp >  Unwinding Skeins