You know how most commercial yarn is wound into a skein that lets you draw the yarn from the inside (as opposed to a regular “hand wound” ball of yarn, where you draw the yarn from the outside)? Well you can wind yarn (or any other similar material, like string, twine, etc.) into a “pull from the inside” ball. It won’t look much like the commercial skeins (at least mine never do) but it works like a charm.
1. If you’re a righty, hold your left hand like a make-believe gun – index and second finger straight out, ring finger and pinkie folded down. Do whatever you like with your thumb. It’s playing a purely auxiliary role here.
2. Lay the end of the yarn over your outstretched fingers, with the cut end just about touching your wrist. With your folded-down fingers, hold the yarn against your palm. Keep holding it there throughout this whole process – that’s the end of the yarn that you’ll be pulling out when you’re done winding.
3. With your other hand start winding the rest of the yarn around your two outstretched fingers. Proceed just as you would if you were winding a regular ball, but just keep that end of yarn held securely against your palm. Don’t wind too tight or it will be really hard to pull your fingers out when you’re done.
4. When you’re done and you’ve extricated your fingers, you’ll see the end you were holding down is now ready and waiting to unwind the ball from the inside out.
Variation: You can also do this using a small cylindrical-shaped object like a small prescription bottle to wind around instead of your fingers. Just hold the end of the yarn against the bottle and proceed as above. Be sure to leave a couple extra inches of “puller” so it doesn’t get lost as you wind.
NOTE: if you try to do this with cats in the room it will take about a million times longer than it has to.