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How To Braid a Skein - page 1

What do you do with those luscious twisted skeins of thread? It's a real pain to unravel a section to work with. It's a whole lot easier to have neat lengths ready to pull off the skein and thread onto your needle.

This is a simple method to corral your skein and set it up so you can pull off a length at a time.

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Step 1

twisted skein of cotton thread

When you buy a twisted skein of thread or yard, this is what it looks like. In this instance I am using a Stef Francis skein of fine mercerized cotton. This is lovely thread for hand quilting and I often need several lengths at a time for a quilt.

It is secured by twisting the looped thread together, knotting the ends and wrapping them around the strands. The tail is then tucked inside the looped end.

Step 2

twisted skein of cotton thread

Pull out the tail and untwist the skein.

Step 3

twisted skein of cotton thread

You will end up with a long bundle of thread: twice the length of the orignal skein and half the thickness. It should still be knotted.

Step 4

twisted skein of cotton thread

Find the tiny knot securing the looped thread. DON'T cut it apart unless you get thoroughly frustrated and can't bear to fiddle with it any more. The knot is made up of each end of one very long thread.

Step 5

twisted skein of cotton thread

Undo the knot. I find using a blunted ended needle such as a tapestry needle helps. You can slip it in between the ties.

Step 6

twisted skein of cotton thread

Find a hook to hang your unraveled skein over. I use my sewing machine thread holder - works perfectly.

Make sure the untied ends are at the bottom and hook the top onto your holder.

Step 7

twisted skein of cotton thread

Snip the bottom of the loop apart.

Step 8

twisted skein of cotton thread

Cut all the threads between the two ends.

I am such a skinflint, I can't bear to waste a single bit of thread which is why I am careful to undo the knot and snip between the ends.

Step 9

twisted skein of cotton thread

Separate the hanging thread into three sections. Make sure they are centered at the top of the skein and the ends are as even as you can make them at the bottom.

Go to How to Braid a Skein - page 2

Rose Rushbrooke
Rose Rushbrooke
Artist