Maya and I have been on a friendship bracelet-making kick this summer and we've been adding to our embroidery floss collection. To avoid working with a mess of tangled, mixed-up floss, I bought some embroidery floss bobbins and gave myself the task of untangling the old floss and winding them onto the bobbins. It was kind of a pain. Luckily -- or so I thought at the time -- I had some floss that were still wound up as skeins. Surely it would be easier to wind that thread onto the bobbins. Not necessarily. As I unwound the skein, the thread would get caught up in itself and make random knots or end up looking like Mr. Messy from the Mr. Men series:
I was frustrated and, short of recruiting the kids' arms to act like a yarn swift, I was on my own. I don't know what took me so long, but I finally figured out a way to easily unwind a skein.
First, gather your supplies: embroidery floss, embroidery floss bobbins, and a cylindrical object with a diameter of 3.75 inches (I used a drinking glass); Sharpie, scissors, and tape are optional.
Next, remove the paper wrapper from the skein and carefully open it up (i.e., separate the strands) so that the floss makes a loop. Sometimes you'll have to pull a strand from one side to the other to open up the loop. The optional materials can be used to write the number of the floss on the bobbin and to cut a small piece of the string and tape it to the bobbin.
Take something cylindrical that has a diameter of about 3.75 inches. I used an inverted heavy-ish drinking glass with a lip because the plastic cup I used first was too light and the floss would slip under the rim of the cup. Place the loop of floss around your cylinder with the cut end of the floss on top. The loop of floss should spin around your cylinder (without getting tangled up!) as you wind the floss around your bobbin. Occasionally, the floss will tighten up around the cylinder. When that happens, manually unwind a few rotations-worth of the floss from around the cylinder and continue to wind your bobbin.
Once you're done with all of the skeins, you'll have a beautiful rainbow of embroidery floss!
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