Whenever I try to get the center pull of a commercial skein of yarn, it ends up tangling and I just have to untangle the whole ball.
Are there any tips for a better center pull?
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Assuming this is a commercial skein, I don't generally have issues. I am usually able to pull out the center of a skein. I would never guarantee that you can do this though.
This can be manufacturer specific. There is no mandate to ensure that you can get a center pull from a skein. However, when it comes to most of the skeins of the following style:
Image from paradisefibers.com
I can go in a grab the middle chunk and find the end in there. Sometimes you can find ones where they are specifically assembled for you to do this i.e. there is a tail stick out from the center. In many cases there is not a simple thread to pull but a small unorganized ball that you have to unravel first so don't give up too soon when looking for it. Once you unravel that chunk or ball then the rest is easy.
I hope you were able to find a good solution! I know that with the kind of skeins that Matt linked, you'll almost always get a frustrating (and huge) amount of yarn barf. Once I had nearly half a skein of it because the center-pull line got tucked into a weird place!
Anyway, I've found that a good solution, if you don't have a yarn winder and don't intend to get one, is a good old fashioned toilet paper tube and hand winding. To do this:
I hope this helps you (or someone else!)!