Although I have been unraveling sweaters that I bought on clearance, I had a project earlier this year that required so much yarn that I had to resort to the standard skein. I had a relative getting married, and I purposed to try crocheting a throw -something I have never been brave enough to try before! In the past, I have always been concerned that I would lose interest in a throw before I had completed it, but, as this seemed to be the best gift option I could come up with, I purchased several jumbo skeins of yarn, grabbed my crochet hook, and set to work.
About half way through my first skein, I began to have problems with the skein falling apart -especially when I needed to move the project to a new location. I remembered seeing something in the craft store that was supposed to help keep the skein together and I remembered thinking that it looked like a glorified produce bag. This, of course, set me to thinking how I could duplicate this for free. Naturally, I went to my stash of net bags and tried to slide one over my skein of yarn. The problem I ran into turned out to be one of sizing. It was hard to find a bag that fit perfectly. So I set about to make a skein holder that would fit my skein. I put the skein into a tube of netting and then cut the excess plastic away. Then, using a steel hook and some cotton crochet thread, I connected the cut side edges with a row of single crochet. To protect the yarn from being snagged on the tube ends, I covered them in single crochets as well. Then I made two long chains of the thread and laced them through the final row of diamonds at each end of the tube. These would be used to cinch up the ends and keep the skein collected together. I tried the new holder on my skein and was generally pleased with the way it fit. I did decide to shorten the ties at both ends to keep them from getting tangled up in the work. I could then tuck them to the inside of the mesh and they stayed out of the way of my work.
So, how well did this work? It was great! Even though it does not have the same elastic quality of the commercially-sold sleeves, it really did keep the skein together and tangle-free. As the skein was used, I could tug on the two ends of the sleeve and it would contract in the center and lengthen -exactly what the skein was doing naturally as it diminished! The sleeve made moving the project from place to place much easier.
The biggest pay-off came in the form of a completed throw! Without having the added problem of untangling the yarn and having to stop and form the end of the skein into a ball, I was able to keep moving on the project and was able to complete it before the wedding and before I ran out of momentum! Yea!