How to Wind Berroco Mykonos Stonewash and Other Slippery Yarns

When we were photographing the patterns for the new Berroco Mykonos® Stonewash, I immediately thought the Sevilla pattern would be perfect for my mom, who lives in Florida and greatly appreciates handknits, even though she doesn’t always have the opportunity to wear them. The Derecho top that I made for her last year out of Berroco Remix® Light was a big hit, and I think Sevilla will be, too. Mykonos Stonewash, like it’s super popular cousin Berroco Mykonos, is a great yarn for warmer climates—the blend of linen, cotton, and synthetic fibers in an unusual yarn construction creates an open and airy fabric. Mykonos Stonewash works up at the same gauge as Mykonos, but has this stonewash print effect that gives the finished fabric an extra dimension.

The trick with Berroco Mykonos, Berroco Mykonos Stonewash, and other slippery yarns (such as Berroco Captiva, before it was discontinued), is that it’s very slick and doesn’t really wind up easily. So I’ve got some tips on getting this yarn ready to use!

Mykonos Stonewash, like regular Mykonos, comes in a hank. Generally, I would put the hank on a yarn swift and then thread it over to a ball winder to spin it into a cake, ready to use. If you do that with Berroco Mykonos, however, the yarn cake will just fall apart—the yarn doesn’t really have the core strength to stay together in a cake form. So this is one of those yarns you’re going to want to wind by hand.

When I was winding the first hank for my mom’s sweater, I untwisted the hank and draped it around my neck, like I was wearing a necklace. From this, I hand wound the ball, and then slipped it into a plastic bag before starting the ribbing. Putting the wound ball in a container, like a plastic bag, a yarn bowl, even a coffee cup (thanks to Adventures in Knitting for this tip), will help the ball keep it’s shape and not slide off itself. 

I had another idea over the weekend that I wanted to share with you all. I grabbed an empty paper towel roll and a pair of scissors and got to work. I cut off about an inch and a half of the end of the paper towel holder…

…then made a small diagonal cut on one end to catch the end of the yarn.

And then I just started winding (I’m using a different color of Mykonos Stonewash for this example).

I just kept winding and winding and once it was fully egg shaped and I was near the end of the hank, I wrapped it around the middle to give the center a little more stability. 

You’ll still want to put it in a plastic bag or some other container, as it’s so slippery it could just go on a mad dash across the room, but this was a quick and easy way to wind this yarn before working with it.

And you’ll definitely want to work with it! We’ve got four brand new patterns for Mykonos Stonewash, including Sevilla. There’s also Pamplona, Toledo, and Grenada.

You can also use Berroco Mykonos Stonewash in any of our Berroco Mykonos patterns!

Have you worked with a really slick yarn before? Do you have any tips for winding it? Leave them in the comments below!

8 Comments

  1. I do wind the Mykonos on a ball winder, and then put the cake into a zip lock plastic bag. I feed the center tail end out and then work with that. The benefit over a hand-rolled ball is that the cake doesn’t need to roll around in the plastic bag (unless, of course, you wound your ball as a center-feed).

    1. We’re just going to send you all of our Mykonos because we’ve had no luck winding it on the ball winder in the office. 😉 I haven’t had any problem with it rolling around in the bag—like it doesn’t get tangled or anything, because it’s too slick to stick together, but good to know that you have had success with the ball winder!

  2. A few years ago when the ruffle scarf yarns were all the rage…. we saved our paper towel tubes and wound onto them without cutting the tube. We did slice a notch in the end of the tube to start and stop the skein. Worked like a charm. Think this would also work with Mykonos.A lovely yarn!

  3. This is useful, but what I really need is good information on knotting and weaving in ends with a slippery yarn. I’m working with a very slippery alpaca blend and every knot I’ve tried unties itself very quickly. I’m working an intarsia pattern and am becoming really worried that all the ends are just going to undo themselves.

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