So one weekend about a month ago I was working on my masters swatches, and it came to a point where I needed to wind the larger one pound skein I had been using into smaller center pull balls. Breanne saw me wind the first one and asked if she could do one. I let her thinking that there wasn't anything that we could mess up. She held the ball winder and turned the handle. I made sure there was steady tension on the yarn and that no knots would be wound up. She did two balls and both went with no problems and looked great.
Fast forward to today when I started to use one of those balls. It started out great, but not long into it I had trouble pulling the center pull string. This had happened to me before and I pull the very center out and it easily comes free and untangles. That portion I'm able to work through quickly and I'm back to working nicely from a center pull ball. Not this time. I had trouble even pulling the center out. It ended up with a big portion coming out and me still not being able to pull any yarn loose. My next thought was to wind the ball back up starting from the outside. I thought this would remove whatever was causing the knot easily and the problem would be solved. I was wrong and it just got to the same point as the other end of the yarn, as you can see from the picture above. In the end I had to take the small hand wound ball and weave it through all of that mess. Back and forth, back and forth, over and through. I finally got it all untangled. I didn't look at the clock to see when I started, it could have taken me only around 15 minutes but it felt like HOURS.
I have it all wound back up into a center pull ball. But, I still have another one that Breanne did, AND I don't know what we did to create such a mess so I don't know if the one I did will have the same results. I guess time will tell.