Three years ago, after winding far too much sock yarn by hand, I was given a swift and ball winder as a gift. Changed my life, absolutely.
It seems like more and more yarn is only available in skeins, rather than in balls. All well and good when you have access to a swift and ballwinder - either at a friendly neighbourhood shop - or at home.
If you don't, then the resource have been known to press a chair - or a friend, husband or small child -- into service to hold the yarn while you wind a ball. It's not impossible, but just tedious.
I was teaching a class recently, and I think I frightened a student of mine. She was prepping a skein to be wound. She untwisted it, took the label off, and proceeded to start to undo the little ties of yarn that keep it in a neat skein.
All before she'd put it on the swift.
I might have barked at her. (If I did, J., you know who you are - I apologize!)
I do know I dashed across the room to forcibly stop what she was doing.
Once, a long time, ago, I used to do that. Undo all the ties before I put it on the swift. But then, once, I dropped it as I was manoeuvering to get it on the swift. The thing hit the floor in one giant tangled mess.
Needless to say, I don't do that anymore.
So, J. - I hope you weren't offended. Please know that it's all about saving your sanity - and time. Whatever you do, do not, under any circumstances, undo the ties and remove the label until the thing is safely on the swift.
Trust me, I know.