A couple of yarnie friends have recently mentioned that they are not entirely comfortable hand-winding yarn into centre pull balls (or 'cakes'). I use the inner tube from a roll of cling-film; it's longer & sturdier than a toilet roll insert, so I find it easier to handle, especially for 400 metre skeins of sock yarn. I've covered mine in clear contact plastic because I cannot stand the feel of yarn rubbing against cardboard. I also use a swift to hold the skein; this is much less of a work-out than unwinding the skein over your knees or a chair, & takes less time. It takes me about 30 minutes to wind a 400 metre skein of sock yarn, while watching TV & not particularly hurrying.
I feed the end of the yarn down through the centre of the tube, & use a little bit of sticky tape to fix the end into place about halfway up the outside of the tube.
Then, I start winding the yarn around the tube from left to right (as seen from the front of the tube).
After a few strands are wrapped around the tube, it's easier to wind the yarn diagonally, from bottom left to top right).
Keep wrapping the yarn in this way, laying the strands closely together & turning the tube slightly as you move around the forming 'cake' shape. I tend to turn the tube very slowly with my left hand towards the left, while winding on the yarn with my right hand, towards the right.
As the yarn mass grows bigger, do not continue to wind the yarn right up against the tube; use your fingertips as a spacing guide between the tube & the yarn as you wind it on.
Keep winding the whole skein of yarn.
Remove the tube from the centre, taking care to remove the sticky tape too.
It's easy to find the centre end of the yarn because it was taped into place & fed through the centre of the cardboard tube. No more yarn-barf tangles!
A lovely yarn cake. More fibre and less calories than the chocolate variety.
I believe this is quite similar to the winding method used with traditional nostepinnes, though have not got one of my own to try out. Maybe some day...