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I crochet. And I don't wind my skeins of yarn into balls. Just so you didn't think you had to do that! I don't have a problem using it the way it comes from the store. BUT you absolutely must use the yarn that begins from the inside. If you use the outer one, you can easily knot things up. (I haven't actually tried it in years, but I assume it still does that.) If you have yarn that doesn't have an obvious end from the middle, just pull some of it out and you should find it. I use Sugar & Cream yarn that doesn't ever have the middle end coming out, but I usually find it pretty easily.

By the way, in the discussion of yarn and thread--given the things you want to make, you want to use yarn, not thread.

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