A skein is a ball of coiled yarn. If it weren’t for the skein, the world would be full of tangled messes of yarn that would take hours to untangle before you could start your knitting.

Whether you use a skein (rhymes with “rain”) to keep your yarn separated and organized, or as something for your cat to play with, may be a sign of how often you knit. Skein can take on a metaphorical sense: The character Sherlock Holmes said, “There's the scarlet thread of murder running through the colorless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, and isolate it, and expose every inch of it."

Definitions of skein

n coils of worsted yarn

Type of:
a coil of rope or wool or yarn

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