Skein is pronounced SKANE … btw!
Years ago, in the mists of time, all wool, yarn and thread used to be sold and bought by the skein or the hank. FACT!
Skeins are quite easy to deal with but HANKS require two people or an old antique wool winder – such as the one I own. See Image Above.
I grew up at my Nan, Anne’s, knee. Sitting on the floor, hands and arms stretched out to hold the hank of wool as she unwound it into a useable, tangle-free ball.
A bit of girl bonding :o)
As I live with three ogres, and the yarn industry has gone back to the past by selling skeins and hanks again, I have NO willing hands to help. So I bought the wooden, non-mechanical, machine above in a local antique shop about 20 years ago.
The video below is what it is.
But at 2:20 you will see what I mean.