So I have to admit that I've been a bit blockheaded about this, but that's only after I now see the light. I was in a good little knitting group in my fair city a few weeks ago and one of the members talked about what he used for making balls that you can pull from the inside. A little spark dashed through the murkey goo that goes for my mind.
So last night as I was sitting with my 600 yard skein of Valley Yarns cotton/wool sage green yarn, I decided to try my newfound idea. Thanks Aaron!
I got out my big fat size 19 needles for knitting scarves and started winding the yarn around both of them, so as to get a nice open core in the ball that's not too big and not too small. I was glad I was watching the Dustin Hoffman interview on "Inside Actor's Studio", because the next very long while would have been quite boring without something else going on. Fairly soon I discovered how to wind it just like a ball winder does. So now I have a 600 yard ball that stands up without falling over on its flat bottom and is neatly pulled from the center. My winder could not have handled a ball that big, so I'm profoundly glad to have a 600 yard piece that doesn't have any knots.