I asked Clyde to post his HDT unwinding method and he graciously did. Thank you Clyde!
I had planned to post this for awhile but you know how life gets in the way. Suzanne really prompted me to finally share this, so here it is.
This is the way I unwind skeins of hand dyed thread.
I start with a pillow that will comfortably sit in my lap. The more texture the pillow has the better to hold the thread.
I then undo the skein until it looks like this.
There will be two ends that have thread ties holding the skeins together. You can go ahead and cut these or untie them. On my skeins one of these thread ties will always be close to the start/end thread.
Untie the start/end thread and wind onto your choice of spool. I use these floss winder cards. These cards work well, and it is an easy way to keep all my personal HDT on a ring for future use.
Finally, I take one of the ends, (The closest one to the top of the pile of threads) and I unwind by hand all the thread onto the card holder. This method keeps everyting tidy and tangle free. If you have a different method I would love to hear it. It's facinating to see how people approach things differently.
This is what a 50 yrd skein of size 20 HDT looks like on a card holder. I do the same thing with other sizes of tatting thread.