• WordNet 3.6
    • n skein coils of worsted yarn
    • ***

Additional illustrations & photos:

Winding the Skein Winding the Skein
The skein centiped The skein centiped

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A group of geese on the ground is a gaggle, a group of geese in the air is a skein
    • n Skein (Zoöl) A flight of wild fowl (wild geese or the like).
    • Skein (Wagon Making) A metallic strengthening band or thimble on the wooden arm of an axle.
    • Skein A quantity of yarn, thread, or the like, put up together, after it is taken from the reel, -- usually tied in a sort of knot.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • n skein A fixed length of any thread or yarn of silk, wool, linen, or cotton, doubled again and again and knotted. The weight of a skein is generally determined so that the number of skeins in a given quantity of thread can be estimated by the weight. Braid, binding, etc., are sometimes, though more rarely, sold in skeins.
    • n skein A flight or company: said of certain wild fowl, as geese or ducks.
    • n skein A shaved split of osier used in wickerwork.
    • n skein In a vehicle, the iron head or thimble upon the end of a wooden axletree, inclusive of the straps by which it is attached to the axle, and which, being set in recesses flush with the wood, afford hearing surfaces for the box in the hub.
    • n skein An obsolete form of skean.
    • n skein In cytology, same as spireme.
    • skein To wind (yarn) into hanks of definite lengths other than the normal.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • n Skein skān a knot or number of knots of thread or yarn.
    • ***


  • Aldo Leopold
    Aldo Leopold
    “One swallow does not make a summer, but one skein of geese, cleaving the murk of March thaw, is the Spring.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. skeyne, OF. escaigne, F. écagne, probably of Celtic origin; cf. Ir. sgainne, Gael. sgeinnidh, thread, small twine; or perhaps the English word is immediately from Celtic
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
O. Fr. escagne, from Celt.; cf. Ir. sgainne, a skein.


In literature:

But the prettiest thing of all was the head half fallen from the pillow and half smothered in the tangled skeins of hair.
"In a Little Town" by Rupert Hughes
In the evening it was a pleasure to hold a skein of yarn for her to wind.
"Daughters of the Revolution and Their Times" by Charles Carleton Coffin
And while these strands were being knit into the skein Martinez was producing another.
"In the Shadow of the Hills" by George C. Shedd
You'd helped us so much with the title affair I knew you'd unravel this skein.
"Jessica, the Heiress" by Evelyn Raymond
That morning the smoke rolled from her funnels in a twisted skein.
"The Cup of Fury" by Rupert Hughes
It did nothing of the sort; it merely wove fresh perplexities into the tangled skein of her thoughts.
"The Wife of Sir Isaac Harman" by H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
From the aperture a coil and grid dangled half out in the midst of a tangled skein of wires.
"Astounding Stories, July, 1931" by Various
She had long since abandoned the effort to disentangle the skein of that day's events.
"The Silent Barrier" by Louis Tracy
I cannot mix the skeins.
"The Works of Robert Louis Stevenson - Swanston Edition Vol. 24 (of 25)" by Robert Louis Stevenson
And begin at the beginning, that's the only way to straighten a tangled skein.
"Hansford: A Tale of Bacon's Rebellion" by St. George Tucker

In poetry:

Flung them, a skein
On the sea's calm breast,
Set them, a ledge
For the sea-bird's nest;
"Islands" by Cicely Fox Smith
A lonely ghost the ghost is
That to God shall come;
I - love's skein upon the ground,
My body in the tomb -
Shall leap into the light lost
In my mother's womb.
"Crazy Jane And Jack The Journeyman" by William Butler Yeats
I know, although when looks meet
I tremble to the bone,
The more I leave the door unlatched
The sooner love is gone,
For love is but a skein unwound
Between the dark and dawn.
"Crazy Jane And Jack The Journeyman" by William Butler Yeats
Books and a coloured skein of thoughts were mine;
And magic words lay ripening in my soul
Till their much-whispered music turned a wine
Whose subtlest power was all in my control.
"Poem" by Aldous Huxley
Like a skein of loose silk blown against a wall
She walks by the railing of a path in Kensington Gardens,
And she is dying piece-meal
      Tof a sort of emotional anaemia.
"The Garden" by Ezra Pound
She spun and she laughed a-spinning
The blood of my veins in a skein;
But I knew how the charm was mastered,
And snapped in the hissing vein;
So she wove but a fiery scorpion
That writhed from her hands again....
"Elphin" by Madison Julius Cawein

In news:

Reality Channel willing to air controversial skein.
Billy Crystal attached to produce skein based on comedic stage show.
'Friday Night Lights' creator asks candidate to stop using skein's signature phrase.
Living in the UK, Caryn Mandabach fashions mobster skein.
Partners eye global treasure with new skein.
' Everyman ' actor keeps skein steady.
Bank's 50% share of three skeins could fetch around $500 million.
Skein will be made by their new Lucia Films for Mexico TV.
Though Starz fired "Boss" (above), low-rated pay cable skeins, like HBO's "Treme," can survive.
Company announces agreements for skein ahead of Mipcom.
The ladies themselves occupy two tables, with skeins of yarn and half- knitted projects spread out in front of them.
Gameshows, soccer reality skein coming to Discovery en Espanol.
1 skein each 1 White and 12 Black for eyes.
And I have Single Skein Syndrome .
Mets owner Jeff Wilpon, disturbed by the Mets' recent losing skein, traveled to Atlanta last night to check in on the boys and holler at Jerry Manuel and Omar Minaya and company.

In science:

Theorem 3 Let D , D ′ denote virtual link diagrams and let (D+ , D− , D0) be a skein triple of virtual link diagrams.
An Orientation-Sensitive Vassiliev Invariant for Virtual Knots
Consider the unoriented skein tree for the m(10132 ) knot F shown in Figure 5.
A skein approach to Bennequin type inequalities
Unoriented skein tree for a Legendrian m(10132 ) knot.
A skein approach to Bennequin type inequalities
The proof follows much the same lines as Fintushel and Stern’s original argument based on the skein relation for the Alexander polynomial, together with certain gluing results.
Knotted surfaces in 4-manifolds
In this paragraph we give the geometric interpretation of the cone of the wall-crossing morphism for Khovanov homology, by raising the skein relation for the Jones polynomial to the level of complexes.
The finiteness result for Khovanov homology and localization in monoidal categories