If it's what I'm thinking, you can reach into one of the ends and try to find the end of the yarn that pulls out of the middle of the ball. That will keep it from bouncing around as you go. You might want to pull a yard or so out to begin with... just keep pulling until it comes without moving the ball.
I don't know the answer to the front/back post question, but I thought I'd tackle the sc question.
I'm not sure I'm understanding you right, but what may be confusing you is that sc is different from the other stitches when it comes to the turning chain.
Basically, a turning chain is used to get your hook to the right height, because the last loop on your hook is actually the top of the next stitch (a fact that is highly important if you're doing colour changes!).
sc only needs one ch for the turning chain, and unlike the other (bigger) stitches, it doesn't count as a stitch. The only time this isn't true is if the pattern specifically says otherwise. What this means is: when you come back to that end of the row on your next row you *don't* work a stitch into the turning chain (unless the pattern *specifically* says to).
When talking about the base chain, the reason you make your first stitch into the second chain from the hook if that the first chain from the hook is the turning chain.
If you want a striped look, you start a new colour of yarn in the row you want it to be in (pull a loop of the new colour through the last two loops of the previous row). Weave in the ends as you go if you can, otherwise go afterward with a needle and do it.
If you want to change colours in the middle of a row, the one thing to keep in mind is that the last loop you pull through on any stitch is actually the top of the next stitch, so when dealing with sc, for example, you change to the new colour when you have the last two loops on your hook.
The other way of using two colours, which I'm sure you didn't mean, is to use one strand of each colour at the same time, using a bigger hook. This has a pretty interesting look, though, depending on the yarn and colours involved.
Which one did you mean? I can be more detailed if you'd like. ^_^
Oooh, this is so tempting! I wasn't going to enter any more swaps until after Christmas, though!
One of my best friends had a vasectomy, and he and I joked that I should make him a shirt that said, "Verile by nature, sterile by choice" on it, with maybe a picture of a cartoon sperm in a red circle with a line through it in the middle.
What I like to do is to make my first row in the "bump" on the back of the base chain. It can be a bit tricky, but it's worth it if you're going to see that edge in your final product because it leaves a nice line of V's that matches your last row.
When I first started crocheting I made the first row into one of the loops in the V, but I wasn't happy with it. Then I read somewhere that you're supposed to go through both loops of the V. I find that to be a big pain to do. lol
I just recently saw a youtube video where they went through the back bump, and have been doing it that way ever since.
Which ever you choose, it's almost certainly going to take you longer to do your first row than any of the others.
One thing you can do to make it a bit easier is to not make your base chain too tight. I know lots of people avoid this problem by using a slightly bigger hook for the base chain, then switch to the right size for the rest of the project.