how to keep yarn from tangling

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Easy methods to maintain yarn from tangling

For this text I picked a subject that’s not thought-about to be significantly attention-grabbing, extra like a ache within the again. However I made a decision to deal with it anyway to hopefully discover methods to reduce the quantity of frustration all of us get when our working yarn often turns right into a tangled mess.

It appears that evidently all circumstances of tangled yarn could be put into three foremost classes – tangling that occurs if you work

Studying: the right way to maintain yarn from tangling

1) from a single ball of yarn;

2) from two or three balls of yarn (such as you do if you double strand the yarn or work in a sample that requires stranded colourwork)

3) from many alternative balls (or extra typically bobbins) of yarn (such as you do if you knit intarsia)

Earlier than describing doable options for every of the classes I need to make clear one factor – by tangling I imply a knotty mess that often occurs near the ball(s) of yarn, not the twisting of yarns inside your knitting.

Should you knit with double stranded yarn, the yarn will twist and it’s very advantageous. You needn’t straighten the strands to verify they’re parallel to one another. Allow them to twist. If you’re knitting with strong color, the twist will not have an effect on the look of the completed knit. If you’re knitting with two colors, the twist will truly enhance the look of your venture as a result of the colours shall be higher distributed.

Now that we decided what sort of tangling we need to battle, let’s have a look at what precisely we will do to reduce it as a lot as doable.


This case is the simplest of all of them.

There are two events when your yarn can presumably tangle in a ball. It typically occurs if you work with bamboo, silk or ribbon yarn, or some other kind of slippery yarns. These yarns appear to have a thoughts of their very own, and tangle even earlier than you begin knitting.

However these yarns are straightforward to tame – merely put the ball in a zipper lock bag, discover the tail that comes from the middle of the ball, take it out of the bag and shut the zip lock bag leaving a small area in order that the yarn can simply be pulled from the bag. It should look much like the ball of bamboo yarn within the picture under.


Should you determine to make use of two strands of the identical yarn in your venture, I extremely suggest utilizing two tails from the identical ball of yarn (see the right way to do it on this video).

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Why? As a result of this fashion you should have no drawback with tangled yarns until you by accident get an entire bunch of yarn from the within of the ball whereas looking for the “inside tail”. If that occurs, untangle that bunch of yarn and align it with the yarn that comes from the surface of the ball. For a number of rows you should have a protracted piece of double stranded yarn mendacity subsequent to the ball. However when you knit that yarn up, there shall be no extra tangling.


On this case, we’re going to use a well known navy technique – “divide and conquer”. The primary objective is to maintain the balls separate. You should utilize two or three yarn bowls, packing containers from moist wipes or some other packing containers with a lid that has a gap in it so you possibly can move the yarn tail by means of. Even teapots will do (put the ball of yarn contained in the pot and move the yarn tail by means of the nostril).

However frankly I personally do not use any of it. After I knit I merely put one ball at my left aspect and the opposite one at my proper aspect. If there are 3 balls of yarn in my venture, then I put the third ball in my lap.


If the yarn is slippery, lock each ball of yarn in a separate ziplock bag.


Sadly, dissolving the balls is only one a part of the answer. As you flip your work after each row, the yarns will inevitably twist. To stop it, you possibly can transfer the balls after each row to untwist them.

Or you possibly can flip your work clockwise after one row and counterclockwise after the following one.

Or (and that is the simplest approach) merely cease knitting after each 10-15 rows, transfer the stitches again from the tip of your needle, drop your work so it’s hanging on the yarn and pull the 2 yarns aside to permit your work to spin till the yarns untwist (here is a video that exhibits this straightforward trick).

Should you plan to make use of two strands of the identical yarn in numerous colors, wind these two strands collectively in a single vibrant heart pull ball. You should utilize a ball winder, or you possibly can wind it by hand.


This can prevent from untangling the yarn, however it can solely work for yarns with the identical fibre content material and thickness. Do not do it when you plan to work with 1 strand of wool and 1 strand of bamboo, for instance.

Why? As a result of totally different fibers have a unique quantity of stretch. Apart from, we are inclined to take up extra of a thicker yarn than a thinner one once we knit. All of it will trigger one of many strands to get longer as you knit. That longer strand will finally tangle in itself, and that sort of tangle is VERY tough to cope with. So save your self the difficulty and wind collectively solely strands of the identical yarn.


Once you enterprise into intarsia or difficult stranded colour work, be ready to cope with tangled yarn.

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Sadly, there’s not a lot we will do to forestall all these quite a few balls or bobbins of yarn from tangling

However all just isn’t misplaced. The technique “divide and conquer” nonetheless applies. However with so many balls, the large query is HOW.

If you’re working from a number of (as much as 5) balls of yarn, lay them individually round you whilst you knit, and transfer them round as you’re employed to verify they do not tangle badly.

If you’re working with many alternative colors, you do not most likely use massive balls of yarn, however wind a number of meters / yards of every colour on separate bobbins or in small yarn butterflies. That is what is often really useful in such circumstances, and there’s a strong purpose for that – it’s a lot simpler to cope with bobbins than with balls.

So what can we do to maintain quite a few bobbins from tangling? I searched on and on and tried totally different options.

Some sources suggest to maintain every bobbin in a small bag – did not work for me, the luggage tangle much more than the bobbins do on their very own.

My favourite reference e-book “The Rules of Knitting” by June Hemmons Hiatt recommends protecting each different bobbin behind the work whereas knitting. This manner the bobbins are higher spaced out, and if the yarn between the bobbin and your work just isn’t lengthy, that may maintain the bobbins from tangling. This resolution is a lot better than the one involving zip lock luggage. However the truth that I wanted to maneuver bobbins from the again of the work to the entrance of the work, after which again once more was fairly annoying to me (sorry for being so choosy :-)).

So I stored wanting and located an excellent higher resolution in one other “e-book of knitting knowledge” “Knitting Ideas & Commerce Secrets and techniques” by Editors of Threads – to position a bit of a ingesting straw between every bobbin and the needles.

This is the right way to do it (click on this hyperlink to observe it in a video tutorial):

1. Wind the yarn on a bobbin, safe it and go away a tail about 10cm /4” lengthy.

2. Reduce a bit of a ingesting straw (about 5cm / 2” lengthy) and thread the yarn tail by means of that piece of straw.

3. Repeat steps 1 and a couple of for each yarn you propose to make use of in your venture and begin knitting.


What occurs subsequent? As you knit, maintain the tail only a bit longer than the piece of a ingesting straw, and the straw will maintain the yarns from tangling. If the bobbins are very shut collectively they may nonetheless tangle often, however no a couple of or two twists which can be fairly straightforward to repair.

Now nothing can cease you from taking part in with colours and textures in your knitting. Have enjoyable!

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