Help me save my yarn

I’m a mixture of sad and angry right now for sitting in my garbage in a tangled cut up mess is the Bare superwash/nylon/donegal fingering weight yarn I bought from knitpicks to make some socks. Its cut up because it got so tangled the only way I could try to figure it out was by cutting it and putting it back together… but that didn’t work.

It all started last week when I tried to unravel the hank to wind it into a center pull ball. Big freaking mistake. I cut the ties that had it holding together and laid it out in what I thought was a good enough manner for me to unwind it and then put it into a ball. Well, it took me about two hours to untangle the blasted mess I made - not exaggerating here… I started on it before putting in The Island to watch and ended about half hour or so after it was done. So when I finally got it done, I noticed that the yarn looked like it was wound too tightly as it was thinner than when it was in hank form. And I couldn’t get the flipping centre to pull out - it was too tight!!! So tonight, I decided to unravel it slowly so that I can wrap it around a chair top to let it relax back to its original fluffier form. BIG FREAKING mistake. Before I knew it (and I assure you i was going slowly!) it was a tangled mess. I looked at it and it tangled. I tried and tried to get it sorted out and had to resort to the scissors which didn’t help… so I stuffed it in the garbage. I’m sad that I had to dump it and I was such a moron I couldn’t figure out how to unravel yarn and angry that I didn’t research how to do it first before attempting it. By the way, I had unravelled some gloss sock yarn and got the same mess at work and it took me my lunch hour and about another two hours on and off to get it sorted out - and yes, there are knots in that too.

Obviously I am doing something wrong. I have a good few more hanks that would need to be unravelled and put into ball form (no I don’t have a ball winder and at this rate I’ll just make a knotty mess sooner with it cause I don’t know what I’m doing!) and I don’t want to spend hours doing that or putting it in the garbage. (Don’t tell me there’s a video on how to unravel hanks! ) Knitting straight from the hank would just end up in the same way.

Someone, anyone, please! Save my yarn from me!


you have to find something to put it around…the back of a chair, someone’s hands, your feet…something. there is no real way to do it without putting it around something.

You also need to be careful to start with the correct end. If you try unwinding it from one end and it starts to tangle, try the other end. :heart:

Hey Brendajos,

Thanks for the reply…

So I would just open it up to how it falls into a natural circle, cut the ties and put it on the back on a chair and start unwinding from there… there’s nothing else to do but start winding? (Forgive me for being repetitive but I’m kinda leery about going near those hanks - I think they are out to get me! :shock: )

Thanks Cate! makes sense to do that too. Sigh… why didn’t I ask all this FIRST??

[size=1]I know why, I got a bunch of yarn and got all slap happy with it! :doh: [/size]

yes you need to look for the yarn that is on the OUTSIDE. it can be kind of tricky and isn’t necessarily imperative but it will make your life a LOT easier if you do. i would wait to undo the ties until you have the yarn as taught as possible on whatever surface you use to hold it…that way you can maneuver it a little easier.

Please, try not to be upset, I can assure you, we’ve all had trouble with a hank of yarn at one time or another. Mine was with a hank of lace wt yarn…gives me the eeby geebies just thinking about it!

Oh, I’m so sorry! I feel your pain!! I learned my lesson the hard way too. Mine was with some gorgeous baby alpaca, but luckily I was able to salvage it…I did have to cut it, though.

This is going to sound funny, but here’s what I do: I sit on my couch with my feet resting on my coffee table, knees bent. Then I place the open hank over my knees and begin unwinding. I was shocked at what a difference it made.

Best of luck!!!

That’s how I do it, too, IrishKnitter.

Some people even lay the big circle of yarn on a lamp shade that you loosen the top “nut” on so it “spins” freely. If you hae a large-ish lamp that is shaped / \ and not | |…
Or, did anyone already suggest… take the hanks to your LYS (if you have one) and ask if they could help a gal who’s down on her luck and wind it for ya?
It’ll get better. I hate having to cut tangles, it’s one of a medium list of things that sometimes can’t be helped, can be hidden if you give yourself enough tail to weave in but still bugs the bajeebus out of me because “I KNOW” that’s what happened. It happened to me last month with a hank of Tilli Thomas silk yarn with a thread of sequins running through it. Mine got tangled when I tried to put from the center and the outside of the centerpull ball I made from the hank. I took the time making the ball, and tried to corral the ball being pulled from both sides, but that bugger still bounes and the outside tangles around the inside and gets messed up :!!!:
But, 12 tails on the selvedge edges later… no one knows it but me!!!

Thank you all so much! It does make me feel a tiny bit better that this isn’t a problem unique to me (I’m real hard on myself and thought I was the only one that has messed up some beautiful yarn!

Binky, there isnt’a LYS here… just a craft store that stocks yarn I can’t use. I know what you mean about knowing the knots are there… that would annoy me to no end too!

Irish Knitter and Cate, I think I will try your method too… I don’t have a lamp in my apartment!

Brendajos, thanks for explaining it a bit more for me… I’ll try to run through all these tips in my head first and then give it a try.

Rebecca, thanks for talking me back from the edge! LOL! I can’t imagine the tangle you had to deal with!! Did you salvage it or did it have to go?

Thanks again! You guys shouldn’t hear any screaming coming from this end of the world now! [size=1]not for awhile anyways :wink: [/size]


Ok, maybe I’m weird, but I sit on my bed, cross legged, (or for those of us who remember the world when there was no such thing as ‘politically correct’ :eyes: ), Indian Style, and I put the yarn around my knees. It fits perfectly, it’s kept not too tight and not too loose, and I wind it into a ball.

I love the lampshade idea! I will have to try it next time I need to wind a hank.

The lampshade is such a great idea! Don’t forget that you could always ask for a swift and/or winder for Christmas :slight_smile:

Oh goodness! I’ve SOOOO been there before. I ended up with yarn ALL over my bedroom, walking around trying to make sense of it all. :?? From that point on…I take my hank to my LYS and have them ball it for me. Yarn is much to precious to waste! Much luck to you in the future!

Husbands or largish kids make good holders for winding. I remember many an evening standing with my arms “just so” so my mum could wind the hank into a ball. She made square balls that didn’t roll away!!! Wish I knew how! I’ve had my share of winding troubles. You aren’t alone. Poor you. samm