I'm twisting the yarn as I knit

Hello friendly knitters!

I need advice and I hope someone out there has had the same curious problem!

I twist my yarn when I am knitting or purling. I don’t mean a ‘twisted stitch’, the yarn actually twists all the way to the skien. It becomes a problem because the yarn gets tighter and it starts to curl on itself the longer I continue to knit and then it gets all tangled. Strange huh?

Any suggestions?
Thanks a bunch!

Pam, what kind of yarn are you using?

Funny, I posted this same question 2 days ago…

In my case, it was (I think) because I was knitting Homespun yarn (single ply bulky) as it was unwinding from the outside of the ball. I don’t have quite as many problems when I’m knitting from yarn pulled from the inside of a ball, and I’m not having the same problem with worsted-weight 4-ply acrylic yarn (pound of love) either.

I know why it’s doing it, I was hoping someone could tell me how to stop it, but there’s not much you can do, really. Other than let itself untwist. I’m thinking my big afghan project is going to languish for a while because I got so frustrated.

Interesting… I am curious how you are accomplishing that! Quite a feat! Seriously - I’ve never had that happen EXCEPT when I was using lion brand homespun yarn. It twisted up even though I knit just like I always do. No matter what I did, I couldn’t make it stop - inside of skein, outside of skein… that yarn and I just didn’t hit it off. I know people that love the yarn, but I’ve had nothing but trouble with it. Does this twist happen no matter what type of yarn you use? Are you holding the yarn in your right hand or left?

Hi Trish
Thanks for the response. It’s a light-weight mercerized cotton. It calls for size 5 needles. I too, got so frusterated that I pulled it all apart. I never have the problem with bulky alpaca. It’s like a tangled old fashion telephone cord accept I can’t ‘hang’ the reciever to get it to unravel!!! :slight_smile: Dang it!

I hold the yarn in my right hand. Funny, I just finished a blanket using a bulky wool and never had it happen but I remember this happening to me before with light weight yarn.

Me too! I ‘throw’ my yarn, I think it is called - when I get ready to make a stitch, I am using my right hand to bring up the yarn to make the stitch, bringing the yarn from behind and between the two needles. If you can do it in slow motion, you can see if you are directly placing it between the needles when you do the knit stitch, from behind, and if your thumb, wrist or hand motion is in someway causing a ‘flip’/twist of the yarn on its way to the needle. That’s the only thing that comes to mind as a possibility.

So here is a tip I just recieved
Check to see if I’m turning my work in the same direction when I end a row & start the other way. remember to turn it one way on the right side & the other way on the back side to keep the kinking to a minimum. If it gets tangled dangle the project from the yarn & let it untwist itself.


It’s the motions of knitting and how you turn combined with the yarn. Some yarn just does that and you just have to untwist every few rows. When your project’s smallish, you can hold the skein and let the needles dangle and untwist.

I am so glad to know that sometimes the yarn just twists and you have to untwist it every few rows. I just started knitting a few weeks ago and am having a lot of fun, but the yarn getting twisted was bothering me. I thought I was doing something wrong. Thanks for the feedback!

another thing you can do if the project is large is gently skewer your ball with 2 spare single point needles so it does not unwind and suspend the ball up from your lap or floor and let the yarn untwist