Tangled yarn

Hi! I’m not an experienced knitter, and I’m trying to knit a blanket that uses 3 strands of yarn. How do I keep my yarn from getting twisted? I feel like I spend more time trying to untangle the yarn than actually knitting! Thanks in advance for any help!

Unfortunately when you’re knitting with more than one yarn that is going to happen. You can try putting each yarn in a separate container or ziploc, but as you use them they probably will still get twisted together.

Do you mean [I]twisted[/I], as in the colors alternate positions from stitch to stitch, or [I]tangled[/I], as in the yarn won’t feed because it has decided to become all knotted up?

If it’s [I]twisted[/I], I don’t think there’s much that can be done. I use double strands a lot in crochet, and other members of the same group use double strands in knitting. The colors exchange positions as they will.

But if it’s [I]tangles[/I], boy, have I got a solution for you! I got v-e-r-y tired of the tangles/knots/lost time at just about the same time that Joanne’s started featuring the “yarn jars” on sale.

I looked at them closely. They appeared to be a fancy version of an empty plastic food jar with a hole drilled into the lid and a handle added.

Wow. How very advanced in design! {sarcasm here, just a bit} I asked DH whether there was any risk in drilling through plastic with his Makita–I give him an opportunity to use his Makita as often as I possibly can, esp. when it deals with quilting or yarn work. :wink: He said No, not as far as he knew. So, when a small coffee crystals (blech) jar showed up in the kitchen, I used it as a test.

Long story short: the coffee jar holds a 50- to 100-gram skein very well. Don’t try a 4-oz. skein, though; it’s too big for this jar. Get two (or, for your project, three) jars of adequate size and drill through the tops with perhaps a 3/8-inch drill bit. Be sure to clamp the lids in place and drill into a sacrificial piece of wood, maybe a scrap 2x4 or similar. Use a round file to smoothe out the edges and prepare the hole for your yarn.

Now put the yarn into the jar, feed the pull end through the lid, and screw the lid down. Repeat. Repeat. You now have three strands of yarn feeding independently from the jars. They will twist their positions, but they cannot tangle, since they’re contained, each in its own jar. :slight_smile:


Trying to keep each strand separated in the stitch around the need is frustrating and really not necessary. Keeping them separate before they get to your hand can be helped by keeping each one in a separate bag or baggy or bowl to keep from tangling together.

You can knit this with a single skein if you use the Navajo knitting technique to triple the yarn. I’m currently knitting a pair of slippers with this technique and it’s going quite well. You don’t notice the joins in the work.

And this is the greatest feature of forums! How else would I (or others) have ever found out about this most excellent technique? Good for tripling the same color, esp. of a narrow or particularly valuable yarn which has no equal in one’s stash.



A variation on DCM’s jars to hold your yarn is to cut the bottom off of a plastic 2 liter soda bottle. Put your skein inside and pull your working end through the pour spout. That said, the Navajo knitting gets my vote!

Good luck and happy knitting,

I happened upon the Navajo knitting technique on Youtube by chance. But it comes in handy. I got a great find at a thrift store. For $2 I got a full cone of 100% wool. The problem was that this was for a knitting machine and was a fingering weight. Using this technique, I was able to triple it for a worsted weight. I’m now making a warm pair of slippers for myself for this winter out of it. Should make some great gloves.