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Tangled up yarn?


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#1 Hookthelook

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:18 AM

Do you guy's have issues with your yarn getting knotted up? Any tips on how to prevent this? I have stashes upon stashes of yarn since I first started back in 05. I just dug out some white yarn from 3yrs ago, and it was a mess, but I managed to get it all untangled after an hour and a half of untangling it.

#2 nicolep

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 09:23 AM

This works for me -

I wind all left over yarn into center-pull cakes on my yarn winder. Then, I put them in baskets. I'll also put maybe five of the cakes into bags. That keeps them from getting tossed around and tangled.

I used to throw everything in together in a big bin (well, several big bins). I always had knot problems. I rarely have one now.

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#3 jillkap

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 04:27 PM

I use toilet paper and paper towel tubes as bobbins to wind my scraps or leftovers around... it's a free tool and it's recycling at the same time!! :) I cut a hole in the center to pull an end through and begin the winding, then snip one of the edges to hold the other end to keep it from unwinding
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#4 acraftylady

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Posted 26 October 2011 - 05:00 PM

Here are some nice instructions on how to make a center pull ball. Mary

http://knitswithball...-pull-ball.html

#5 RoseRed

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 06:23 AM

Sometimes I have the patience to untangle it and sometimes I just pull out my scissors and cut my way thru it.

I've found that the easiest way to avoid it in the first place (whether you makes balls or cakes) is to secure the ends.

#6 stitchgirl

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:07 AM

Sometimes I have the patience to untangle it and sometimes I just pull out my scissors and cut my way thru it.

I've found that the easiest way to avoid it in the first place (whether you makes balls or cakes) is to secure the ends.



I agree. I've found out the hard way too that if you throw a partially used skein in a bag/bin or whatever you will end up with the proverbial bird's nest. It only takes one loose end. I like to make mine into cakes - they sit still.

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#7 Afghaniac

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:30 AM

When I've used enough of a skein that it feels squishy, I wind it into a center-pull ball. When I have several little balls of similar color, I put them into plastic zipper bags. That said, when I'm crocheting a scrap afghan using lots of colors, the whole system goes kaplooey, everything goes into a tangled mess, and I have to sort and rewind all those little odds and ends all over again. Sometimes I need a break from crocheting, to alleviate the hand pain that comes from too much hooking, so untangling -- just like weaving in loose ends on a motif afghan -- is a welcome break for a sore hand.

#8 DebraKay

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 07:41 AM

The more I read here, the more I know I need to get a yarn winder. I thought I didn't really need it, but after untangling the other day for about an hour like the OP brought up.... I think I do!

My main complant though is the yarn that will not pull from the center when you first buy it. I used to use all Red Heart (CHEAP) yarn and one thing I can say about it, is that it almost always unwinds from the center with perfect ease. I never had trouble! But other brands are not so kind. Not sure what they do not do that Red Heart does, but they need to take some lessons! I was using Pound of Love yesterday and it came to a place that the yarn would not pull at all. I finally pulled out a hunk (yarn puke) and started detangling. What a mess. In fairness, Pound of Love is not usually like this, I just ran across a lemon. It happens. I think next time, I may get out the scissors and save some time!

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#9 gremlin

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 01:44 PM

I don't mind the untangling at all - I just can't bring myself to cut a perfectly good piece of yarn. I ball my yarn - sometimes center pull and sometimes not, depending on what I want to use it for. Either way, I always tuck the "loose" end under several strands on the outside of the ball. This secures it and keeps it from unraveling and tangling.

My sister has two dogs that love to "help with Mommy's crocheting". She came home from work one day to find they had gotten in to her current project. They pulled it off the dining room table where she had it, and pulled all the yarn out of the bag and out the doggie door and into the back yard. It was a huge tangled mess. She brought it in and washed it out in the sink (big mistake - it caused the tangles to tighten). Then, she tried untangling it. She gave up pretty quick and threw it into a garbage bag to bring over for me to "play" with. I got it all untangled with out having to cut any of it. Oh, it was three skeins of Red Heart chenille yarn (two different colors) and four skeins of fun fur (two different colors).

#10 pineapplequeen

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:00 PM

Now I know what I want for Christmas!!:lol
Seems like it would save so much time.

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#11 acraftylady

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Posted 27 October 2011 - 02:55 PM

I don't mind the untangling at all - I just can't bring myself to cut a perfectly good piece of yarn. I ball my yarn - sometimes center pull and sometimes not, depending on what I want to use it for. Either way, I always tuck the "loose" end under several strands on the outside of the ball. This secures it and keeps it from unraveling and tangling.

My sister has two dogs that love to "help with Mommy's crocheting". She came home from work one day to find they had gotten in to her current project. They pulled it off the dining room table where she had it, and pulled all the yarn out of the bag and out the doggie door and into the back yard. It was a huge tangled mess. She brought it in and washed it out in the sink (big mistake - it caused the tangles to tighten). Then, she tried untangling it. She gave up pretty quick and threw it into a garbage bag to bring over for me to "play" with. I got it all untangled with out having to cut any of it. Oh, it was three skeins of Red Heart chenille yarn (two different colors) and four skeins of fun fur (two different colors).




Your sister owes you big time for that so hold it over her head, he he. Mary

#12 RoseRed

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 08:26 AM

The more I read here, the more I know I need to get a yarn winder. I thought I didn't really need it, but after untangling the other day for about an hour like the OP brought up.... I think I do!


Of course you do! I used mine so much that I broke it and ordered another one before the week was out.

Just remember that on the $40 plastic models - the gear is made of plastic.

#13 Lynn

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 09:51 AM

I used to have all my leftover yarn in one big huge bag. I sat down one day and started detangling and rolled the leftover skeins in center pull balls then put the balls in color coded 2 gallon bags. Pink in one bag, blues, turquoises, purples, yellows, browns, greens, etc. I now have 3 huge tubs with 2 gallon bags of yarn standing up in them. The only time it gets out of order is when I am doing a scrap afghan and need many colors at one time and even then its not hard to put back together again

#14 CLLinda

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 01:32 PM

I wind all my leftovers into balls, and then put each ball into a sandwich size plastic baggie. This way, it doesn't get tangled because it's contained. It helps a lot.

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#15 DogCatMom

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Posted 28 October 2011 - 05:44 PM

By the time you wear out three plastic yarn ball winders, you could've purchased this terrific yarn ball winder! (linked page includes short video on how it works)

I got one for my birthday in late August and have wound a couple dozen balls of varying yarns (donated, windfall, and purchased; knotted/salvaged, cooperative, and non-cooperative) since then.

It's just the best IMHO for price/value. Sure, there are more expen$ive winders, and the plastic one costs less. The first time....

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#16 RoseRed

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 06:41 AM

If I had seen that one I probably would have gotten it. I have it bookmarked for next time. Thanx so much for the link!

#17 Shell Lee

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 07:46 AM

I've only tried one ball winder so far, and I took it back to the store after making only a few balls. The yarn balls/cakes were so loose that it was difficult to pick them up without them falling apart. and it wouldn't even wind up 3 oz of yarn. :(

But I'm still looking for a good one. I'll have to check out that link above!
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#18 TheKnottyMale

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 10:04 AM

I don't save any of my scraps - I throw them away. The only time I will keep the leftover is if I happen to have a few more full skeins of the same color. I don't make items that require small bits of scrap and there's no way that I would take out the time to float all of those scraps into my project.

Typical "guy" answer eh??
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#19 DogCatMom

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 10:42 AM

I don't save any of my scraps - I throw them away.


*sigh* And when I think of the art programs in schools (where the schools still HAVE art programs--certainly not in California) in need of materials, the seniors centers which would love to make granny-square projects out of leftover yarn, etc., it makes me *sigh* to think of this yarn being thrown out.

Maybe designate a bag for "scraps" and then, when it's full, take to one of these locations?

OTOH, if you work in wool or natural fibers, you have an additional option: natural fibers decompose in the right environment--like a compost pile! Just cut 'em up into small pieces--not *real* small, just not the whole shebang in one clump--and put 'em in there with everything else. Problem solved. But acrylics, natch, won't decompose.

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#20 acraftylady

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Posted 29 October 2011 - 12:44 PM

I don't save any of my scraps - I throw them away. The only time I will keep the leftover is if I happen to have a few more full skeins of the same color. I don't make items that require small bits of scrap and there's no way that I would take out the time to float all of those scraps into my project.

Typical "guy" answer eh??


One of the ladies in my prayer shawl group at church we give her husband all our scraps and he uses them to help make shawls and they are the most beautiful creations. If I tried to use scraps like that mine would not look as good, don't know how he manages to get such nice color combinations but he does. Mary