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Topic: Tips for unrolling/detangling yarn?  (Read 2467 times)
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BlackResonance
« on: August 06, 2008 03:06:45 PM »

Can someone tell me how I can avoid this Huh



It started as a circle. I carefully found and clipped off the 3 strands of waste yarn holding it together and found two ends of yarn, both of which were entangled to begin with around the whole loop so I just picked the one that was less tangled. They were also both on the inside. Can someone explain WHY it's so difficult for a company to make a freaking ball of yarn?!? Angry And what exactly I'm doing wrong? This isn't the first time this has happened and of course I'm anal enough to sit there for hours on end and reroll it into a proper ball. The last one I had this problem with had 3 ends of yarn...3?
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008 03:08:42 PM by BlackResonance » THIS ROCKS   Logged
sassy-pants
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008 05:00:59 PM »

Yarn often comes in hanks, which is that it looks like you have.  The easiest way to wind a hank is with a yarn swift and ball winder.  Since you don't have either of those, you're going to want a parent, SO, or slave friend to hold the hank for you before cut the strands holding it together.  It should be a big oval, so make sure that all of the yarn is going the right way.  If you don't have a friend, you can use any number of things, a stack of books, a spinny chair, get creative.  Cut the strands, then find an end and wind a ball from that, going around and around.  That way, it won't tangle.  Cutting it and just going is what causes that nasty tangle.

And, to deal with that, you're just going to have to be patient.  Sad  Unfortunately, there's no easy way to take care of that.  If you buy your yarn from an LYS, many have a swift and ballwinder that you can use for free.  They'll even show you how to use it.  If you buy it online, some individuals who dye yarn are willing to wind it into a ball for you.

I wish you good luck and plenty of patience!  That looks like it's going to take a bit.
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BlackResonance
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2008 05:25:52 PM »

Good news is I'm almost done with it, but there seems to be a lot of little tiny nots. It's a boucle. I didn't have anyone around to help me at the time, but it just doesn't make sense to me, if there is an end of yarn wouldn't you just wind from that? And why do you need to wind? Why isn't it made into a ball, roll, skein, etc already?

Since this is either the second or third time this has happened I have vowed never to buy good yarn again. Guess I'll just stick to the Red Heart crap...Honestly it seems like such a waste of time if you have to do something the yarn company should have already done. Why not just leave it in a big heap in the store...seems practically the same to me.

Thanks for the help though.
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sassy-pants
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2008 05:31:53 PM »

Hanks are easier to ship.  A hank will fit into a bubble mailer, while a ball won't fit as well.  Don't give up on the good stuff!  Plenty of "nicer" yarns are already in balls, Debbie Bliss yarns come to mind.  And check out your LYS, you can get the hanked stuff there and wind it into a ball at the shop. 

Glad to hear that you're almost done though Smiley

ETA: When yarn is dyed, particularly natural fibers (as opposed to acrylic which isn't dyed, it just is that color), they are dyed in huge huge hanks, think 80+ feet in circumference.  Its easier (read: cheaper) to wind it into 100 gram hanks and sell it that way than to wind it into hanks then roll it into balls.
« Last Edit: August 06, 2008 05:35:23 PM by sassy-pants - Reason: Add info about dyeing » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2008 09:32:08 PM »

Oh, I totally feel for you right now.  On more than one occasion, I've sat down to quickly turn a hank into a ball, end up pulling the wrong string or something (who knows?!?), and then have an entire afternoon project at hand.  It's especially frustrating if you had just finished turning a hank of the EXACT SAME YARN into a ball in 15 minutes with no problems!

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« Reply #5 on: August 07, 2008 08:47:38 AM »

a yarn swift & ball winder in action.
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BlackResonance
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2008 06:12:01 AM »

Yeah, it went in the trash. The last bit was so severely knotted. It was mostly a mohair yarn with the rest being wool silk and nylon...it got all frazzeled from rolling it into a ball (even if I had something to wind it, it would still have ruined the yarn), never mind the parts that were undoable, it just looked like a big fuzz ball. I just don't see yarn that comes in a hank as being very efficient. Also those are, from what I've seen, the more expensive yarns so I don't see any cost issue with them having to be shipped because they're making more than enough selling them.
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soozeq
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2008 09:34:25 AM »

Oh mohair is notorious for tangling easily. But if you stick it in the freezer, it unsticks better. Next time, you might try trading the yarn with someone else rather than throwing it away. And that's just how the more expensive yarns are put up. It's not so much the ease in shipping as they're mostly found in yarn stores, but to show off the color/texture better and some people feel leaving it in a hank is easier on the yarn, doesn't stretch it out.
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sue
BlackResonance
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2008 11:41:15 AM »

So instead it can stretch by rolling it into a ball? It seems like the yarn would get ruined either way. I just see no point in it being in a hank Undecided

Besides that cotton crochet thread that comes on a cardboard spool, is there any other lighterweight (less than 4ply) 100% cotton, or wool that comes in a skein?
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sassy-pants
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2008 02:34:49 PM »

Peaches n' Creme and Sugar n' Creme cotton are both 100% cotton and are in balls.  KP Wool of the Andes comes in a ball, 100% wool, as does their Essential (100% Superwash wool) and Palette (100% wool) sock yarn.  There are tons of yarns that come in a ball/skein.  Check out Debbie Bliss yarns, Knit Picks, Elann.com.  Not all of them are in balls, but many are.
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BlackResonance
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2008 06:13:14 PM »

Peaches n' Creme and Sugar n' Creme cotton are both 100% cotton and are in balls.  KP Wool of the Andes comes in a ball, 100% wool, as does their Essential (100% Superwash wool) and Palette (100% wool) sock yarn.  There are tons of yarns that come in a ball/skein.  Check out Debbie Bliss yarns, Knit Picks, Elann.com.  Not all of them are in balls, but many are.

Thanks Smiley I'll definitely check those out.
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soozeq
« Reply #11 on: August 08, 2008 07:10:43 PM »

So instead it can stretch by rolling it into a ball? It seems like the yarn would get ruined either way. I just see no point in it being in a hank Undecided   

It depends on how long it's rolled up in a ball and how tightly it's wound. It's recommended that you roll up a hank just before you use it, not leave it balled up for a long period of time.

I bought some balled up yarn at the thrift store once and they seemed really hard to me so I rewound them. They came out much larger because they'd been stretched really tight in the first winding. The feeling by the manufacturers is that even a loosely wound skeing might be too much. <shrug> Most yarns are elastic enough that it shouldn't matter, but that's one reason.  Another may be as cited, that you can squish more hanks into a box going to the local yarn store than you can skeins.
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sue
sulkycat
« Reply #12 on: August 10, 2008 03:57:04 AM »

oh i sympathise so much, my lovely skein of bfl laceweight managed to totally tangle itself , all 420 yards of it....took about 6 hours over 2 days to undo it, all in tiny balls, i spit spliced it all together and its now half a shawl so far (spit splicing is BRILLIANT but only works on pure wools)

never try to knit straight from the skein / hank / loop though, its not worth it and it WILL get tangled (how many times have i tried to do this and its ended in wool vomit?? Tongue Tongue Grin), always best to take the extra bit of time and use whatever method suits to wind it into a ball first!

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BlackResonance
« Reply #13 on: August 10, 2008 11:13:29 AM »

wool vomit

Hahaha!! That saying makes me feel a bit better about the whole situation!  Cheesy

What is spit splicing?
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« Reply #14 on: August 10, 2008 11:17:36 AM »

What is spit splicing?

The less sanitary version of the felted join. Smiley
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« Reply #15 on: August 11, 2008 11:25:33 AM »

never try to knit straight from the skein / hank / loop though,

I haven't tried to, but the 3rd picture down here - she seems ok with it. (although from reading the rest of the blog, every one else in the room was about to have a nervous breakdown!  Grin )

The only 'good' tip I have on winding hanks to balls is to have some way to keep the hank open - as soon as it falls together, it tangles.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2008 11:26:34 AM by ThreadOrYarn » THIS ROCKS   Logged

lovefrozenstars
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2008 02:07:58 PM »

When I buy my yarn from my lys, they wind it into nice center pull balls for me.   Smiley (<3lys)
When I don't have someone to hold my yarn for me, I usually put it around my knees while I sit and roll it.  I gives you control over it, and keeps it from getting tangled.
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BlackResonance
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2008 08:10:35 AM »

never try to knit straight from the skein / hank / loop though,

I haven't tried to, but the 3rd picture down here - she seems ok with it. (although from reading the rest of the blog, every one else in the room was about to have a nervous breakdown!  Grin )

That's what I tried to do but for some reason the yarn ends were both on the inside, as opposed to the starting end of yarn being on the inside and the end of yarn after it was wrapped in a hank being on the outside. I wonder how they managed that one...
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soozeq
« Reply #18 on: August 12, 2008 09:30:31 AM »

Keep an tail hanging outside when you wrap it. There's a video that shows how to wind a center pull ball here toward the bottom of the page - http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips
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sue
BlackResonance
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2008 10:19:04 AM »

Keep an tail hanging outside when you wrap it. There's a video that shows how to wind a center pull ball here toward the bottom of the page - http://www.knittinghelp.com/videos/knitting-tips

That's how I always wind something up. But when I'm starting the hank itself for some reason this one I was recently trying to detangle and others I've tried to redo, the yarn ends were both on the inside. They weren't my doing, I bought them like that.
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« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2008 11:08:37 AM »

I've experienced the same thing with some hanks . . . and, of course, I usually end up selecting the wrong end to start the ball and end up with a mess  Smiley
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sassy-pants
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2008 11:47:31 AM »

They both appear to be on the inside because they tie them together.  Then the hank gets tied and wraps get shifted, and I've often seen both ends on the inside.  Just means you have to flip your hank out.
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« Reply #22 on: August 12, 2008 05:21:59 PM »

Just means you have to flip your hank out.

I really have nothing to add except that "flip your hank out" sounds like a rude suggestion.

"Hey pal, flip your hank out!" "Oh YEAH? Well, same to you!"
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BlackResonance
« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2008 07:21:21 AM »

I'm not even sure flipping it out would work, rude suggestion or not. If both ends were on the inside and I flipped it inside out then both ends would be on the outside...it would probably still tangle, knowing my luck, lol.
« Last Edit: August 13, 2008 07:22:08 AM by BlackResonance » THIS ROCKS   Logged
soozeq
« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2008 08:20:12 AM »

When you spread out the circle of yarn, you have to look for both ends and very carefully pull them a little to see which way they go. I just use the arm of the sofa and start winding, sometimes flipping the hank a bit if I have to. You just have to do this slowly so it doesn't get tangled.
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sue
BlackResonance
« Reply #25 on: August 31, 2008 02:57:22 PM »

Just means you have to flip your hank out.

Well...I reluctantly purchased another hank of yarn for a pair of socks I was trying to finish, I did flip it out this time, hung it up on the corner of a chair and wound it into a ball. Thanks Sassy Smiley
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