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43 Ways to Keep Your Yarn Tangle Free

43 Ways to Keep Your Yarn Tangle Free:

We asked the question, and you gave us the answers. Below you can find a great list of ways to keep your yarn tangle free. Working with multiple skeins of yarn at once can become very messy and frustrating, and all too often our yarn gets tangled up, both with itself and with other colors. Sometimes even simple crochet patterns can take a while to work up. Not because it's a long pattern or even difficult to read, but because your many skeins of tangled! How do you crochet without tangling your yarn?

Plus, check out some bonus basket patterns and other crochet organization patterns below this handy list! 

  1. Nicki: I take the time to wind my skeins in to balls. This seems to make it SO much easier to work with than leaving it in the skein.
  2. Ritainalaska: I kit up my project in a bag to fit the yarn, packed so that the yarn will pull from the inside. If doing color work, I can wind bobbins easier and if doing two pieces, I turn one way one time, the other way the next time. I can pack two or three projects, knit and crochet in my work bag and never tangle.
  3. Linda: If it’s real tangly I stop & working from the opposite end wrap it into a ball, otherwise just untangle as I go.
  4. LizzieK8: I never use center pull balls as they eventually collapse and tangle. Keeping my yarn in a small project bag, bowl, box, or even plastic bag keeps it safe and tangle free.
  5. Christine: I keep my yarn in a 2L pop bottle I’ve cut in half. I put the yarn inside,thread my wool through the top opening, then squeeze the bottom half of the bottle to put it back together. This also keeps my yarn from gathering bits of dust or my long hair.
  6. Julie: I use a recycled oatmeal container, (but you could use just about anything with a plastic lid), poke a hole through the lid, feed the yarn through and place the yarn in the container with the lid on top. This keeps my yarn tangle free and you can use more that one container if you are using more than one color.
  7. Knittingdancer on Ravelry: I punch a small hole in one side of a ziploc bag to pull the yarn through before I cast on. I put the cake or ball of yarn inside the bag pulling the end through the hole and closed the ziploc bag with the ball of the yarn inside it. The only yarn that is outside the bag is the yarn that is attached to my needles.
  8. Cheryl Flanders: I use a gadget called Yarn Tamer. It will unwind your yarn flawlessly. You insert the center of your yarn skein/ball onto the plastic sleeve and start to unwind. It keeps your yarn clean, off the floor (away from pets!) and prevents tangling. You can throw it in your knitting bag and take it along with you.
  9. Simply Irresistible Diamond Trellis BasketCynthia Wilbanks: After winding my yarn into balls, I place them in decorative bowls I have found at the local thrift store. The bowls are usually a deeper “vase” type so the yarn cannot jump out or roll around too much.
  10. Carmen: I put the yarn in a bag that allows it to roll or turn as needed for me to pull (if I’m not using a center-pull yarn) but it doesn’t allow enough movement to become tangled.
  11. Mary L: I always find the yarn end that is inside the skein and pull it to start my row. As the yarn is used it slides easy out of the skein. To keep skein from rolling around I insert it into the plastic bag that my morning paper arrives in or a bag that accommodates the skein size.
  12. Lenore: I use extra large bobbins and a russian join. This way I avoid knots and lumps in the project. This is particularly convenient when I am knitting fair isle or any other multi-color projects.
  13. Susan Havens: I have used empty “wet wipe” holders. My skein will fit in it and not tangle. I just pull the yarn out through the top.
  14. Darleen Worm: Currently I am working on an afghan with big needles using 4 yarns at one time. I used to spend more time untangling than knitting! I tried a variety of tips but what works best for me is to use the yarn from the OUTSIDE of the machine-wound ball rather than from the center pull. It seems to twist less. Then I place each yarn in a round quart size plastic container and separate the containers physically around me on the floor about 1 1/2 to 2 feet apart from each other-one each left and right and two in front but still a good distance away from each other. When I want to put my project away I just stack the containers (yarn still inside) and slip it all in my tote bag. It takes up a bit of floor space but makes knitting so much easier.
  15. Candy Ferrall: If the yarn is “self-wound” I leave it alone, otherwise I roll it into a ball before I start. I knit with my yarn in a container next to my chair. I haven’t had a problem with my yarn tangling doing this. It also gives me a place to store the needles, pattern, notions, etc that I need for that particular project.
  16. Linda Stewart: If going in both directions, I flip, then flop project. For color work in grafts I use yarn bobbins for each color and let them swing in the back until needed.
  17. Bernice: I have used a number of different things. I’ve used 2 litre soda bottles, 1/2 gallon plastic milk or juice containers, and I’ve used ziploc bags. I use ziploc most often, especially for travel projects.
  18. Kerri Archer: My mother-in-law gave me a lovely bag that I use, especially while traveling. It allows the yarn to have just the right amount of movement (and it is also a great place to store needles & project). However, this past Christmas, my mother gave me a yarn organizer that stores up to six skeins of yarn at a time. Each skein has its own compartment. I simply pull the yarn through the holes in the lid. No tangling, no dirt, no problem!
  19. How to Organize Bits of Yarn Fran: I am fortunate to have a knitting stand. I usually just close the lid and the yarn stays free-flowing. I just try to keep an eye on it, to be sure it does not hang up on anything.
  20. Jenni Kane: I am a huge fan of ziplock bags. I put all the necessary yarn in the bag and zip it partially shut. It keeps the yarn clean and all together.
  21. Jill Hennes: Empty liter soda bottles, but most of the time I forget and just deal lol
  22. Shannon: I keep it in ziploc bags. It’s a great method because you can use different size bags for different size balls of yarn.
  23. Carol: I use one of those pretty cardboard wine carriers that you can find. I put a hole in the tube’s cap so the yarn can come through easily. It even has a rope handle on it so you can carry it where ever you go. Works for any size yarn.
  24. Pat: I wind the yarn into a ball then put in a plastic zip bag and cut a hole in one corner to thread the working yarn through.
  25. Rae Cicelske: I use a small laundry basket with holes and run the yarn through separate holes.
  26. Paula Corman: I wind my yarn into balls and I sit in bed, hopefully without my cat, and put one ball of yarn on each side of my hips.
  27. Tammy Hempel: I usually sit in a chair with my thread in a sack brown sack at my side. This way when I pull on the thread, the ball or skein stays put and I am not chasing it all over the floor. The side of the bag is stiff enough to hold the thread or yarn up and keeps it from tangling. I get a nice flow of thread or yarn this way.
  28. Ann Kinderknecht: I found a large vase someone didn’t want and it’s big enough and tall enough to either put a pull through skein in or a ball of yarn and it just rolls around in the vase…(the balls not the skein:)! ty
  29. Sue: I use ziplock bags too. I also took a small clear make up case from walmart and punched holes in the sides. I use it when I do two socks at once. One cake feeds out the front the other from the back or you can use the inside and outside of the same cake this way.. Works great.
  30. Tuscan Crochet Bag PatternJeanette: I put each ball or skein of yarn in a separate bag and pull. I usually check every second row to make sure it isn’t twisting too much.
  31. Kate: Just like a lot of other people, I either pull the yarn from the center of the skein or I roll it into a ball. I keep the skein or ball in a bag while I’m working so the cats can’t get it.
  32. Smfsprout: I ‘borrowed’ this tip from another crocheter. I use the plastic sleeves that are used to keep wine bottles from banging together. They expand to fit a full skein and contract as I pull the yarn through the center.
  33. Pam: I have recently started using a bowl to put my yarn in.
  34. How to Wind a Center-Pull Ball of Yarn by HandKimberly Canale: I always wind my yarn into center pull balls. Rewind when necessary.
  35. Melinda: I wind my yarn into a ball and then put them into small stryofoam containers that I have from my medication. I put a hole in the lid and the yarn through the hole, comes out with no tangles, keeps the yarn clean and out of the pets reach.
  36. Chevas Hefflinger: I put two colors in a large ziplock bag and have each side open and zip it in the middle
  37. Juanell Dunlap: I wrap yarn skeins into balls and either put it beside me or in my crochet bag. Another way is clean out 1 or 2 liter pop/giner ale bottle; dry thoroughly! Put yarn inside, put bottom back on and crochet or knit away.
  38. Char55: If I’m working with a pattern that calls for small bobbins of several colors, I wind each color of yarn around a spring type clothespin and when I finish with that particular color, I put the working end of the yarn in the mouth of the clothespin to hold it so it won’t unwind while I’m working with another color.
  39. Terri L: Once my center pull skeins get to a certain ‘thinness’ I start from the outer end and wrap the rest into a ball and place it in a small sandwich bag with all but a small portion zipped closed.
  40. Lynn Sanders: I take an empty plastic coffee can and cut a quarter size hole and tape the edges, place the yarn inside and it pulls just fine with no tangling.
  41. Carolyn: I take empty paper towel rolls and wind my yarn around the roll.
  42. Sherry: I use a tall narrow bag and pull the inside yarn. Works great. But here is an idea I haven’t tried that came from a friend who pulls the outside end. Slide the yarn over a paper towel roll.
  43. Jennifer Bellamy: I have my Mother wind the yarn into balls and then I have no problem with it tangling as I use it. It is often in a tangle for my Mother to untangle.


Crochet Basket Patterns:

Crochet Nesting Bowls To keep your yarn organized, you don't need to buy a decorative bowl or dish if you don't want to. Simply crochet your own! With these easy crochet basket patterns, you can keep your yarn organized and at the ready for your next big project. 

  1. Crochet Nesting Bowls
  2. Small Project Yarn Basket
  3. Lacy Crochet Bowls
  4. Two-Toned Crochet Nesting Baskets
  5. Mega Bulky Crochet Baskets
  6. Itty Bitty Crochet Basket Pattern




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My husband cut PVC pipes of 4" diameter and placed them vertically in a new tool bag (he smoothed the rough edges). An unexpected benefit is, when I pull the yarn out of the middle of the skein, there is just enough static that the outside of the skein clings to the pvc pipe. The skein never collapses, right down to the last inch of yarn.

Oh man, so many helpful ideas. Thanks!

I use soda bottles that I've washed and dried, cut the bottoms off and duct taped zippers to. They work wonderfully!

This article gives you so many ways to keep your yarn untangled! It include soda bottles, milk and juice containers, wet wipe or baby wipe containers, empty paper towel holders, bowls and bags. Ziploc bags won hands down with a lot of people! I have had problems with pulling yarn from the center and it getting tangled up after awhile, so I avoid that.

I do my best to avoid tangling my yarn. If I don't use the while skein, I always roll the removing yarn into a ball and store in a old plastic coffee container. I have lots of balls.

A variation that I use is bread bags. They can be rolled down a bit to the height of the skein. Can put several in a tote bag for transporting. Works GREAT on threads. Got the idea when I was sorting projects and didn't want to take them out of the bag.

I wind my yarn around paper towel tubes. They store nicely in my bag or my basket. My husband made me a holder that has a dowel I the center I can just place a tube of yarn on it. This allows the tube to spin as I crochet, no tangles involved. The stand fits nicely in my bag for when I need to take my project with me. I just simply change out tubes when using more than one color on a project!

My husband made me a carrier out of a tool bag with 4" and 6" pvc pipes cut in 12" lengths (with sanded edges) set vertically in the bag. Place the skeins of yarn in the tubes. Small skeins fit in the smaller tubes and bigger skeins in the larger ones. The small amount of static electricity caused by the yarn makes the outside of the skein stick to the walls of the tubes, so when you use the yarn, the skein never collapses and knots.

I am presently working with filet crochet thread on a 2mm. hook and it gets tangled whatever I do. I already put it on a spindle, which of course helps, but I also asked the advise of the wise old woman of Jerusalem who sold me the thread at her yarn shop. She said the filet thread is already over twisted, so wrap it around your index finger in the opposite direction from what you usually would. Takes some getting used to, and I automatically switch back to the normal way without meaning to, so I can't say that it does work, but that is the craft knowledge that she imparted.

I recently knit a blanket with 5skins of yarn at the same time. I ordered a lazy Susan to spin the yarn untangled. They twist with each row turn.

Postage refunded, send me your tangle and yI will send it back within seven days untangled, spun into a ball or skein. For more information please contact

I use an old Huggies baby wipe box. Pull from the slot and nothing gets tangled.

I always wrap it in a ball

I use to put one skein in a plastic pop bottle like (coke), take off the bottom and put it in then put the bottom back on and pull the string out of top..Use two bottles and it works great..You then can hold yarn out of both bottles and crochet!

OLD KNEE HIGHS! Stuff your center pulls in old knee-highs, trouser socks, panty-hose (cut off legs - one leg makes two), etc. They hug the yarn perfectly, conforming to the collapsing ball to crochet from beginning to end with no tangles!

I really think that the yarn merchants should think of a way to make it easier for us crocheter and knitters from tangled yarn. We would not be so frustrated untangling yarn. I end up so frustrated some times that I will use the tangled yarn into stuffing. Or put outside for the birds to make their home. lol

Here's my problem. I keep all my yarn in my special closet and have many wired shelves. I have too many different color yarn to wind into balls. I also like to see what I have so I don't go and buy more yarn. If I put in ziplock then they slide off the shelf. I tried rubber bands around the skein but if I forget to put the rubber back on, then it gets tangled up again. What to do?

How about using the small plastic bins/with lids. That way you can see what is inside, and you could stack on the wire shelf. They would hold more then one skein also, so if you have several skeins of the same color and type, they would all be together.

I'm surprised I did not see this tip anywhere. When using skeins that you pull the yarn from the center, put the skein in an old knee-high hose. It's great, the hose keeps gentle compression on the skein as it gets smaller, there is no twisting or tangling and the yarn stays clean. Also when using multiple colors, just use some yarn and a darn needle to tack one side of the top of the knee high to another.

To help keeping my store purchased yarn, I use the little winder machine to rolls them into a cylindrical ball that feed the yarn from the center. Then I put that "ball" into a expended "baby wipes' dispenser and feed the start of the yarn through the hole that the diaper wipes were dispensed. It keeps the yarns away from dust, cats, dogs, etc.

I use a gallon sized milk jug, thouroughly washed out. I cut a portion out of the front, so I can pick it up and go, with the handle. The hole in the front, is fairly large,includes the front 'corner' of the jug. Then I just insert my skeins in the base of the jug, and run the thread out of the hole on the top.Viola! I have recycled and am just crafting my crochet thread and needle holder. This is the way my 95 year old Mother has carried, protected and carried her crochet since the early 1960's!

I made a crochet bag holder and decided to try to make it a yarn flow. I put a plastic bag to line it, then placed a ball in, pushed a hole through the plastic and out one of the holes! I have three balls of yarn coming out the side holes and hang it up for easy access! Works beautifully!

When I'm working with thread I put the ball in a plastic coffee can (I have lots of them!). I can also put my doily, scissors, a copy of my pattern, and any other notions I might need in there as well. If I'm working with yarn, I have a sturdy flat-bottomed tote bag that will hold several skeins.

I make the yarn into balls, and then I use large size knee highs and stuff each ball into one. Lots of times, when I need more yarn, I can just give the ball in the knee high a shake, and more comes out. I am currently working with seven strands, and I put them in a large basket. As I reach the end of the row, I flip the work over to the other side, turn the basket around and I am good to go again.

I use a clean 5 gallon bucket with a lid. I drill holes in the lid for the yarn to thread through. (This is for big projects or when I need to use two strands to crochet with.) Works real well for me.

I reuse old used plastic coffee cans (the large ones- folgers coffee) to hold yarn. I wash thoroughly to get rid of the odor of coffee and then I put a hole in the lid with a drill and smooth the edges with a heated nail that I hold with pliers to make sure my yarn does not snag on the end. After that I cover the label with different scrapbooking idea and papers, I even added rhinestones to one. I dont always add holes to the top of the can, I these cans also make great gift boxes. I just spray paint them different colors with plastic spray paint, decorate (craft papers, jewels, markers or acrylic paints, etc) and add my gift items. I love them because they stack nicely.

I use a 2-skein Chic-A bag. It's great at keeping your yarn projects in order and keeping the yarn from getting tangled!

I usualy crochet with several colors of yarn at once, and I when I purchased Tupperware storage bins for potatoes/onions, etc., I got an extra one for yarn. The bin is large enough to hold several skeins/balls of yarn without tipping over, keeps the yarn clean, and there are several slits in the front of the lid that the yarn can be easily threaded through.

I use a little crate that I got at Walmart, that has holes, after my yarn is wound into a ball I thread the yarn through the crate holes. if I'm using multiple yarns, I'll grab a laundry basket, and thread the different colors through those holes.

I have also used the containers from the balls and lids that come from the bubble gum game machines you find in theaters and hockey arenas. I just heat up paper clip on a candle and stick it in the top to melt the hole as big as I want it. Make sure it doesn't snag my wool and file down if I need to. Put my wool or crochet cotton or tatting thread inside and snap the lid back on. Doesn't tangle with any other thread and fits nicely in your bag or purse.

I use any Tupperware container I have and place my yarn inside. I have quite a few that have a spout on them and just run the thread through that spout. I can also use the lid to snap back on so it doesn't decide to wander off anywhere (roll).

I use a LARGE empty Lysol (wipes) container, the large ones work well for new skeins, you then pull the yarn through the cap where the wipes would come out... The SMALL containers I use for Hooks or needles or small balls of yarn I have left from projects.

i use a PVC T from Lowes/Home Depot. i thread each color yarn through the sides and then all out the "one" end.

I have bought a few recycable bag for 99 cents a piece at the State(liquer)Store. They have 6 spaces for bottles. It works perfect to put a skein of yarn in each holder

I actually just made something to keep various colors of yarn in so they dont become tangled. I seen a yarn organizer for sale that will hold 7 skeins of yarn but the reviews were bad so I decided to make one for myself. I am making a baby blanket for my new grandson and it uses more than one color at once and its been very frustrating because they threads get all tangled so I made an organizer myself. I took an old bucket I have had for ages that margarine came in at an A&W restaurant I worked at. I rinsed out 6 clear plastic 2 litre pop bottles, cut the tops and bottoms off(trying to keep them as straight as possible) placed them inside the bucket and punched 6 holes in the lid adjacent to each plastic circle. Each circle will hold a ball of yarn or skein of yarn thats threaded through each hole before you begin your project. Keep your yarn neat, tidy and clean and if the yarn twines around each other you just have to turn the pail and not fiddle around with the balls of yarn trying to untangle them.

I use bath scrubbies from the Dollar Store. I take them apart then cut the long nylon strip into skein size pieces. I then close one of the ends with small elastics and voila. They stretch to fit fairly large skeins and collapse as you crochet or knit the yarn. They are also reuseable!

First I wind mine into balls. Then if I am working with more than one color. I take an old shoe box, put holes in the top and thread the yarn through the lid. Depending on the size of the ball, I can fit three to four different balls in the shoe box. Not only does this keep them from getting tangled, but it keeps them safe from my fur-babbies.

i totally agree with the girls who put yearn into balls. Also think putting them into colored bowls a great idea!

I us old pop bottles and cut out the side. Place the ball on the bottle with the tread coming out of the top. Marjorie Flavel

Use old nylons. Put the pull skein inside and pull from the top. The nylon forms around the skein and keeps the skein from falling apart and twisting. For full nylons just put a knot at one end.


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