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How to Untangle Yarn

Learn how to unravel yarn and roll it back up neatly and ready for use!

How to Untangle Yarn

When you're sitting in your comfy chair working up the latest crochet design, the last thing you want to run into is a tangled ball of yarn. Even when you're just beginning a new project you don't want to encounter that pesky knot. Learn how to untangle yarn with this easy-to-follow tutorial.

These yarn tips will show you, step-by-step how to detangle yarn in one of the best ways available. If you crochet, knit, or work with yarn a lot, then you know how often this problem can occur. No need to get those scissors out and ruin the strand. Keep it as one piece with some patience and careful maneuvering. This tutorial answers your yell for tangled yarn help.

PLUS! Once you are done untangling your yarn, learn how to wind a yarn ball with this video tutorial directly below from our in-house yarn specialist. You will be all set for your next yarn project.

How to Untangle Yarn:

  1. Most of us do not get all happy when faced with something like this:

  2. However, if you take your time (and maybe grab some chocolate and tea/coffee/wine), you can get through this! The first thing to remember is: Do. Not. Pull. Really, don't do it. No pulling, no tugging, no yanking; you must be gentle or you will make it worse.

  3. Sometimes your yarn is one giant tangle, but often there are groups of tangles, in which case you want to separate them. Once you have laid out your yarn into its little piles of tangles you need to find at least one end.

    If it's not as easy as it was for me (it is clear that there is an end in the small tangle on top), then one way you can do this is look at how many strands of yarn are stretching between the various piles. If there is an uneven number, there is most likely an end in that pile.

  4. Once you have found it, see how much you can free easily, and began rolling it into a ball. Now you are ready to begin with the first pile of tangles. (If you cannot find an end, you can still untangle your yarn, it's just going to be a lot easier once it appears).

  5. As you work each tangle, look at it and decide the best way to approach it. In the photo above, you can see the yarn coming from my ball is wrapped around a lot of other parts of the yarn. The best way to untangle this part is to weave the ball through following the path of the yarn so that it will unwrap.

  6. Most tangles consist of a bunch of loops, so if you gently loosen up the tangled loops, you can unwrap the loops. This is really the "trick" to untangling yarn: free the loops. This works even if you do not have an end. Once I unwrapped the loop above I had a very large amount of free yarn to wind onto my ball.

  7. As you untangle, you may come across the other end of the yarn. When this happens, I recommend starting to wind that end as well. There will be points when one ball of yarn is easier to unwind than the other, and as you work it will most likely switch.

  8. Here you see I came to a point where it was very clear that the large ball of yarn was just wrapped through one of the tangles. I took my pointer finger and ran it along the path of the yarn. I then gently opened up that space and placed my entire hand inside. I was able to grab a hold of the large ball and pull it through freeing it from the tangle.

  9. At this point, I had two small piles of tangles each leading to one of the balls of yarn. I was able to carefully and gently untangle them and finish winding the balls. This left me with the yarn wound onto a ball from both ends, so I simply kept winding the large ball, unwinding the small one as I went.

  10. All done!

    I do need to point out the biggest reason I see people ending up with tangled yarn: If your yarn comes in a hank, you must wind it into a ball before trying to use it. Personally, I own a swift and a ball winder, and have never regretted a single penny that I spent on them. If you want to DIY it, then check out the video at the top of the page!

     
    Of course, you can also always check out these 43 Tips on Keeping Your Yarn Tangle Free.

     

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I'm really surprised that I seem to be the only one who doesn't like this article. I was excited when I saw the title, and thought that finally, someone had come up with a real way of untangling yarn. But it isn't revolutionary. I apologise to the person who wrote it, and I mean no offense, truly, but there just isn't anything here that is new. It's how you untangle string. It's how we've always done it. You get in there and assess the situation, find a main string, follow it as far as you can, hopefully locate the other end which will allow you to work backward from both ends, and then deal with the next thing you encounter and progress from there. I guess I'm disappointed because these die-hard crocheters are always coming up with cool new "gadgets" that make dealing with piles of yarn a little easier, like place markers, magnifying glasses with lights, stuff like that. I wanted to see a gadget! ) So yeah. If you invent some kind of gadget that will keep it from tangling, then I'll be ALL OVER it, baby! D Actually, my tip for dealing with yarn tangles that are pretty severe is to first cover it in hair conditioner--yep, just a conditioner that you'd get in the shampoo aisle. It relaxes the threads within the yarn enough that they'll slide out of the knots much easier. And again, I mean no offense. Just my opinion. ) Cheers.

I know this works and that's how I do it, but if we can put a man on the moon...really! Sweet rolls and the like are a good solution but are often pretty expensive and are multicolored. It's time we raise a fuss and to the winner go the spoils. The first company that comes up with a replacement at a comparable price gets my business. I'm a fan of Caron Simply Soft. they will be my first contact.

This is some great Helpful information!! I think we have all had the problem with tangled yarn. I buy it at the retail store all the time for cheep. It does take time to do and I find drinking a ice cold beer helps. I really like the video for making the center pull ball. Thank you so much for sharing this free how to!!

Every once in a while a tutorial comes along that I wish I had seen before. I use similar techniques as shown in the photos to solve the problem of my Yarn Barfs, but the video was a revelation. Although Ive never bought hanks of yarn like that, I do frequently have loose skeins of One Pounder yarn to deal with. I already use a tissue tube to wrap it around, but never thought of making a center pull Cake with it.

I am like a previous commenter. I love to untangle yRn, string or metal chains. I have had people toss out real gold chains because of a knot or two. I just sit down,mget my hands free magnifier and two straight pins or safety pins. Use the sharp end to get into the link on the chains. The main thing is patience! Don't get frustrated. If I stArt to feel that way I just walk away from it for awhile.

Oh boy. If you have been crocheted or knitting for as long as I have then you know this struggle is real. A real pain in the you know what. I am not very good at untangling knots and the expertise of how to find the correct string to pull when beginning a new skein has escaped me. I am however at expert level on making yarn balls.

Awesome! This is such a huge problem for me. Thanks!!

Postage refunded, send me your tangle and I will send it back within seven days untangled, spun into a ball or skein. I work with embroidery threads and yarn tangles. For more information please contact yarnuntied@gmail.com

I know this may seem weird, but I love untangling. For me it becomes almost a Zen- like experience. A cup of coffee, some good blues or rock (preferably The Allman Brothers) and I can take my time. I always have cats and/or kittens so there are times when I have lots of tangled yarn. They always seem to know where to find it. Thanks for the tutorial.

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