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How to keep yarn from tangling

If you love to knit, you know how frustrating it can be when yarn tangles as you’re working on a project. Tangled yarn can take the joy out of knitting or make your task that much harder to complete. Fortunately, there are numerous techniques you can try to keep yarn from tangling or twisting in the midst of a knitting project. Before trying some of these techniques, it may be helpful to understand why yarn tangles in the first place when working on knitting or crocheting projects. 

Why Does Yarn Tangle? 

There are various reasons why your yarn may tangle when working on a knitting task. Yarn responds differently to different types of projects. A lightweight yarn, for example, may tangle more easily when working on a complex project. The quality of your yarn, how it’s pulled, how tightly it’s wound, the complexity of your project and your knitting experience (or lack thereof) can also contribute to problems with tangling.

Knitting with two or three colors is obviously more difficult than knitting with one. Keeping multiple yarn skeins organized and tangle free can be a challenge, to say the least. If you lack experience with two or three-strand knitting, you may wind up with twisted, knotted or tangled yarn. If you’re used to knitting with one kind of yarn and decide to switch to a different kind of yarn for a new project, you may wind up tangling strands due to the way you’re used to working the yarn. Although tangled yarn is a common problem when knitting, there are ways to work around it.  

How to Keep Yarn from Tangling While Knitting

Even seasoned knitters struggle with the problem of tangled yarn at some time or the other. The following tips shared by fellow knitters could provide the solution to your dilemma of how to keep yarn from tangling while knitting. By experimenting with some of these methods, you’re bound to discover a few that work well for you. 

Put Yarn in Plastic Bags or Containers

Many knitters put their skein or yarn ball into a plastic bag or container and punch a small hole in the side to thread the yarn through. This keeps the yarn from tangling as you pull to unravel it while working on your project. You also don’t have to worry about your skein or ball of yarn getting dirty if it falls from your chair or table to the floor. Recycled cereal boxes, coffee tins or Ziploc bags work great for this project. When knitting with multiple colors, use a separate bag or container for each color to keep your yarn organized and tangle free.

Wrap Yarn around Clothespins

Working with multiple colors always poses a risk of yarn getting twisted or tangled. Clothespins offer another solution to how to keep yarn from tangling when knitting with two or more colors. You’ll need a clothespin for every color of yarn you’ll be using on your project. Take each color and wrap it around a separate clothespin. Then close the clothespin around the strand you’ll be working with to keep your yarn neatly in place until you’re ready to use it. 

Roll Skeins into Balls

As yarn is much easier to work with when it’s in a ball, consider rolling your yarn skeins into balls before starting your knitting project. Balled yarn is more compact and in a tighter form, which makes it less likely to tangle. It may take a few extra minutes of your time, but is well worth the effort to minimize dealing with knotted or twisted yarn later on.

Experiment with Different Ways of Pulling Yarn 

With some types of yarn, pulling from the center of the skein or ball can help keep it from tangling. With other types, it’s easier to pull from the outside. That’s because yarn differs in quality, thickness and the material it’s made of. You may need to experiment to see how different types of yarn respond to pulling, so you’ll be prepared to use the right technique when you start your project. 

Practice, Practice, Practice!

To become proficient in knitting, it takes practice. The more you practice, the better you’ll become, making tangling less and less an issue as time goes by. At the same time, you’ll learn a few tricks along the way of how to mitigate this problem so you can enjoy this pastime to the full. What’s important is that you don’t let a few tangles keep you from the hobby you love!

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