Sunday, February 28, 2016

How to untangle yarn [try it yourself or find a yarn wrangler]

Every now and then a yarn-related story will hit the mainstream news, be shared around social media and become a topic of conversation even amongst your non-yarny friends. How fun! In late December, the Wall Street Journal published "Knitters with hopelessly knotted yarn call 'Detanglers' for help".

"Many knitters find their craft a tranquil and even meditative pastime - until knots and tangles in their yarn send them into a fury. But for one group of fanatics, there is nothing more satisfying than a hopelessly tangled web. Daphne of Melbourne, Australia, once paid about $50 on eBay for a 25-pound box of snarled yarn, simply for the pleasure of untangling it."

I loved reading this article and was already aware of the therapeutic benefits of untangling yarn for some. However at the time of reading I thought I'm not one of those silly people who would ever get my yarn in a tangle. I'm far too careful.

But last month I was merrily winding a skein of expensive lace weight yarn on my swift and ball winder. I've never worked with lace weight yarn before I realize. Then the yarn breaks and I start a new ball. And then it breaks again. And in one of those rather vacant moments I just decide rather than start a new ball I'll wind on top of the ball and all will be well. Later when I start to crochet with the yarn the ball collapses leaving me with the worst tangle I've ever witnessed (see above). Hindsight is a wonderful thing and I now realize I should have wound my yarn very slowly because lace weight yarn is so very delicate. And winding a ball on top of a ball was just downright silliness that I will not repeat.

Anyway I decided I would see if detangling was relaxing for me and found the following tips on what to do:

Jessie Rayot from Jessie at Home has a helpful photo tutorial that I rather like on how to untangle yarn. Katrin Kania gives tips on how to untangle yarn using your swift how to untangle a skein of yarn I particularly love Katrin's instruction on how to calculate the time required:

"To get an estimation of how long it will take you, make a wild guess. Then multiply the time of your wild guess by two - that's the pessimistic wild guess. Now multiply that by ten, and you have an estimate."

I spent several evenings on my untangling project and I can report that it was very absorbing. But now it has been put aside, still on my swift, looking just as tangled as when I started. Perhaps I will need to bring in a Yarn Wrangler from the Knot a Problem group on Ravelry. Roving Crafters describe how to get the experts involved in their article: never fear the yarn wranglers are here

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