View Full Version : Big Tangles

06-26-2009, 12:04 AM
Hey all

I am saddened tonight at my lack of dying skills. I just dyed two skeins of knitpicks bare merino sock yarn with Jaquards acid dye.

The colours turned out vibrant and wonderful! However it was my first attempt at dying in the washing machine (which I actually had thought worked very well at first glance) and I must not have prepared the wool right, cause I have two hanks of massive tangle.

Now I have to rebuy both the dye and the wool. Big oopsy on my part...but what do I do with the hanks of mangled hopelessness?

DH is suggesting I use it as stuffing. (it would be quite expensive stuffing at this point!!!) We have weedled the two ends out and are slowly working them out, but you know how that goes...once there is enough length, it starts tangling on itself, rather than wanting to flow through.

I could start cutting it in small lengths, but that would be a pain to knit with....

So...Anyone have any good suggestions?

What have you done with your hopeless wonders?

06-26-2009, 06:19 AM
Personally, I'd probably dis-entangle it, as it would make me crazy to just throw away all that work and money -- if you put the ends on yarn bobbins or make little balls with them, that helps for a while, plus there's the fact that when the balls of un-tangled yarn get big enough, you have to start opening up the tangle to get them through the spaghetti, which while aggravating initially, helps the process to go a lot faster later.

But then I'm the sort of person who will sit with hours with my sisters' jewelry boxes untangling their necklaces for them. :)

06-26-2009, 06:38 AM
I'm with Zina. I'd stick with the untangling for as long as I could until I felt like chucking the whole mess. Then I'd set it aside, do somthing else for the rest of the evening. Then pick it up again another day and keep at it for a while again. rinse, repeat. Eventually it'll get done.

06-26-2009, 07:37 AM
I have had yarn and threads from embroidery tangle and I do what everyone has suggested. Start untangling and wrap around something small and work at it until it is all untangled. I would hate to waste such nice yarn. Slow and steady!

06-26-2009, 08:45 AM
This untangle is going to take a LONG while.

DH and I ended up working on it for 2 straight hours and barely got a few yards out of it.

Basically what has happened is that I put the skein in the washing mashine (as it comes from KP) around the centre washing thing. It is strange...cause yes...it is essentially in its same shape, but within that shape, it has almost braided its self in places....I am right confused as to how that happened....

Yeah...we will keep plugging at it...(there are actually two skeins)...I might even consider cutting it in places...*shudder*

The problem with balling it up or putting it in bobbins though is that right now, it needs to feed through the skein as one strand. But hopefully that will change as I go along...

06-26-2009, 02:43 PM
I've never ordered anything from KP -- are the skeins tied? From what I've seen, it's usually best to tie the skeins in at least six (if not eight) places, using a loose figure eight around the fibers. The way my skeins come from so many companies, I'd never put them in the washer like that -- usually tied in only four places, and sometimes even just two.

Just keep at it, and put it away when you can't stand it anymore, to get out again later when you can. Even an hour on it a day is good. Eventually it'll be done and you'll have yarn you can use again. :)

06-26-2009, 04:42 PM
That actually helps...KP have them done up in two spots...

Yeah...eight sounds good....but I actually went out and bought a "chemical only" pot for my stove....so I think I will be doing stove top instructions from here on in!!!

06-26-2009, 04:59 PM
When I dyed - I used the KP Bare yarn - SO easy. I also used Kool-Aid and my crockpot - even more easy!

So sorry about your tangled mess. :( I hope it all untangles for you. How heartbreaking. :(

06-26-2009, 05:21 PM
I feel a bit of bitterness toward tangles. My last uber-tangle was sniped into bits (by my DD aged 3, such a helper!), felted all together, and cut into applique flower shapes. a lovely outcome with no cursing needed.

06-26-2009, 07:11 PM
i have untangled several *hopeless*messes of yarn, and though it does take time and patience, it can be done. when you have found an end, start winding it into a ball. there will come a time when you have to maneuver that ball through small openings, but hang in there. just think of how much time, money and effort you put into the yarn so far, and that will make it somewhat easier to persist. good luck. linknit41

06-26-2009, 08:14 PM
Yeah...between DH and I, we figured in short hour sessions, we could get it to come apart....I think we are not losing hope on it yet...

The new yarn will come, and I will work with it, but I will have the two tangled ones in a year or so...(lol)

06-27-2009, 08:18 AM
Did the dye come with instructions for dying in the washing machine? Did you just use the tub and hand-agitate? or actually turn the washer on? I'd think if you use the machine agitation, even gentle cycle, you'd want the yarn tied in many spots.

I've only dyed once or twice with kool aid in a glass pan in the microwave, gentle hand agitation so not much change of tangles.

06-27-2009, 10:18 AM
Yes...it did come with machine instructions...however, it did not say anything about how many times to tie it off...just to use the stove top with wool, as it would felt in the machine...I was using superwash....so I just dove in.

Yes...the instructions actually say to put it through a cycle, on the lowest water height required for the job. Put it through two cycles (without letting the first one finish the wash cycle first) if you want extra colourfastness....But to be fair, they are standard instructions for dying...not for specifically dying yarn in skeins...

I thought that it being tied off in two spots, and being around the washing drum, it would likely be fine...but hindsight 20/20...I was wrong...and won't make that mistake again!