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Old 01-09-2013, 11:33 PM   #1
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Frustrated with knotted yarn
Hello all!

Beginner knitter here. I am using some worsted yarn to knit a headband. I was knitting alone quite well until I came upon some random knots in my ball of yarn (like pieces of yarn tied together). My husband and I have been trying to unknot it for almost 45 minutes and I am about ready to explode!

Does anyone have any quick tips to unknot the yarn so I don't have to begin again with my project?

Are there any steps I should take PRIOR to beginning my knitting so I can avoid this?

Are there any yarn brands that I should stay away from in order to not have to deal with this problem?

Thanks in advance for the help!

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:04 AM   #2
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Prior I would unravel the ball and roll a new one of my own and caron simply soft sometimes has those problems
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:16 AM   #3
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I always check out yarns on They will have a comment tab and the more popular ones that have been around a while will have loads of comments where people address these issues. However, this won't always help you with new yarns when there aren't comments yet. Sometimes you just have to trust your knitting fate I guess.
I also check out the Knitter's Review.
If its the problem I think you are having, it is two yarns tied together and that is frustrating. I always like to have my yarn changes happen at the edge that will be seamed or at certain points in a circular piece and so I will unknit back to that point, while grumbling, and proceed as if I'm adding a new ball of yarn. Some companies do seem to have this happen more than others and I don't know enough about the industry to say its because its not a good yarn although that's how I feel when it happens.
If its not this problem then maybe the yarn has pulled itself into knots because of issues when it was wound into a skein and then its just an opportunity to practice patience.
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:18 AM   #4
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Knots are normal. Some skeins have more than others and some have none. If it's two ends tied together I just cut it and continue. Weave the ends in later. I actually prefer to change yarns in the middle somewhere unless it's a different color. Less bulk on the edge.

It's annoying, but it's not a deal breaker if I love the yarn.

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Old 01-10-2013, 12:33 AM   #5
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All yarns can have knots in them, I've rarely found any in Caron Simply Soft, and many expensive yarns have them too.

Sounds like you've got tangles too, that happens with any yarn. If they're really bad and you have enough yardage you can cut them out.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:07 AM   #6
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It is frustrating but it's something you'll face with different yarns. I'm having the same problem with some Rowan yarn right now. I cut out the knot and join the two ends using one of the methods under the Tips videos (see Free Videos at the top of the page) for joining new yarn. You can do this in the middle of the headband so that the edges stay clean if you like.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:54 PM   #7
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There are typically two kinds of knits you'll encounter in yarn, I've found. One is where the manufacturer had to splice to pieces together, so once you get the knot untied you have two pieces of yarn. Those I just fix with scissors and horse on. The second kind is one that's resulted from me getting the yarn in a hopeless tanlged up mess. Those I usually try to untie because... I don't like joining any more than I have to. I've found that a really, REALLY strong pair of those heap reading glasses you get at the drugstore helps a lot for this purpose. And other purposes as well. I'll also take a small needle, say a US 4 or so, to help pry the knot open. You gotta be careful when you do that not to unply the yarn too much, but I usually find that it does less damage than trying to yank on it from the outside.
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Old 01-10-2013, 09:57 PM   #8
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It's not just you. I think they changed the manufacturing process. I didn't used to have those problems 20 years ago. The center pull skeins don't want to pull out. Then you have what they call yarn vomit when you pull and a whole bunch comes out. The center pull is fine for a while until you get to the end of the skein. Then it wants to tangle like mad. I don't think there's any one company that's better than another. They're all bad that way.

It's a lot of work, but you might be better off rolling the whole thing up in a ball. It feeds easier and you can watch for knots and things like that. I'll admit, I'm lazy. I use the center pull skein for half of it. I usually do things like mittens and hats. Then when it gets down to the end and things get hairy, I'll roll it into a ball.

When you have it rolled up in a ball, put it in a plastic shopping bag, run the end out, and tie the ties shut but not tight so it can easily feed out. This keeps the ball from rolling onto the floor and down the street. It also keeps pet hair and dust off it. Some people like yarn bowls, but they can get pretty pricey. I like Michael Sellick from The Crochet Crowd's idea. He just goes in his kitchen and gets a clean bowl out of the cabinet to use as a yarn bowl. My soup bowl works great and it's free.
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Old 01-10-2013, 11:52 PM   #9
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Yarn bowls? That's new to me. I use plastic pails that had peanut butter or detergent or.... People sell and buy yarn bowls? They must have some great feature a coffee can or plastic food tub doesn't? Maybe I better google yarn bowls.
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Old 01-11-2013, 01:18 AM   #10
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Pottery ones are purtier than coffee cans...
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