Some of this may be the yarn you are using. I am workign with a ribbon yarn right now that is on a core like toilet paper is. When I pull my yarn, it twists up something terrible. the only way I could resolve this would be to put it on a stand that would force the yarn to unwind flat instead of twirling off the top of the skein, willy nilly.
Other yarns twist and kink up when they are pulled from the center of the ball or pulled from the outside. Yarn's just funky that way.
What kind of yarn are you using and in what form is it (skein, ball, hank, pile?)