Thanks for the input. Please keep it coming!!!
Jan, "yarn barf"
Wow, does that SAY IT! Thanks for that!
I see I'm not the only one who has a problem with screwy center-pull skeins. And I do remember a time when the quality of the packaging was such that it was rare to have a tangle come out instead of a smooth pull of yarn.
I don't know what the change in wrapping methods has been but it's so different now, almost as though we, the consumers, have to do some of the work of the companies we buy the yarn from. Something wrong with that picture, right?
It's like a lot of the knitting books I've bought in recent years. The patterns aren't apparently properly tested and are subject to serious errors, as are portions of the text. It's not that unusual to find an explanation of a technique written up beside the wrong picture. Difficult when you're trying to learn the technique!!! Then the consumer has to figure it out and fix it. Even when there are errata pages on the publisher's website, it's still up to the consumer to fix THEIR product!!!
So I'm going to put my foot down on these sliding-downhill standards and contact some yarn companies that I've had problems with, voice a complaint and find out what their position is. I'll keep you all posted.
Thanks and happy knitting.