I tend to have bad luck with skeins and in this case the second I cut the two ends free and gave one a tug it seemed I had a gigantic clump of knots. I think the only thing that prevented me from tearing my hair out was the fact that the yarn in question was partially rayon and quite slippery. Rather then ending up with tight knots, the yarn was slippery and easy to untangle, but incredibly time consuming.
Not wanting to go through the same headaches with other skeins I have waiting to be unravelled, I thought I'd turn to the internet for some advice. After all, I'm sure I'm not the only one that is skein challenged out there.
Out of my searching comes this video, courtesy of Twenty Pound Tabby, that demonstrates how to untwist a skein of yarn:
Followed by a Part 2, which shows how to wind a skein into a ball:
I think there's some great advice in these videos, plus I'm totally digging the instructor's Animal t-shirt!
My purpose for sharing this is twofold. First, I'm hoping it will help some other knitters and crocheters who are plagued by tangled skeins. Second, I was hoping we could get a discussion going in the comments section for further tips, advice or questions about unravelling skeins. Have you seen any other great advice related to this elsewhere on the web? If so, feel free to share a link or tell us about your own skein unravelling experiences.
I don't buy skeins too often so I don't want to invest a lot of money in gadgets like the ball winder or an umbrella swift. We don't even have any four post legged chairs, like the one in the video, in our house. I'm looking at the knobs on our bi-fold closet though and wondering if I could use them in place of the chair legs? Any other ideas for common household items that could make the skein unravelling/ball winding process easier? I'd love to hear your ideas!