Last month I purchased some lovely blue yarn.  This is Dye for Yarn Fingering Merino & Silk in the colourway Fading Stormy Night.


Until recently, I wound all skeins into balls by hand.  But not too long ago I bought myself a swift and winder.  I debated whether to wind this yarn by hand regardless, as it is very fine and silky.  Speed won out over good sense (I was on my way to South Africa and planned to take it with me).  This is what happened when I tried to knit, pulling the cake from the middle:



What is this, you say?  A tangle?  No problem; tangles just take patience and determination.  This one defied logic, however.  Instead of one strand of yarn emerging and knotting itself up, I had multiple strands of yarn emerging from the cake all clumped together.  Here is a closeup:


I reasoned that the solution was just to keep tugging until the knot popped free of the cake, at which point I could start a de-tangling process.  Bad idea!  This is what happened:


The cake of yarn kept regurgitating smaller cakes of tangled yarn until I had a string of knotted clumps one after the other like a mother duck and her ducklings.  Any reasonable person would have cut the yarn from the project, or ripped it out (I had only knit 3 or 4 rows at that point) but not I!  I patiently sat and unravelled the whole mess from the other end, winding it by hand into a ball.  It took a few hours (and a glass or two of wine).

Mission accomplished, I was then able to get underway with my new project, which by a strange coincidence began to take on the shape of a giant, tentacled mess – a knitted tangle to rival the duckling trail.


To say the least, this is an interesting project.  It now looks like this; a slightly less tangled look (but still immensely interesting):


And here is a closeup:


What am I making?  I leave you to wait with bated breath until the next installment of this blog.

21 thoughts on “Tangles

  1. Ouch! That was no fun but I would have done the same thing. Tangles always taunt me! But I will add that I use my wound cakes from the outside because, if you pull from the center, once you have used 75%, it will collapse and make a mess. Plus easier to store any left over yarn. Looking forward to seeing this full project.

  2. Have had a number of issues lately with tangling, some that have taken almost a day of me and/or my hubby working on untangling the yarn. I now have started pulling from the outside of the ball as I find when pulling from the middle it often tends to tangle – – so frustrating when you want to be knitting and not untangling a mess! Can’t wait to see more of your mysterious project!

  3. Yarn barf is such a drag. I also refuse to let it win. Can’t wait to see how this project progresses.

  4. Oh I am nervous now! I always wound by hand and just bought a winder and have wound 5 skeins into cakes but so far haven’t tried knitting with them! I love the colour of the yarn you are using and look forward to seeing what it turns into.

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