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Never again! Unravelling huge skeins of yarn.

(19 Posts)
Witzend Sun 08-Jan-23 13:14:55

Beautiful pure merino yarn, found at a farmers’ market in Cape Cod back in September. I thought it was about time I used it - two enormous skeins - as I thought - but each is in fact two, tied together at intervals, and apparently impossible to separate, plus I couldn’t find an end anywhere to start with.

So much for my idea of simply putting them over the back of a dining chair and winding. I now have an absolute bugger’s muddle and just one small ball to show so far. 🤬

Grandmabatty Sun 08-Jan-23 13:17:47

That reminds me of mum. I was the 'dining chair' and had to have my arms apart for what felt like ages as mum wound wool into balls. I feel your pain

LadyGracie Sun 08-Jan-23 13:49:24

Put it in a bag and send to me, I find winding wool very therapeutic!

Tommo Tue 10-Jan-23 03:44:23

There was no other way when I was a kid and mum knitted seeemingly every day. There were a few kids to act as props so we all had turns holding out our arms for an hour or two. There was no opportunity to complain or sympathy forthcoming. I could see the outcome a week later and feel I played a part in its structure.
When I started work I taught myself to knit. It passed the time on the train and filled in a few lazy hours on a rainy day. The Woolen Mills were nearby so I opted for the big bulky skeins. It’s was cheap and I knew my way around to find the ends.
It was a rare sight to see a grown man knitting on a crowded train. The women often commented. The men avoided me like the plague. That was back in the old homophobic days when men were real men and the women were good looking.

nanna8 Tue 10-Jan-23 04:37:12


That reminds me of mum. I was the 'dining chair' and had to have my arms apart for what felt like ages as mum wound wool into balls. I feel your pain

Me too- ohh your comment brought me right back to my childhood! Mum would tell me off when my arms drooped, I would have been about 7 or 8 years old. My little cats unravel my wool given the chance and have been known to spread it all over the house and up the stairs. Very frustrating and it takes hours to rewind.

lixy Tue 10-Jan-23 04:38:32

oooh witzend, that's a project and a half! Good luck with your cat's cradle.
Sometimes it helps to spread the tangle out as far as you can - I have been known to use a doorknob and much of the available furniture as anchors when teasing out a knotty mess.

I too was the 'dining chair' for my mum when younger and also for my FiL who was the knitter in my OH's family. He kept a large family supplied with jumpers which were passed down from brother to brother. He knitted socks too - they lasted for ages but weren't passed down as far as I know!

Oopsadaisy1 Tue 10-Jan-23 08:02:02

Oh my poor aching arms! I just realised that my brother was never told to ‘put his arms out’…..

Oldnproud Tue 10-Jan-23 08:30:48

Oh, what a disappointment for you Witzend.

It sounds like a nightmare.

In a weird way, it reminds me of trying to untangle the Christmas tree lights and wind them onto some cardboard as I took them off the tree last week - similar in that there was no end and they were very niftily knotting themselves together.
They were a bugger to do, even though there were only a couple of meters of them, so I can imagine how utterly impossible your task is!

LRavenscroft Tue 10-Jan-23 08:35:16

Sounds very romantic to buy wool at Cape Cod. I know what you mean though. Someone gave me a blanket to unravel to recycle the wool and I ended up using a pair of scissors at regular intervals because the original knitter had very carefully sewn in all the loose ends beautifully but they could not be unpicked. Hey! Ho!

Witzend Tue 10-Jan-23 08:38:00

I finally did it - it took ages!
And I’ve now realised that the pattern I thought I’d use, isn’t really going to work.
I dare say I’ll find one online, something I like well enough to bother with, but no luck so far…

Sar53 Tue 10-Jan-23 08:56:06

I felt your pain Witzend but I'm pleased you finally have a result.
Please post a picture when you have knitted something with the wool. I look forward to seeing your finished article xxx

Witzend Tue 10-Jan-23 09:04:34

My sister lives there, LRavenscroft - we hadn’t seen her since before wretched COVID - during which she’d managed to break an ankle in 3 places too!

lixy Tue 10-Jan-23 09:20:54

Gosh, well done!
It sounds like lovely yarn so hope you find a pattern you like.

LadyGracie Tue 10-Jan-23 10:18:15

That’s great Witxend I too look forward to seeing your finished project.
I recently ‘untangled’ six skeins of pale grey kid wool for a colleague, it was a very satisfying task.

silverlining48 Tue 10-Jan-23 10:34:19

My mum used to unravel old jumpers and re knit them into something else. My arms were always stretched out fir the wool to be wound around.

Lovetopaint037 Tue 10-Jan-23 10:46:02

Those were the days. Lovely hobby as you couldn’t eat while knitting or at least not easily!!! It was also cheaper to knit a garment so also satisfying. Nowadays that doesn’t appear to be the case and my eyesight and stiff fingers do not encourage it. Used to knit so much. Even have a photo of myself in a dress I knitted in cable. However, having seen dh the other day wearing a sleeveless pullover I knitted years ago I must admit to thinking I should make an effort.

Callistemon21 Tue 10-Jan-23 10:51:27

I used to have to do that for my Mum too!

Send them to DH, he's a great untangler of yarn, my necklaces etc. 😀

Vintagenonna Tue 10-Jan-23 10:59:43

Tommo, you may be pleased to know that a big bearded chap on my 'NextDoor' site has advertised for spare knitting yarns of different weights as he has taken up crochet.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 14-Jan-23 16:02:33

I love the phrase 'bugger's muddle' Witzend have you managed to sort it yet?

I am in a similar position. I bought some beautiful alpaca sock yarn in a skein at a crafts show a little while back - which I've just decided to unwind.

Silly me - I knew it would be a bit tricky - but not this bad! I uploaded a video on 'how to disentangle a skein of wool' after I'd got into this muddle. If only I'd watched it first. Apparently you should open the wool out into a large circle, using your knees to help and simply unwind, there may be a few tangles. Ha, bloody ha.

That was two days ago. I've got four small balls so far but a way to go yet. I look at it and think, 'there's another fine mess I've got me into' a la Laurel and Hardy.

If DH were still alive and well he'd sympathise and offer to dispose of it quietly while I wasn't looking! But no, I'll persevere. Am I quite sane?