How To Unkink Yarn

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Have you ever unraveled a project just to have a kinked up mess of yarn? This recently happened to me and this is the method I developed for how to unkink yarn. I hope it helps you the next time you find yourself in a similar predicament.

A few weeks ago, I offered to knit a project for a friend who had lost her mojo for knitting the Dragonfly Path shawl. You may remember I was a part of a small knitting group in the summer that were all working on the same shawl pattern. 

My friend chose to make the shawl from my baby alpaca, cashmere and silk yarn. She ran into some problems with the pattern and set it aside to work on other projects. So the unfinished shawl sat on her needles for quite a few months. 

When it became evident she was not going to return to the pattern anytime soon, I offered to help and she graciously accepted. I love knitting with this soft yarn. It is a delight to work with!

Ball of kinked yarn
Knitting with kinked yarn

Thinking that our knitting tension wouldn’t be the same I decided to start the shawl from scratch. I unraveled her knitting and began balling up the yarn as I went.  

On the left you can see how the kinked yarn was knitting up. It wasn’t very nice at all. My stitches were uneven and no amount of pulling them one way or another helped. I wondered if perhaps I needed to knit a little tighter to stop the big loops from forming. So I pulled out my work and began again. I tried increasing my tension hoping that would solve the problem of the big, uneven stitches. But what happened was I now had stitches that were hard to move along the needles and I was still getting big loops in my knitted fabric.

What’s a girl to do? I’ll tell you…

How to Unkink Yarn

I reskeined the yarn using my Niddy Noddy. Don’t worry if you don’t have one, here are instructions for making your own. 

Once I had the yarn skeined, I tied the skein’s beginning and end strands together. I also used some yarn to tie around the skein in a few other places so that the yarn wouldn’t tangle in the washing process. I then prepared a cool bath with Eucalan and allowed the yarn to soak overnight. 

Kinked Yarn on a Niddy Noddy

The next morning I was excited to see what had happened to the yarn. I was pleasantly surprised. The water had penetrated the fibers and relaxed them. The yarn was ready to dry. Because I had used Eucalan I did not feel the need to rinse the fiber.

I gently removed some excess water from the skein by squeezing it from the top down and then hung it to dry.

As you can see from the pictures below my experiment was successful!

Yarn in the Bath
The Results

I’m glad I was able to restore this yarn. Now I can use it to knit the shawl and gift to my sweet friend. The next time you are faced with yarn that is a kinked up mess I hope you will remember this post and follow these instructions to unkink it.

Until next time, stay safe and happy knitting!

Signature: Heart Barb


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