Thursday 3 March 2011

How to unravel

I was really surprised to be asked recently, how do I roll my yarn?

I was asked this because I was seen to be pulling the yarn from it’s middle, without snags, and the quilter asking me had never seen this. No it isn’t a special type of yarn manufacturing process; it’s how I unravel my yarn. It’s my preferred method. Why? Because it’s so easy. I assume that everyone does it this way when they want to save time…but for the benefit of those who don’t, this post is for you.

Yes, I know, ideally I would unravel and roll my yarn into balls…but I’m rather impatient I must admit. I used to enlist my DD to roll my yarn for me and now that I have to do it myself, I have gone the road of least resistance (and time).

Here’s how:

Pick a side and attempt to pull out it's middle. If it resists, try to other side, you will find one side more willing than the other - pull from the easier side.

Pull out this middle

 It may appear tangled but is not

 Pull out the middle of the middle using the same method, just lightly pull out the centre clump...

Repeat. Depending on the yarn manufacturer you will end up here: this ball had 4 middles.
With the last and smallest middle, dig in for the 'beginning of the line' and start working.
It will unravel from this point snag free.

Now, I easily go through this amount (below) of yarn in a single sitting, but if you dont. leave your yarn on a flat surface until you work up to the main body of yarn. It looks more than it actually is.
If you can't bare that, wind it up loosely and work from this 'ball' until you reach the body of the yarn.

And here it is: you will reach the yarn body and keep puling the yarn line and it is free and easy to use without having to 'jump' the ball. This is great if you carry your yarn around for social knitting, crocheting etc. The first ball is untouched. The second ball has been unwound in this way, and as you can see it's 'deflating'

That's it...


  1. Thank you for posting the pictures of how you unravel your yarn. I usually have a smooth time of it, but sometimes I get a skein that has decided not to cooperate.

  2. The loose end of the yarn on the outside of the skein is tucked into the place that you should pull your new end out of. This makes it easier to find which end of the skein is the one you want.
    I always wondered why folks wound their yarn, when this method is so much easier. My mom taught me this.

  3. My Mum also taught me this method when she taught me to knit 50 years ago. She also said that it kept the wool clean.

  4. Yes it is also my way to unravel but sometimes it doesn't go right and the whole wool inside is pulling out.

  5. Always from the middle xxx Chrisb

  6. That is the way I have been doing it for years as well. A very long time ago the manufacturer's use to tag the start end. I wonder why they stopped?


  7. Esther this is the first I had seen this post. LOL I always do the same as you, but years ago the whole center would stay inside just pulling out the end it was so much easier. Today I think they wind them different. This gave me a chuckle. Bunny

    1. I put this post up for my DD who is a ball 'jumper' she never got this method...and now I know why. They DO wind them differently now. It's quite irritating! I get so happy when I find some yarn nowadays that lets me do this middle pull method . Am I aging or what? yarn has advanced past me!


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