Why Does My Yarn Unravel When I Knit?

Do you hate the unraveling of your yarn frustrating while you knit?

Do you find it hard to prevent or understand why your yarn keeps unraveling?

Does starting again scare you? All knitters, especially beginners, have faced this challenge at one time or another and had to start all over again just to have a beautifully finished project work with aesthetic professionalism.

Come along as you’ll have extensive details on your yarn and why it keeps unraveling while you knit.

Why Does My Yarn Unravel When I Knit?

Yarn unraveling while knitting is an unpleasant and irritating experience. It is way too annoying and disappointing to have your final project look bad and amateur. When yarn unravels, knitting becomes more challenging, making the crochet work look tattered.

Yarn unraveling means the disentanglement, separation, and splitting of yarn.

What Are the Reasons Why Yarn Unravels During Knitting?

The yarn doesn’t just unravel itself. Here are a few reasons why your yarn keeps unraveling while you knit. You should understand these reasons and be sure to pay more attention to the yarn while you knit:

1. The Hook type

The crochet hook has two types – straight line or tapered point hooks. They both possess deep throats, pointer tips, and flat thumb rest that aids with the pattern tension and gauge swatches. Using a burr or sharp-edge hook snags the yarn and causes it to unravel. 

2. The Hook movement

How you position or move the crotchet hook determines whether the yarn you’re working with will unravel. When it isn’t well placed, it begins to snag the yarn while you work.

3. The Yarn itself

The yarn itself is a common reason for the unraveling situation. Some yarns are individual, and their fiber strands are twisted together to form the yarn.

The yarn twists can, however, be loosely or tightly twisted, depending on the yarn manufacturing brand. 

4. The Yarn tension

While you’re knitting, the tension or pressure determines your yarn over – this means how you place your yarn and wrap it on your crochet hook and the tightness results of the stitches. If the stitches are tight, working in those stitches is hard and impenetrable. 

5. The Speed

The speed at which you work also affects the yarn causing it to unravel. There’s no competition, and it is best advised that you reduce your crotchet speed. The more you speed while knitting, the more problems you get to experience.

6. Knitting against the yarn twist

When you knit in the wrong direction or against the yarn twist, you begin to untwist the yarn, and this causes it to unravel.

7. Knitting without focus

Another yarn-unraveling problem is ‘you.’ When you need without concentrating, you get to work anyhow. You might be tired, angry, or not even interested, and when all these happen, you tend to pay less attention to the yar,n causing it to keep unraveling.

How Do I Keep My Yarn From Unraveling?

Yarn unraveling can be prevented to have an efficient knitting process and beautiful project work finishes. 

However, to avoid the situation of unraveling while you work, here are tips to prevent you from being frustrated while you knit:

1. The opposite end of the yarn

During knitting, ensure that you work with the opposite end of the yarn. It allows you to work in the direction of the yarn twist to prevent unraveling.

2. Limit your knitting speed

You are not under any pressure; learn to limit your speed and wait till the yarn stops unraveling by knitting at a slow pace and be sure the yarn is well positioned underneath the knit hook before you increase your speed again. If you slow down, the situation of unraveling won’t occur. 

3. Change your hook

When you change your hook, knitting becomes enjoyable. Try to check your knit hook well for burrs or sharp edges by running your fingers through the hook. However, it is best to use bigger hooks as they’re large enough to hold the yarn strands without separating them while you knit, as small hooks are more pointed and likely to cut open the yarn strands. Also, you can try different hook types made by other companies with different shapes.

4. Check the crotchet hook position

While knitting, pay attention to your hook movement and position. If it unravels during the yarn over, the hook is likely well positioned, and it keeps snagging the yarn. If unraveling occurs when pulling through the yarn loops, it is best to rotate the hook and prevent it from grabbing the loops.

5. Examine the yarn well

Before buying a yarn, be sure to examine it well. Check the fibers to know if they’re tightly twisted, and you should also twist the ends of the yarn in the same direction to understand how it unravels into each strand. 

6. Adjust tension

If you find it challenging to push the hook into any stitch or even find it difficult to pull up the yarn, it is best advised that you adjust the work tension to make it lose.

7. Add twist

When you add a twist while knitting, it makes it less likely to unravel. It also allows you to have a firm stitch and deflects the hook through the yarn stitches.

8. Do not knit when you are not focused

When you are not focused or have your mind occupied with other distracting things, it is best advised that you keep the working yarn aside and deal with whatever is occupying your mind before you continue.

9. Keep practicing

The more you practice, the better and more professional you become. As the saying goes,after a long time of practicing, our work becomes natural, skillful, swift, and steady.’

Does Yarn Twist Cause Unravel? 

Yes, it does. The yarn twist is the arrangement of yarn fibers around the yarn axis. When you knit in the wrong directions, unraveling occurs. Unravel is caused by right-handed or left-handed knitter knitting.

What Are The Types Of Yarn Twists?

Yarn twists are essential in your knitting process to prevent the yarn from unraveling. However, there are two types of yarn twists – S and Z twists:

– S-Twist 

This is a twist direction from the top left side to the bottom right side of the yarn with a letter S-like design, which is used in creating a right-handed twill.

– Z-Twist 

This is a twist direction from the top right side to the bottom left side of the yarn with the letter Z-like design, which is used in creating a left-handed twill.

When you work against the yarn direction and twill, the resulting material is softer than the fabric with more correlating yarn and twill weaves.

How Do Hand and Twist Directions Cause Unraveling?

The direction in which you knit and spun your yarn determines the unraveling. It is advised that you note the following and understand more before you set to knit or complete an abandoned project:

1. For a right-handed

When you knit with a Z-twisted yarn, you should knit counter-clockwise in the same direction you yarn over.

Here, you get to enforce the twist, but when you knit with an S-twisted yarn and yarn over, the hook is made to turn counter-clockwise, and the yarn turns clockwise, then the yarn unravels as you’re working against the directions.

2. For a left-handed

It is quite easier to use the S-twist, unlike the right-handed one. If you’re left-handed, it is easier to knit with it as you can knit and spin the yarn in the same direction, but using the Z-twist is difficult, which can cause your yarn to unravel while you knit.

However, it is essential to know that you can as well knit with any twists, irrespective of whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. This will guide you better:

If you’re using any that is of the opposite direction to your hand, it is best advised that you yarn under rather than yarn over to change the knitting direction. Yarning under is done by placing the crotchet hook over the yarn and pulling the yarn up from the front to the back; this, however, creates a tighter stitch and causes your arm and wrist to hurt.

Suppose you’re knitting a continental style, also known as German or left-hand knitting, For left-handed. In that case, the best to use is the Z-twisted yarn, as you’re able to work in the same direction, unlike the S-twisted yarn, while for a right-handed, a Z-twisted yarn will unravel, while using the S-twisted yarn is best as you’re able to knit and spun the yarn in the same direction.

Suppose you’re knitting with the throwing method, also known as the English or right-hand knitting, where the direction of the knitting and yarn spun is the same for right-handed. In that case, it is best to use the Z-twisted yarn as the S-twisted yarn tends to unravel, while for a left-handed one, it is best to use the S-twisted yarn than the Z-twisted yarn.


Trust this piece gave you all you need about yarn unraveling and how to prevent it. For more enjoyable knitting, ensure that your yarn doesn’t unravel while you’re knitting, as this tends to be frustrating.

Happy, Happy Knitting!