Why Does Yarn Twist When Knitting?

Knitting is a long-time cherished art that calms the mind, not to talk about the satisfaction you get after completing a piece. Knitting is simple and accessible once you understand it. But however experienced you are, you can make mistakes like twisting your yarn. 

It is a common error that even the most experienced Knitters face now and then. Twisting the yarn can be the reason why your knitting looks rough. In this article, you’ll get a detailed explanation of why your twist when knitting and ways to prevent it. 

Why Does Yarn Twist When Knitting? 

A twisted yarn makes knitting harder and takes away the fun in it. There are various reasons why your yarn tangles when working on a knitting project. There are different types of yarns, and each yarn responds differently to a project. When working on a simple project, use yarn with heavier weight. Unlike lightweight yarn, there are better fits for complex work because they can tangle easily.

Other factors that can lead to the tangling of your yarn include the quality of your yarn. A poor-quality yarn will easily split and tangle, making it more difficult to untangle. How you pull a yarn, how tightly the plies twist, and the project’s complexity is key to causing a possible tangling.

When knitting two or more colors, there is a more chance of tangling if you fail to keep the yarn skeins organized. For Knitters who are used to working with a single color, always keep all the skeins organized and tangle-free when creating your beautiful project.

Tips On How To Untangle A Twisted Yarn

Tangling of yarn is an unfortunate object of disdain and frustration for fiber artists. Almost every knitter or crocheter has an experience, hence, why some of us devise ways to beat this obstacle. Here are some tips to help you defeat yarn tangling when doing your project.

  • Use your hook or a needle to untangle your yarn. This is among the oldest traditional ways of tangling a knotted/messed yarn. Use the needle or hook to comb the tangles and loosen any tight knots. Place the needle/hook at the center of each knot and pull it apart with your hand.
  • When faced with two different yarns tangled together, finding the ends of both is the first step to untangling them. Create balls with each end to the point where the tangling begins. You’ll easily undo/untangle all the knots with your hand without creating any other tangling.
  • Using a flat surface like a table, set the tangled yarn down and spread the yarns apart with your fingers. Try to create a single strand by untangling any knot or an intertwined section. As you untangle, roll the freed strand into a new ball to avoid getting new knots/tangles.
  • You can also go the traditional way using a chair. Locate one end of the yarn and wrap it around one of the chair posts. Move the yarn in a circular motion and untangle any knot while forming a large loop around the chair.
  • If you have a tapestry needle is an excellent tool to untangle a thinner yarn or extremely tight knots. Gently push the tip of your tapestry needle into the middle of tight yarns and free them from the wind.
  • The most common tip a knitter or crocheter will give you to untangle your yarn is to keep the skein loose. Whatever method you’re using, keeping the skein loose when setting your yarns free from the shackles of tangling is essential to avoid pulling tight to ensure easy unwinding.
  • When tangling minor yarns, gently shake the tangle to loosen them.
  • Tangling can be the rift standing between you and your DIY masterpiece. Everyone wants hassle-free knitting/crocheting without having a mess. You can keep your yarn in a yarn bowl. There are different yarn bowls made from wood, plastic, or ceramic. There is a curved slot where you can set a thread out and knit through it. There will be no room for any possible tangling.

You can use as many tips as possible to find the one that works best for you. It is important to note that some tips may favor a specific type of yarn. 

How Can You Keep Yarn From Tangling?

You can use various tips to avoid/provide solutions to the universal problem of yarn tangling when knitting. Here are some of the tips

  • Put your yarn in a plastic bag and punch a little hole by the side. Pull out the strand of yarn through this hole while you knit. This will prevent the yarn from tangling as you unravel it. It also keeps the yarn and skeins clean Incase if fall on the floor. When working with two or more colors, use separate bags for each color. Empty boxes or Ziploc bags are a great fit for this tip.
  • When working with multiple colors, there is more chance of your yarn getting tangled. Use a clothespin to wrap each color of thread separately and close the clothespin. It will keep it in place for when you want to use it. Wrapping your yarn around a clothespin will lessen the risk of tangled yarn.
  • Rolling your yarn skeins Into balls makes them easier to work with. Balling the yarn keeps it in a tighter and more compact form, making it less likely to tangle. Rolling the skein may take extra time, but it is sure better to invest that time than spend more time trying to untangle it later.
  • Yarns are different; some do not tangle when pulling a thread from the center of the skein. When you buy your yarns, try experimenting with different ways of pulling the thread before you begin your work. You will understand what works best for the type of yarn you are using, saving it from tangling.
  • With lots of practice comes mastery.  The more you practice, the better you become proficient at what you do. Practice makes you learn more tips and tricks that you can use to solve any knitting problem when faced with.

You can choose a tip or multiple tips to prevent your yarn from tangling and have hitch-free project work.

How to Use Multiple Colors Successfully Without Tangling

No doubt about the beauty of multiple-colored projects. However, working with multiple threads has almost one worry, which is tangling. You can easily get discouraged in the worse case, abandon your project. Working with multiple yarns is different, and you’ll need to ensure your thread does not tangle with one another.

  • When you pull the thread from the center of the ball, the ball is less likely to roll and tangle.
  • Compress the ball a bit to keep it tight and in place. You can put the yarn ball into a sock to hold it tight. There will be no room for tangling inside the socks. This tip is also good if you want to move around with your knitting piece.
  • If you are working with multiple colors, regularly check for any tangle and untangle it immediately. This will help you notice a simple tangle and easily unwind it before it gets tight and hard to unwind.
  • When using multiple colors, keep each color in a separate plastic bag. This will prevent any contact with the different yarns. You’ll only pick a color when you want To use it. Most times, keeping the colors together and giving them a chance to have contact with each other is the primary cause of tangling.

Using multiple colors is fun, from finding suitable colors that contrast or complement each other to knitting and appreciating your final work. Tangling should differ from why you’ve been scared of working with multiple colors. These tips will ensure you have fun DIY knitting work without any of your threads getting tangled.


Every crocheter/knitter would be glad to have a project done without having any yarn tangling. When your yarn gets tangled, you have to spend extra time untangling it, which is very soul wrecking. Using the wrong thread in terms of complexity, weight, and quality to your project type can cause tangling. 

Although it takes time, you can untangle a yarn in various ways. Tangling is avoidable with a few tricks, like putting the yarn in a paper or nylon bag. Cut out a hole from which you’ll pull out a single strand of thread to knit with. Above all, with a lot of practice, you’ll get better at knitting and have less to no problem with tangling.