How to unwind two balls of yarn wound together


I’m sitting on my living room floor in the middle of all of my yarn, which is much better than yesterday when some of my yarn was in the living room, some was in my cedar chest, some was in the closet, some was in a pillow case, some was in my miriad of baskets and still more was outside on the deck in a pile as the sky conspired to dew on it.

I’m destashing. I’ve never done that before which indicates two things: first, I have awoken to the fact that it is impossible to knit up all the yarn that my mother finds for me at thrift stores, and second, that I have a brain wrinkling pile of yarn to go through containing more than one tangle involving entire balls of yarn and kidsilk haze. Damnit.

And every once in a while I come across a distracting little project… like separating a ball wound with two strands of yarn into two single strand balls. So I made a movie. After which, I was searching around for others who had made a similar discovery of yarn separation techniques, and I found this TECH blog post that explains the whole science behind ball/yarn twist. Note: if you have the utilities available, a lazy kate would be a real timesaver – but for those doing it by hand…

  1. Dawn Thistle
    Dawn Thistle11-10-2013

    Brilliant! I had given up all hope. I had doubled up some gorgeous yarn a few years ago, but never got around to using it. Then found a fantastic pattern for it — in its original weight. I tried separating it and met with the usual horrors. Then I found your video and was inspired. Unfortunately, I had simply wound my ball by hand, so I couldn’t pull from the center, but your mention of the Lazy Kate got me curious (as I had never heard of one) and a search brought me to vertical and horizontal versions. The horizontal inspired me to combine your method with, of all things, a paper towel tube — and it’s fantastic! I notched both ends and connected a strand to each. I use your method and unroll a healthy length and then separate the strands traveling toward the tube where, of course, it begins to twist — but I suspend the tube and the weight of it quickly un-twists the strands with a few spins. Then I just roll the yarn up on both sides simultaneously. The only real trick is to hold the strands in the notches each time you suspend & spin. Probably easier to describe with a video or pictures, but I didn’t have time in all the excitement! Thank you, thank you, thank you for your help!!!

  2. Maven

    Hey Dawn Thistle!
    Thanks so much for the adaptation :) I’ll try that next time!

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