Decision Made: Unravel

Teague_pic1Once I decided to unravel “Liesl,” I showed no mercy.  As it was knit top down in one piece, the unraveling (from the bottom up) went quickly and smoothly.

I set up my old Louët skein winder, and, as I unraveled, I made skeins.


Unraveled knit yarn, as shown in the picture below, is rather kinky.  (How kinky depends on the yarn, gauge and stitch pattern.)  If you knit or crochet with yarn left in this state, both your gauge and the design pattern can be affected.

purpleyarn4You need to get the kinks out.

purpleyarn5To do this, take a big stock pot, fill it up with tepid water and add a bit of mild liquid soap. (I’m partial to Eucalan.)  After swishing the skeins around, let them soak and relax for a bit.

purpleyarn7After draining the water and squeezing the excess from the skeins, I draped the skeins on netting outside in the heat but in the shade of a tree.

(Forewarned:  If birds love to visit that tree, it could be unsafe to leave yarn drying underneath.  I learned the hard way and had to rewash and dry several garments.)

Then onto my old Glimåkra umbrella swift the skeins went, and I wound them back into balls.

purpleyarn6I haven’t quite settled on what form this yarn will next take.  I’ve got some swatching to do.  🙂


About sweatyknitter

Fiber art devotee, author, and amateur artisan bread baker.
This entry was posted in Fibers, Knitting, Miscellany. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Decision Made: Unravel

  1. I am the same way, which is probably why ripping doesn’t bother me the way it does many knitters. 🙂


  2. salpal1 says:

    I took a class from a woman who loved to rip it out to get it right – what she said was “Are you knitting because you love it, or knitting to finish the most garments? If you knit because you love it, then so what if you knit the same thing more than once?” Ever since then, I have looked at ripping out in a whole new light – more knitting without spending more money for new yarn! I can’t wait to see how the new sweater comes along.


  3. Mine has to leave the room. He winces when he sees me unraveling!


  4. Now true … ripping out bad yarn is just a reminder you shouldn’t have used that yarn in the first place! 🙂


  5. I love a good rip; it’s so cathartic! But only with a yarn I love, because it means I get to enjoy the yarn all over gain.

    Good luck with your new project!


  6. teabeaknits says:

    I’m very new to the world of blogging so I’m really glad to have found this post – my husband and son tease me so much whenever I unpick something so it’s great to find I am not alone. I want to get it right, particularly when I’m venturing into a bit of knitting freestyle rather than following a pattern – at least there’s someone out there who understands ;-).


  7. One is a skein winder, the other is a swift. Spinners, for example, can wind off their bobbins into a skein using a skein winder. Dyers frequently wind skeins to dye. Knitters and crocheters set the skeins they purchase onto their swifts and then wind into balls.

    And no, no regrets whatsoever!


  8. Knit for You says:

    What is the difference in the two yarn winders used above. All that work unraveled. You had to regret it?


  9. Me too. A design is slowly taking shape in my mind! 🙂


  10. After you rip out the first row, it gets easier. 🙂


  11. This is not the first time … I have ripped out far more complicated (finished) garments than this one. 🙂 Besides I get to knit something new all over again. 🙂


  12. cleo14 says:

    I can’t wait to see what you make out of the yarn!


  13. countingsheepstudio says:

    I agree, frogging straight-away before it gets relinquished to the corner is always a good thing 😉


  14. I am pretty sure I will design a summery swing cardigan for myself. (The color was great for me, and I really liked the yarn.) I am not sure if I will incorporate the stitch pattern, though I liked it a great deal. The cardigan will have fitted armholes. 🙂


  15. I knit this into a summer cardigan with a design by Ysolda Teague. The weight of the sweater (knit top-down in one piece) pulled so badly at the armholes that they lowered to the point I felt my arms were restricted. The sweater looked cute but it was VERY uncomfortable to wear. (A couple of posts ago I talked about the issues with this design.) Oh, I have unraveled LOTS of garments. 🙂 If I go through all the work to knit something up, I better LOVE it – else it gets unraveled and made into something new. 🙂


  16. I wholeheartedly agree! I think its next form will be a summer cardigan of my own design … problem is that has slid down my project queue. I may not get to this summer cardigan until the weather cools! 🙂


  17. I find it useful to go through this process immediately after unwinding. That way, I can store safely in my stash and it will be clean and ready to go when I want to use it!


  18. No, this time I am going to design my own pattern. I decided I want a cardigan with a bit of summer-time “swing” but with fitted shoulders/armholes … am not yet sure about what stitch pattern to use. 🙂


  19. I know a lot of people cringe at the thought of ripping out, but like you, I find a certain pleasure in doing it … and an excitement that I will be knitting it into something else! 🙂


  20. vairarenbeth says:

    I find unravelling very cathartic, especially if the pattern had given me problems, or if I just fell out of love with it as I was making it.


  21. starproms says:

    I think you’re brave but I do hope you like the next project. You seem to have collected a lot of yarn from the unpicking. Shall you make up the same pattern but with different armholes, perhaps?


  22. I have sweater I need to frog as well. Just haven’t screwed up the courage!


  23. monsteryarns says:

    You are so brave. All that work….


  24. countingsheepstudio says:

    Did not know that about the kinks, and the relation between knit/crochet – interesting! Pretty color, and you have WAY more patience than me to go through all of that. I’m sure you will come up with something lovely.


  25. Good work! I really quite enjoy that process of skeining, washing and ball winding. It is something I can do with the kids around as they love the ball winding bit. Every part of the process has aesthetic and kinetic appeal for me. Enjoy finding the yarn a new form!


  26. Gorgeous yarn– why did you need to unravel it? I’ve done this to fix mistakes or start over… but not an entire garment. Look forward to what you’ll make.


  27. Well done. The hardest part (decision) is over and now time for fun! I wonder what you will make with it and for whom? 🙂


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