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Reskeining hand dyed yarn (Part I)

You found the most luscious hand dyed yarn ever online.  And ordered it right away, yay!  Then comes the day that your new yarn arrives and – oh boy – you spend hours trying to wind it.

Full of knots and tangles, your yarn looks like a hot mess!  You keep trying to wind it into a center pull ball using your nifty swift and winder, but finally have to give up and wind it into a ball on your own, untangling knots as you go.

Unfortunately, this is a true story.

Yes indeed, this has happened to me.  More times than I can count on two hands.  It’s heartbreaking when that gorgeous colorway ends up being a nightmare.  And hand winding, while untangling, 400+ yards of fingering weight is an even worse nightmare.


Above is a basket filled with yarn waiting to be reskeined.  (I reskein all of the yarn I dye, because I don’t want you to go through this nightmare!)  It looks pretty messy, doesn’t it?

This yarn was kettle dyed, which means that I dyed it in a big pot of hot dye solution.  Because I wanted to ensure random variegation, I manipulated the fiber quite a bit as I added different colors.

The result, after drying, is a dyed skein, but not an appealing one.  In fact, I tried to twist a hank of that freshly dyed yarn into a skein.  As you can see (directly above), this isn’t a skein that you’d ever want to buy!

I could have spent some time smoothing out the odd bits and then twisting into a skein.  Many folks do.  But you’d very likely run into knots and tangles.

You might be wondering how  I reskein that yarn.  I’ll show you in the next post later this week!

What about you?  Do you run into tangled skeins and if so, what’s your favorite way to untangle?

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • June Shin May 1, 2012, 8:23 PM

    That sounds nightmarish! It’s never happened to me, but I’d be pissed!

  • Sabrina September 4, 2012, 8:54 AM

    Am I just stupid or why can’t I find part II of the story? I’d be really interested in knowing how you reskein your yarn because I know that problem too well.

  • Mary September 28, 2014, 6:30 AM

    I recently dyed several skeins of yarn (KnitPicks Bare- fingering weight) and now I am dealing with the re-skeining problem- I did this as gifts for my knit group, and I can’t give it to them looking like this! Is there a Part 2 to this post? Any advice?

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