What to Do About Yarn That Keeps Splitting

Splitting yarn can be frustrating while you crochet. It’s a pretty common problem and most people who crochet experience this. However, there are things that you can do to prevent your yarn from splitting.

Most yarns have the tendency to split. Softer and thicker yarns tend to split more. You can also try working slower because when you are in a hurry, you are more likely to push the hook through the yard rather than pushing it through the hole or loop. You can also try to use a larger hook. Smaller hooks are pointier; that’s why they’re more likely to split yarn. You can try to change the brand of your hook, as well. Various brands have slightly different shapes to their hook’s ends; some are blunter or sharper or are curved differently. One more tip is to check your yarn as you work if it needs a little twisting to prevent it from splitting.

Problems with yarn can be frustrating, but you don’t have to worry much because there are solutions you can find.

Ways to Prevent Your Yarn from Splitting

The Dangle

You can practice “the dangle” while hooking a project to avoid splitting the yarn. What you do is simply hold your crochet project in your hand and just let the skein dangle down. Spin the skein following the direction of your yarn’s natural twist so the connection between threads will be tightened up. To prevent unraveling while the skein is dangling, you can wrap an elastic band around it, especially when your skein is loosely compiled or when you are nearing its end.

Bear in mind that all yarns are twisted. However, all are not twisted equally. Some are wind clockwise, some counterclockwise, some have the S twist, and some have the Z twist. When you try to do “the dangle,” you have to make sure you are twisting according to the yarn’s natural turn.

Wrong-Way Crochet

The “Wrong Way Crochet” only works for yarns with S twist. You can crochet in the “wrong” direction to avoid the frustrating splitting yarn problem. What you do is simply wrap the yarn the other way around the hook: clockwise instead of counterclockwise. As your S twist yarn winds clockwise, the hook reinforces the twist when you wind your yarn clockwise around as well.

You may need practice getting used to the new rhythm, but you might find it worthwhile if this method helps you to prevent splitting yarn altogether. You just have to make sure that your hook the “wrong” way the entire project because the gauge will differ between the “wrong” and the “right” stitches, and you want to guarantee a cohesive look to your project. This trick works well with yarns that are more loosely-plied.

Try a Larger Hook

Smaller hooks have pointier ends; that’s why they tend to poke between the threads more easily. Sometimes, just making your hook size larger will do the trick and can make the difference.

Try a Different Brand of Yarn

Yarns are created differently, and you would be surprised that the price of the yard has nothing to do with it. If you have a yarn that frequently splits on you, it’s time to buy another brand.

Try a Different Brand of Hook

Crochet hooks are crated differently, as well. Some are more blunted or rounded at the top, which can help your hook from slipping between the strands of your yarn.

Work a Little Slower

When you work too fast, you tend to stick your hook to a place where it doesn’t belong. Try slowing down your movements a little to improve your precision when it comes to hook placement.

Loosen Up a Bit

You can also avoid your yarn from splitting by maintaining a looser gauge. Try to relieve a little tension in your stitches. You will be less tense when you don’t have to think about a splitting yarn.

Try Using a Yarn Bowl

Doing this will help keep the yarn from rolling off. Having it wind back up again if the yarn ball unravels will only make the yarn twist loosen. Using a yarn bowl will make your crocheting experience more enjoyable. Yarn bowl sizes range from 6.5 to 8 inches in width and are 3.5 to 4.5 inches tall. You have to choose the right size because a large ball of yarn placed in a smaller bowl will result in tight feeding of the yarn.

There are all sorts of yarn bowls available in the market. The most popular ones are wooden and ceramic yarn bowls.

Factors to Consider in Choosing a Yarn for Your Crochet Project

Yarn Type

One of the most important things to consider when choosing a yarn for your crochet project is that type of yarn. Yarn can be made from natural or synthetic fiber. The most common yarn types used are wool, cotton, and acrylic.

Natural fibers are divided into two categories: Plant and Animal fibers.

Plant Fibers are made up of cellulose, which is the primary element of plant tissue. Garments that are made from plant fibers and great moisture absorbers, lightweight, and breathable. Plant fibers are also non-hypoallergenic. However, they are not great when it comes to insulation, as plant fibers are not as warm as animal fibers.

Plant fibers can come from: Hemp, Cotton, Bamboo, Linen, and others.

Animal Fibers come from the coats of animals such as rabbits, sheep, goats, and others. Animal fibers provide excellent insulation that will help you keep cool in warm weather and warm in cold weather. They are lightweight, absorbent, stretch resistant, and soft.

Animal fibers can come from: Alpaca/Llama, Mohair, Cashmere, Angora, Wool, Silk, and more.

Synthetic Yarns are produced using chemical reactions. Some examples of synthetic yarns are: Acrylic, Nylon, Rayon, Polyester, and more.

Yarn Weight

Yarns come in different thicknesses. The thickness of yarn is called weight. You can see the weight of the yarn on the label, which ranges from 1 to 7 (1 is the thinnest and 7 is the thickest). If you are new to crocheting, working with a yarn with #4 weight is recommended. It is a good medium-weight yarn. However, the yarn you use also will depend on your preference and what kind of crochet project you’ll be making.

Also, bear in mind that you need to use the right size of the crochet hook that is recommended for the yarn you are using.

Yarn Texture

Your crochet project and the type of result you’re aiming for will influence the texture of the yarn you will use. Yarns with a softer texture are great for baby items. For winter items such as hats and scarves, wool yarns would be excellent. If you are aiming for a fun and stand-out project, you can use fuzzy yarns.

Yarn Price

Yarn price varies from brand to brand and fiber to fiber. Cotton, acrylic, and wool are the most affordable ones in the market; that’s why they are also the most popular choices. However, the price is not the only basis for the quality of the yarn. Some yarns are quite affordable but are high in quality.

Washing Details

The washing instructions will vary from different yard types. This is important if you are doing a wearable crochet project. For instance, superwash wool is safe to put in the washer and dryer. Check the label for it will provide the information you need about the washing details.

Yarn Color Dye Lot

Crochet Hand Labor Boshi Myboshi Wool Hobby

If you are crocheting a big project that needs two or more balls of yarn, you have to make sure that the colors match assuming that you’re using the same color for the project. You need to look for the dye lot on the yarn’s label. You have to make sure that the yarns you’ll use come from the same dye lot number. The same colors with different dye lot numbers can have a slight difference in color.

Yarn Yardage

Yarn balls come in different yardage amounts. This aspect relates to the price, as well. You may find two yarn balls at the same price but look at the yardage so you can be sure that they have around the same amount of yarn.


Some yarn decisions may be affected by your personal ethics around the environment and animals. There are organic yarns or vegan yarns available in the market if this is something that deeply concerns you. You can find a lot of information to help you with your selections.

Related Question

What to do when I have a pattern that I really wanted to do, but it requires a yarn brand that I cannot find?

This would be an opportunity for you to be creative and make your crochet project your own. Yarn labels will tell you the recommended gauge and hook size. Buy a yarn that will come closest to the particular gauge in your pattern. Don’t forget to swatch to see if your yarn really works for the pattern you like.

Final Thoughts

When you find your yarn splitting in the middle of doing your project, you don’t have to be worried. You can do the tips above and see what works best for you to be able to prevent your yarn from splitting.

Recent Content