As your crochet projects get more complicated, the issues are expected to get more complicated, as well. One of which is yarn unraveling as you are working on your crochet piece, and it can be frustrating. If you are changing yarn colors in the middle of the project, unraveled yarn can result in redoing a particular section.
Thankfully, there are things you can do to minimize and even prevent your yarn from unraveling while you work on your crocheted piece.
Helpful Tips to Prevent Your Yarn from Unraveling
1. Work Slower
When you are working too fast, you are more likely to push your hook through your yarn instead of pushing it through a loop or a hole. Working slower can really help.
2. Try Using a Larger Hook
Small-sized hooks are typically pointier; that’s why they are more likely to make your yarn unravel. A slightly larger hook is blunter and will less likely to accidentally push through your yarn.
3. Try Using a Different Brand of Hook
Different hook brands can slightly differ when it comes to their shapes to the ends. Some are blunter, sharper, or curved differently, so you will be able to find a brand that will suit your needs.
4. Try to Steer Away from Softer Yarns Because They Tend to Split More
Softer yarns have a less tight weave, making them softer.
5. Thicker Yarns Tend to Unravel More
Some crocheters have found that thicker yarns tend to unravel more, although it is not always the case. Thicker yarns have more strands that are twisted together, so your hook getting caught up between them is more likely.
6. Yarns Tend to Twist as We Work
Your yarn twisting tighter or unraveling will depend on the way you hold your yarn as you work. What you can do is to stop once in a while to fix your yarn to avoid the twists being too tight or for it to unravel.
7. You Can Try Working from One End of the Yarn
Some crocheters claim that this method works for them; however, yarn will always twist the same way regardless of which end you begin with.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
This is probably the best way to prevent your yarn from unraveling. Practice your speed and the way you hold your hook and yarn. Find out what works to minimize the unraveling of your yarn. You will get the hang of it if you practice frequently.
How to Properly Store Your Yarn
Properly storing your yarn will keep it in great shape that will result in amazing crochet projects. If your yarn is not stored correctly, it tends to tangle and it can be a mess. So, how do you keep your yarn in perfect shape?
Don’t Wind It Up
There are times when your yarns start piling up quicker than you crochet. As your collection grows, yarn storage and care will become an essential part of your crochet process.
Some people would purchase a hank of yarn and begin rolling them into a ball. Yes, balls of yarn are easy and convenient to store, but this option may not be the best when it comes to maintaining the quality of the yarn. This method will make the inside of the yarn compressed by tension, while the outside of the yarn remains intact. You will find that your yarn has some stretched out pieces because of the squished fibers.
The best thing to do is not to wind up your yarn into a ball until you are starting a project. You can just keep your hanks and skeins in a safe spot, so your yarn remains intact.
Keeping Your Yarn Tangle-Free
One of the most dreaded by crocheters is a pile of tangled yarn. There are a ton of ways to keep yarn from tangling, and several of them can be done by just using things that are readily available at home.
- Make a yarn detangler using an old plastic container – What you will need is a large container with a lid. The number of yarn balls you can put inside will depend on the size of your container. For instance, you have 4 skeins of yarn in the container. Make a hole for each yarn, big enough for the strands to go through – one strand for one hole. It’s that easy! This would be perfect if you are working on a project using different colors of yarn.
- Frogged yarn trick – It’s happened to most crocheters: you begin a pattern, and you realize something is not right or you just simply don’t like how the pattern turned out. This will make you frog your work. However, when you do frog your work, you are likely to end up with a tangled mess that can be frustrating to work with. There is a way to prevent your yarn from tangling while you rework it.
As you frog your piece, you can wrap your yarn around a tube (any smooth tube you can find at home such as a travel toothbrush holder or a used toilet paper tube). You want something tubular in shape and one that is smooth. Begin wrapping at one end of the tube and keep wrapping while moving slowly to the other end. Don’t worry if the yarn overlaps. However, for best results, it would be better not to make the yarn go back and forth the tube that much.
Once you’ve wound up the yarn on the tube, you can start working from the tube. This method will make your yarn come off smoothly and without tangles.
- Center Pull – Some crocheters pull their yarn from the center to prevent tangles.
Keep It Organized
You have to keep your yarn neat and nice to keep it in excellent condition. If you already have plenty of yarn, it doesn’t mean it has to be messy.
- You can repurpose an old wine cabinet to store your yarn – If you are thinking of purchasing new furniture for storing your yarn, check the pieces in your home first. If you have an empty wine cabinet, you can use it to store your yarn instead, to keep them organized.
- Use a pegboard for your yarn – If you have a lot of yarn and other craft supplies, every inch of space for storage counts. You can store your yarn directly on the wall by utilizing a pegboard system. Install your pegboard and you can use 4- or 6-inches pegboard hooks to store your yarn. Note that you might have to wind or cake your yarn to make a hole in the center.
- Use an old crib rail to store your yarn – If you use yarn that is thick enough to stay in place, an old crib rail for storage will work for you. If you have thinner yarn, you can still pin it in place.
- Store yarn in an old hutch – Storage cabinets for yarn can be expensive and not really well-constructed. If you have an old dining room hutch, you can consider repurposing it as your yarn storage. It also has all that closed storage for your unsightly craft supplies.
- Crocheted basket – If you are doing a larger crochet project, or have different spots in your house where you store your yarn, you can consider crafting a crocheted basket to keep your yarn stash. The advantage of this is you can move it around as you work in different areas of your home and you can keep track of your supplies, as well.
- You can stack wooden crates to serve as cabinets for your yarns – Cubbies are excellent as yarn storage because you can organize your yarn by color. To make your cubbies rustic and more attractive, consider using wooden crates for the shelving system. This will give you more flexibility with the space you have available.
- Use built-ins in your home as your vertical storage space – If you have extra space under the stairs or in your bedroom, you can consider crafting a custom built-in that you can use as yarn storage, that will suit perfectly into your space. If you have a steep ceiling, this route is perfect for you. This type of storage will allow you to maximize the space available and adjust the dimensions accordingly.
- Wire baskets for your yarn – Instead of putting your yarn directly into the shelf, you can use wire baskets to keep them organized. Wire baskets are excellent because you can see through them on every side.
- Use chalkboard labels for jars – If you happen to have lots of partial rolls of yarn, you can store them in glass jars that you usually see in a pantry. You can make them more attractive by painting on chalkboard labels to identify the type or color of yarn.
- You can use magazine holders to line shelves – One smart way adding storage space for your yarn and other craft materials is open shelving. To keep them organized in a creative way, you can mount magazine holders to hold your yarn.
- Coffee cans to create cubbies – If you have a handful of old coffee cans, you can use them to create cubbies for your yarn. Make sure you thoroughly clean them before using them, so your crochet projects won’t smell like coffee.
- Use an old bookshelf – If you have tons of yarn to store, using a bookshelf is a great idea. You can use a wire basket to keep your yarn organized by type or color.
- Use a locker or a vintage cabinet – If you have a vintage cabinet or a locker sitting on your garage that you’re not using anymore, you can repurpose it to be your yarn storage. If you don’t have one in your home, you can visit antique stores or thrift stores in your area.
Factors That Can Affect Your Yarn in Storage
- Stretch – Yarn that is wound too tightly will make it lose its elasticity.
- Moths – Moths will cause damage to your yarn, making it split.
- Mold – Mold and mildew thrive in a damp and humid environment.
- Sunlight – Direct sunlight will fade the color of your yarn.
- Smoking – If your yarn is stored in a smoking household, it can cause your yarn to smell and become yellow from the nicotine
Do’s and Don’ts of Storing Yarn
- Don’t store your yarn in plastic bags. Yarn should be allowed to breathe. Depending on the type of fiber, yarn can hold up to thirty percent it’s weight in moisture without it feeling wet. This can cause the formation of molds, especially in a humid climate.
- Do store yarn in an environment that is climate controlled, and not in a hot attic or damp basement.
- Don’t store your yarn in direct sunlight. A sun-filled room can be a great place to work, but it is not the best option for yarn storage. Direct sunlight will cause your yarn to fade and weaken the fibers.
- Do store yarn in an extra closet if you have one. You can use hanging shoe holders for this. You can also use plastic tubs and make sure they are out of direct sunlight.
- Don’t store yarn in a basket on a rug. There are these creatures called carpet beetles that love to eat yarn.
- Do store yarn in old pillowcases inside a closet or on open shelving that is out of direct sunlight. This storage method is excellent for storing yarn for a long period of time.
- Don’t store yarn with unlaundered garments.
- Do use lavender, cedar, and other herbal remedies to help protect yarn from bugs or moths.
- Do keep your yarn stash out of reach of children and pets.
- Be careful when using mothballs, because the gas emitted from them might damage your yarn. If you use mothballs, they should not come in direct contact with your stash of yarn.
Protecting Your Yarn Stash from Pests
Carpet beetles and moths are just some of the dangers that can damage your crochet yarn and other supplies. These pests eat holes in protein fibers present in fabrics and yarns. One way to stop these pests from destroying your yarn is climate control.
Pests love a warm and moist environment. Maintaining the ideal humidity level and temperature in the storage unit with climate control will make it easier to keep those annoying pests out because of the dry and cool atmosphere.
The Best Humidity Levels and Temperature for Yarn Storage
Climate-Controlled storage is a must to keep your yarn protected from pests. It is also essential for creating an environment that will prevent mildew and mold growth. When it comes to getting the right temperature for yarn storage, 68 degrees Fahrenheit is the most ideal. However, temperature ranging from 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is still excellent.
Humidity is also a primary concern with mildew and mold growth. Poor circulation that is paired with most, warm air will cause those problems to appear. You have to keep the humidity level between 45 and 65 percent to prevent the issue. You can also use a dehumidifier if the humidity levels in your home are struggling to remain below 65 percent,
Pest prevention and climate upkeep are vital when it comes to yarn storage. When you are thorough when it comes to storage, it can prolong the life of your yarn stash and other crocheting supplies until you are ready to make another crochet masterpiece.
Yarn Balls or Hanks of Yarn?
Although it can be fun using the ball winder at your local craft store, it is still best to store your yarn as you purchased it, especially if you plan to store them for an extended period of time. There are times when we stumble upon a great deal on yarn even if we don’t have immediate plans for it. If that is the case, it is recommended not to wind it into a ball until you are about to use it.
What happens when you wind your yarn into a ball? The fibers that are closest to the inside will be wounded tightly and will be squished, while the fibers outside will not be. You can never wind a ball consistently, especially when you are doing it at home. It will cause your yarn to be stretched out in random places.
When you wind your yarn into a ball and leave it on storage or shelf, it can also affect its elasticity which can change the gauge and drape of the yarn.
Does yarn go bad or expire?
The way yarn ages will depend on how it’s stored. 100% wool and acrylic yarn are highly durable and will last for a long period of time, but environmental factors will significantly affect the shelf life of your yarn. It is crucial that your yarn is stored in the right humidity, temperature, and light.
To prevent your yarn from unraveling, you can try the tips above. It is also important that you keep your stash of yarn properly stored as it also helps prevent your yarn from splitting while you are working. With a properly stored yarn, you are less likely to stumble upon issues that can affect your piece.