An ounce of prevention…

…is worth a pound of cure.

That’s what I was telling myself yesterday as I sat untangling yarn. If you noticed in my last post about dyeing yarn, I briefly mentioned that the Cascade 128 yarn had gotten tangled during the dyeing process.

I may have underestimated how bad it was.

After allowing the yarn to dry over night, I woke up to the beautiful sight of the reddish-pink yarn practically glowing in the sunlight. I was ready to wind it into balls and cast on… something. I hadn’t actually selected a project yet, but I wouldn’t let that slow me down (too much).

I remembered that the yarn was tangled,  and had attempted to remedy that last night, to no success. I thought it might be easier once it was dry.

I sat down with the first hank of yarn and started untangling. I ended up with the hank around my neck while watching Montana Sky (a very cheesy Lifetime adaptation of a Nora Robert’s novel that I only like because I find the actor John Corbett so charming).  After maybe 15 minutes I gave up and decided that it was good enough to throw on the swift and started winding. After a few initial tangles, it was good to go. One down!

The second skein was a whole other issue. I spent probably 20 minutes untangling on the couch without making much headway. I got frustrated and put it on the swift the best I could. It was a big mess with strands hanging down in all directions. Winding on the ball winder was out of the question. I ended up spending another 40 minutes painstakingly winding by hand: inch by tangled inch. I could wrap more than a few inches without having to fix a significant snare.

Had this dyeing attempt come out slightly less likeable, I would’ve given up. Had the yarn been cheaper, I would’ve given up. Had the yarn not been so incredibly fluffy and soft or had there been more than 128 yards in the hank, I would’ve given up. But, darn it, I loved the cheery pinks and reds, and the silky fluff of this yarn and I was determined to fix the problem. My perseverance paid off and I ended up with two perfectly wound balls of my own colorful creation.

Here’s where the prevention should’ve come in.

When I untwisted the hanks I realized they were only tied in one place. In my experience, commercially produced yarn typically has three or four ties keeping the hank nice and orderly.

In doing my mini-hanks of Cestari (for the rainbow dye job), I did two ties, and those were really small. So I’m not sure why it never registered to be that I should maybe possibly probably  definitely add a few more ties to keep things in order. That simple act would’ve saved me close to two hours of untangling and winding. The other thing that would’ve helped would have been to tie the hanks in an acrylic yarn (that wouldn’t pick up dye) so the ties would be easy to spot and remove.

Hindsight is 20/20, as they say.


That being said, I did cast on, and nearly finish, the rainbow hat for Baby Roman (or his sister, if it turns out too big) from the Kool-Aid yarn. So that will be coming soon.

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