Thursday, June 23

Knots in Yarn: Options

Often, a skein of yarn comes from the mill packing a surprise: knots with the ends trimmed too close. The occasional mill-tied knot is a necessary evil of the yarn spinning process, and can really cause problems while crocheting or knitting, especially if the yarn is slippery or the stitches are lacy or loose.


I'm currently calling this prototype "Quartz"

I encountered this most recently with the silkiest bamboo yarn I've ever used, called SWTC Bamboo. This design is not yet published. I was not looking forward to weaving in all the ends, but the silky ends have stayed put so far.


My first choice for a project like this would be to rip out the existing row to the beginning of the row, cut the yarn, and reattach it without the mill-tied knot in it at the start of the row. 


A possible alternative to ripping out the partial row is to cut the knot out of the yarn, then re-knot it a bit loosely, leaving yarn ends about 5 inches long each. I'd continue crocheting until the project is done, then deal with all yarn ends this way:


I've had good luck separating the plies of the yarn and weaving in each ply separately using a sharp needle so that one ply is threaded through the center core of nearby strands. I'd thread a different ply through different nearby strands, so that a thickened area is not created. 


Another possible option is if the yarn can be felted. If it's at least 50% wool and/or cashmere or alpaca and not superwash, then it might felt. If so, felt-joining is a possibility, but I don't have much experience with that. It might leave a thickened area like the Russian join might. If it's felted together really well, it could be trimmed thinner, but might be a bit stiffer than the rest of the stitches. Depends on the particular project.


So far, weaving in the separated plies of the yarn ends with a sharp needle has worked well for me, especially with silkier yarns that would otherwise work themselves loose over time. 
A special thank you to Anne!