Sometimes in life, major tragedies happen. Then there’s everything else.

Let me explain. When I dye yarn, after I rinse it, I spin it in my washing machine to get all the excess water out. This makes it dry a good bit faster. I’ve done this dozens of times, and at least once in my new machine, with no ill effects. But last week, I did a couple batches of sock yarn to fulfill an order, and this phase ended very, very badly.

I hope you will never, ever have to use this tutorial. But in case you do, here is how I recovered 10 skeins of hideously tangled yarn with my sanity intact.

1) Separate the giant tangled monster into the same # of lumps that you had original skeins. This took longer than I thought necessary.

2) The next bit, particularly tricky, is to find at least one tie. If your skein wasn’t tied in at least two places, you are probably toast, and you will just have to suffer. (Most skeins come tied in 3 or 4 places, though some smaller skeins come tied in just 1 place). You can use the tie to find one section of the proper loop that was once your skein. Just move strings back and forth until the tie is completely exposed.

3) If you’ve got one tie completely exposed, you have the beginnings of a loop. Your next goal is to shake, shimmy, and jive this loop into as big a loop as possible. In my case, the yarn had mostly just kinked up everywhere, so jimmying it around a lot made a lot of difference.

Keep going. Your job will be made much easier if you succeed in getting your loops nearly as big as the skeins were before. I can tell I got pretty close, since the colors were largely lining up.

4) If you made it to this point, you can probably just wind it into a ball from a swift. For the love of all that is good and holy, check first to make sure all the ties are still exposed – if something’s looped over one, you might have a harder time of winding it. And it’s already going to be very annoying to wind.

5) If you’re me, and you’d like to sell these poor babies, you will re-wind them into skeins. You might also briefly consider charging several times more for them, but since the mistake was not the customer’s fault, you will still sell the pretties are still going for the eminently reasonable $22.00.

By the bye, Black Bean Blue is now available on the Merino/Nylon sock yarn page.

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