Monday, 10 November 2014

Tangled Wool!

Good morning all! Are there any other crochet enthusiasts out there who battle with self-tangling wool? Or perhaps some mischievous elf or gnome has taken up residence in my home, like one of those brownies or hobgoblins you come across in old folktales, you know, the kind who help with the household tasks as long as you keep them happy and well-fed… But break the rules and they can be very tricksy indeed, creating chaos and confusion instead of order and comfort...

Things were worse than this to start with! I was half-way through
sorting it out when I decided to take a photo.
When I stop hooking I carefully wind my yarns, and stash them in one of those brightly coloured plastic baskets you can pick up quite cheaply in supermarkets, garden centres and DIY stores. I’ve got a couple, and they’re pink, so they look pretty, and have handles, so they are practical as well, and can be toted around the house with ease. You wouldn’t think things would get so muddled up inside them, but they do… Scissors and hooks vanish overnight, while yarns fling themselves about, coming to rest with strands entwined round strands, like beans on a stick, but much more tenacious… Then there are the knots that appear by magic… Knots previously unknown to Man, impossible to unravel… Who makes them?

The whole thing is one of Life’s Great Imponderable Mysteries, but whatever the reason, I need a solution – and I think I’ve found it! I had a Lightbulb Moment whilst trying to disentangle the latest Work in Progress (actually it’s one of several, because I like to have a number of projects on the go at the same time). This particular WIP is a ripple blanket (pattern courtesy of Lucy over at Attic 24 – I wonder if she gets this problem?). Anyway, there are an awful lot of threads because there’s an awful lot of wool (oddments and new), to say nothing of all those loose ends I promised to weave in as I went along, but never did.

Old-fashioned brown elastic bands make great wool detanglers -
 much better than the pretty coloured ones which are too thin to
hold the ends of wool in place.
I did consider investing in one those natty gadgets that winds wool into neat little cakes, but they might not stay that So I’m trialling my Brainwave - elastic bands!!! Yes, that’s right, elastic bands…. Not to crochet with (that’s just silly, even though Loom Bands, their posh cousins, are so popular at the moment).

Anyway, I've untangled threads, cut off the knotted sections, and wound my wool into misshapen balls(I defy anyone to produce perfect spheres). Then I slipped an elastic band around each of them, and slung a few into a carrier bag to test my Invention. I jiggled them and joggled them, and shook them all about. I threw the bag up and down and round and round. I prodded it and poked it, and jumped up and down on it!

Balls of wool held neat by a simple elastic band. It's dead simple. You don't
even  have to check that the ends are securely trapped. - you just stick
an elastic band over the ball of wool, and that's that!
Then came the moment of truth, and I crossed my fingers and held my breath as I upended the bag. I could hardly bear to look, but each ball of wool came rolling out in perfect condition, neat, tidy and ravelled (if that’s not a word, it should be – after all, you can have unravelled, so what’s wrong with ravelled as its opposite, especially where yarn is concerned).

Ta-daa! A pink plastic basket  of
untangled wool!
I’m pleased to say my home-made wool detangler appears to work, but only time will tell how effective it really is.  Watch this space for a progress report!

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