Yarn Balls with Knots: Peeves & Helpful Tips

Knots… Do you hate surprises in yarn balls where you discover a knot? Like many of you, it boils my blood too! Only with certain types of yarn balls though.

How to Crochet A Basket Weave Pillow

Crochet Basket Weave Pillow

I have an extreme love for slowly variegated yarn. You know, the ball is so slow to transition that you will only see the same colour maybe 3 times in a yarn ball.

See my Crochet Basket Weave Pillow Pattern Project.

As my good friend Michelle reminds me, a ball of yarn always has a beginning and end. It would be an environmental catastrophe if every yarn ball sold on the store shelves had no knots between the start and the end of the ball. It would mean if the strand broke, frayed or the master cone ran out in the middle of making a ball, the ball would then be garbage. Basically filling up land fills with usable yarn in between the knots.

  • Think about your stash and think how many times you have run into a knot while working on your yarn ball. If you had to throw out all the balls that didn’t have a knot inside the yarn ball, I bet your stash would be thinned out.
    Multiply this by a yarn manufacturer where they produce thousands of yarn balls a day, they could potentially be throwing out more yarn than they make in an average day.

I mentioned above that I love slowly transitioning yarn. I have done projects where there has been knots inside of the ball. Sometimes I am extremely irritated as the knot has joined two colours together that are not in sequence of the entire ball. This throws off my colouring of my entire project and though I shouldn’t easily admit, it really gets my goat!

Wind Up Your Balls First

Yarn Ball Winding

Yarn Ball Winding. See My Article and Video Demonstration.

To solve my issue with slowly transitioning yarn, I have gotten used to winding up a fresh ball of yarn onto my yarn winder. Sounds stupid you may think but there is a method to my madness. A ball can be wound up in less than 4 minutes. That 4 minutes is time well spent!

See a Live Demo of Yarn Ball Winding.

  • By re-winding the ball you can get an advanced preview of the yarn itself.
  • In a case of a nice knitted scarf I am doing, having a knot where the yarn on either side of the knot isn’t in colour sequence is going to wreck my design.
  • I can see very quickly if there are any knots and whether I need to deal with it in advance. So if the operator that made the ball didn’t align the colour to be the right sequence, I can fix it immediately by cutting out the knot and ensuring the colour on the other side of the knot is the same.

This action alone for me allows me to relax and enjoy my crochet and knitting a lot more. I can be comforted knowing that I won’t be expecting any surprises half way through the ball.

I know for some of my fans that getting knots in the yarn balls are a huge deal. If the colour is solid, I don’t even bat an eye and can adapt. I know how to effectively change colour or strands without anyone noticing it.

As I remind myself, “Life isn’t perfect and neither are yarn balls!” If you can adapt, you will be a lot farther ahead and not waste yarn too.


About Mikey, The Crochet Crowd

I am Mikey, owner of The Crochet Crowd Blog. I'm a 'hooker' at heart with the passion to crochet. I am from Ontario Canada and teach how to crochet online through YouTube Video Tutorials. From a simple idea and being at the right place and time in my life back in 2008, the concept of The Crochet Crowd was developed. I'm here to hook and share. Come follow my crochet journey and share yours with comments here and you are most welcome to share your creativity within our Facebook page.
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12 Responses to Yarn Balls with Knots: Peeves & Helpful Tips

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  4. I have always had an issue with ugly knots in a yarn ball. I mean knots that are so big and bulky it is just obnoxious. I was making some summer skullies for my dad as a commission and I purchased Creme de la Creme cotton yarn and within that one tiny ball, there were three knots and some huge ugly ones too. I completely understand that breakage happens with cotton if you pull too hard but reattach the yarn with some grace!

    • Kelly says:

      There is an easy way to continuously crochet with yarn that has knots, while leaving the knots out. I learned this technique on YouTube. This will only work with solid yarn or properly matched variegated yarn. Start by leaving a tail of yarn as you approach the knot. Then leave a tail following the knot. Continue crocheting. Then you can cut out the knot and weave in the two tails. I hope that’s clear. Happy hooking.

  5. Molly says:

    I understand about there being a lot of waste if they didn’t knot it together but I feel that if the manufacturer wrote on the label a knot at approximately 20 yards it would make it less frustrating. Or maybe if they wrote how many knots in the skein. That solution would help the consumer and not as time consuming as my first suggestion. I have noticed that with some lots or a particular color there have been excess (3 or more knots) in a single skein. I will definitely take you up on the ball winding suggestion for projects with slow color change! Thank you for all the help.

  6. Barbie D. says:

    pre-winding the ball is such a great idea…thanks for sharing!

  7. Shari says:

    I recently bought 7 skeins of a certain brand of yarn and within 3 skeins of the same lot #, there were at least 40 knotted pieces. I rewind my yarn into balls first and noticed this. So frustrated at the amount of yarns per skein (regular size skeins, not jumbo) I wrote to the company and included pictures and explained this was the first time I had ever seen so many knots per skein. The company very quickly replied and I should be getting complimentary yarn in a few days. I wouldn’t have minded the knots so much, except for the fact that it was within the same lot and 3 of the skeins. I haven’t even wound the 4-7 balls yet. Who knows what I’ll find. I am very happy with the company who has since wrote me 4 times in 3 days to express their apologies although I didnt expect the complimentary yarn as a result of my email. I only sent it so their quality assurance group could pay closer attention in their manufacturing state. I will always trust that they are superior in customer service with the level of concern they showed me with my frustration. 🙂 I just usually cut the knot or two out and rematch up the yarn myself too.

    • That is so sad! I’m glad that they responded that quickly. I still have the pictures of mine, I should do the same as well. It’s not about the compensation but trying to improve the quality of the product.

  8. Therese says:

    How about doing a tutorial about the different techniques of joining yarns, but not actually making an actual knot.

  9. Rachel says:

    Honestly, if it is a solid color I am working with, I just ignore the knot. They are usually small enough that no one notices, and on the rare occasion they do… Well, that is just one of the many charms of a handmade item. Though I would probably address them differently if I were selling my work.

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