Why Does Yarn Twist When Knitting? 5 Tips for Preventing It




why does yarn twist when knitting

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If you’ve ever picked up a pair of knitting needles and started a project, you may have noticed that the yarn you’re using tends to twist and turn as you work. 

At times, this can be frustrating and cause your stitches to look uneven. But have you ever stopped to wonder why yarn twists when knitting? 

Is it just a natural quirk of the craft, or is there a scientific explanation behind it? In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons why yarn twists when knitting and what you can do to minimize this effect. 

Whether you’re a seasoned knitter or just starting out, understanding this phenomenon can help you create smoother, more even stitches and ultimately enjoy the craft even more.

Why Does Yarn Twist?

Yarn tends to twist when knitting due to the combination of two factors: the natural twist in the fibers that make up the yarn, and the mechanics of the knitting process itself.

When yarn is spun, fibers are twisted together to create a strong and durable thread. This twist is called “plied” yarn and can be either “S-twist” or “Z-twist” depending on the direction of the twist. 

When knitting, the yarn is pulled through the loops of the stitches in a certain direction, and this can cause the plied yarn to twist in the opposite direction. This is known as “plied yarn bias” or “bias twist.”

Additionally, the act of knitting involves twisting the yarn around the needle to create each stitch. This twisting motion can also cause the yarn to twist in the opposite direction, leading to even more bias twist.

If left unchecked, this bias twist can cause the yarn to kink and tangle, leading to uneven stitches and potentially even dropped stitches. 

However, there are some techniques you can use to minimize the amount of twist in your yarn, such as changing the direction in which you wrap the yarn around the needle or using a yarn guide to help control the tension. 

By understanding the causes of yarn twisting when knitting, you can take steps to create smoother, more even stitches and enjoy your knitting projects to the fullest.

What to Do When Your Yarn Is Tangled?

Untangling yarn can be frustrating, but there are a few things you can do to help ease the process:

Step 1: Stop and assess the tangle

Take a moment to examine the tangle and determine where the knots are. It may help to gently pull on the ends of the yarn to see if you can loosen any parts of the tangle.

Step 2: Loosen the knots

Gently wiggle and pull at the knots to see if you can loosen them. Be careful not to pull too hard or you may create more knots.

Step 3: Work from the outside

If the tangle is in a center-pull ball of yarn, try pulling from the outside of the ball instead. This can help loosen the tangle and prevent it from getting worse.

Step 4: Use your fingers

Sometimes the best tool for untangling yarn is your own fingers. Gently work through the tangle, separating the strands as you go.

Step 5: Use a needle or crochet hook 

If the tangle is particularly stubborn, you can use a needle or crochet hook to help untangle it. Insert the needle or hook into the knot and gently work the strands apart.

Step 6: Cut the knot

If all else fails, you may need to cut the knot out of the yarn. Be sure to leave enough extra yarn to weave in the ends when you’re finished knitting.

Prevention is the best approach to avoiding tangled yarn. Make sure to wind your skeins or hanks of yarn into center-pull balls before you start knitting, and try to keep your yarn organized and untangled while you work. By taking a few simple steps to prevent tangles, you can save yourself a lot of frustration down the line.

Can You Fix Twisted Stitches in Knitting?

Yes, twisted stitches can be fixed in knitting, although the process can be a bit tricky depending on the severity of the twist.

If you notice a twisted stitch in your knitting, the first step is to identify which stitch is affected. A twisted stitch will look different than the surrounding stitches and may be pulled in a different direction. 

You can also run your finger along the row of stitches to feel for any twists.

To fix a twisted stitch, you’ll need to carefully drop the stitch down to the row below and then re-knit it correctly. This can be done with a crochet hook or a knitting needle, depending on your preference.

How to Fix Twisted Stitch Using Crochet Hook

Here are the steps to fix a twisted stitch using a crochet hook:

  1. Identify the twisted stitch and insert a crochet hook into the stitch below it, from back to front.
  2. Carefully pull the loop of the twisted stitch down until it rests on the crochet hook.
  3. Insert the crochet hook into the stitch above the twisted stitch, from front to back.
  4. Use the hook to pull the loop of the dropped stitch up through the stitch above it, creating a new, untwisted stitch.
  5. Carefully slide the new stitch onto the knitting needle.
  6. Continue knitting as usual.

If the twist is very severe, you may need to drop down more than one row of stitches to correct it. This can be a bit more challenging, but with practice, you’ll be able to fix twisted stitches with ease.

How Do I Keep My Yarn From Twisting When I Knit?

Keeping your yarn from twisting when knitting can be a common challenge, but there are a few tips that can help:

  • Let the yarn unwind: Before starting to knit, drape your yarn over your hand and let it unwind so that the fibers can relax and untwist.
  • Check your tension: Ensure that your tension is consistent and not too tight. When you knit too tightly, the yarn will twist and become difficult to work with.
  • Rotate your work: Every few rows, rotate your work so that the yarn can naturally untwist. This helps to prevent the yarn from becoming too twisted and tangled.
  • Use a yarn bowl: A yarn bowl is a great tool that helps to keep your yarn from twisting and getting tangled. The bowl allows the yarn to unwind naturally while you knit, reducing the amount of twisting.
  • Use a yarn guide: A yarn guide is a small accessory that you can attach to your knitting needles to guide the yarn and prevent it from twisting.

By using these tips, you should be able to keep your yarn from twisting and create a smoother and more enjoyable knitting experience.

What Is the Best Type of Yarn for Beginners?

As a beginner, choosing the right yarn for your knitting or crochet project can be overwhelming. 

There are many different types of yarn available, each with its unique characteristics, fiber content, and texture. However, some yarns are easier to work with than others, making them ideal for beginners. 

The best yarns for beginners are usually soft and easy to handle. Acrylic yarns are a great choice for beginners as they are affordable, widely available, and come in a range of colors and textures. They are also machine washable and durable, making them ideal for everyday use.

In addition to acrylic yarns, there are several other types of yarns that are great for beginners:


Wool yarn is a classic choice for knitting and is known for its warmth, durability, and versatility. It is also naturally elastic, making it easy to work with and forgiving of mistakes.


Cotton yarn is a soft and breathable option that is perfect for warm-weather projects. It is also machine washable and easy to care for, making it ideal for everyday use.


Bamboo yarn is a sustainable and eco-friendly option that is soft and lightweight. It has a silky texture and drapes beautifully, making it perfect for scarves, shawls, and other accessories.

Merino wool

Merino wool is a soft and luxurious option that is perfect for cozy blankets, sweaters, and other cold-weather projects.


Polyester yarn is a synthetic option that is affordable and widely available. It is easy to care for and comes in a range of colors and textures, making it ideal for beginners who want to experiment with different yarns.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, yarn twisting is a natural occurrence when knitting and can be caused by a variety of factors, including the direction of the yarn twist, the tension of the yarn, and the knitting technique. 

However, by following a few simple tips and tricks, such as letting the yarn unwind before starting to knit, checking your tension, rotating your work, and using a yarn bowl or guide, you can prevent excessive yarn twisting and make your knitting experience smoother and more enjoyable. 

If you enjoyed this article and want to know more exciting knitting topics, you can explore other articles on our website.

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