For whatever reason, perfectly good balls of yarn sometimes end up in the thrift store. Aimless, without context or purpose, they lie, waiting. They get bounced around. Even the structure of a label often gets torn off a ball of yarn, so there’s nothing holding it together. And the more disheveled the yarn gets, the less likely anyone will want it. And so it goes: a tangle.
The process of untangling is calm and gentle and quiet. There are tricks to it:
- Recognize single strands of yarn from double strands.
- Know the difference between a tangle and a knot.
- Never pull hard or use force.
- Look for an end, to start rolling a new ball.
- Differentiate the different yarns: one white is slightly thicker or less fuzzy than another – they are different yarns.
- Move from yarn to yarn, when a knot is threatening in one place, loosen it up and see if another strand could use more attention for a bit.
- Remember: they aren’t trying to be tangled.
As I coax out the separate balls of yarn, I see different projects for each. A coaster, a scarf, baby booties, doll clothes, dish cloth, basket or bowl, or an addition to another, bigger project.
Once all the yarns are separated into their own balls, they are ready to start a new journey, to become something that goes out into the world. And it is good.