Knitting Got Your Yarn in a Tangle? Knot a Problem!

Sometimes detangling yarn just gets in the way of the mindfulness of knitting. vesna cvorovic/Shutterstock

There's a solution for every problem. Take this one, for example: If you've ever knitted (or if you have a cat and are crafty), you've likely seen your yarn become extremely tangled. It's a frustrating moment best solved by taking the time (often a long time) to work out the kinks. Or maybe you've just tackled the job with scissors.

Then again, there might be another solution: A group of people who work under the name Knot a Problem. This team of knot specialists promises to detangle your hopelessly snarled mess for just the cost of shipping.

The group was started in 2008 by Stephanie Rothschild of Rancho Santa Margarita, California, who discovered her love of detangling when she worked at a yarn store.

She tells the Wall Street Journal that it pained her to see the owner tossing tangled skeins into the garbage.

"I'd dig them out of the trash and say, 'What are you doing?'" she said.

Like coloring, it seems that working away at a knot is a stress-reliever. But is this a service that die-hard knitters will use?

Mary LoSardo, an avid knitter, says absolutely 100 percent yes.

"I think this is a fantastic idea," she says. "The few times my yarns got tangled, they became an unholy mess usually involving my cats, and I generally lost patience trying to untangle the yarn. It was either cut the offending areas and rewind them into smaller balls (meaning lots more knots) or just throwing the yarn away."

Other knitters say they'd never outsource their knots because messed up skeins (ones that are so messed up that you need professional help) just don't happen that often.

Or so says Leslie Reed, an avid knitter. "You might need help if you got impatient and didn't wind your skein of yarn into a ball before you started knitting," she says. "But untangling yarn isn't a big deal. You just have to remember that any piece of yarn has only two ends. Find one and start threading it through its own loops, winding it into a loose ball as you go."

Another tip is to put your tangled project in the freezer.

"If you're unraveling a sweater made of fuzzy yarn, or if you've tangled up a skein of mohair, it helps to put it in the freezer to get the fuzz to unlock," she says.

Another idea: Just slow down, which is the point of tapping into the serenity knitters find when they sit and click their needles.

"I give myself an allowance of a few minutes to try to save the yarn and untangle the knot," says Sirena Mazzone, who has been knitting for four years. "Otherwise I just cut it out and do my best."

In addition, Mazzone carefully stores specialty yarns to avoid knots in the first place.

"The cheaper yarns are the ones that tend to get tangled up," she says.

In the end, what to do about your knots is a personal choice about what you'd prefer to spend time doing, LoSardo says.

"For me, detangling is very frustrating and very stressful," she says. "I'd rather use my time to knit, which is very soothing."