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Cat destroyed Skein Help

I had a new skein out on the swift and bammo, cat found a new toy when I was upstairs, now I still have a skein but it’s on the floor and looks like chaos theory. I’ve picked up the craziness - any thoughts on how to either wind or get back to skein? I was winding it for a project (KAL), so don’t have time to replace (no LYS within 40 miles). Thoughts are appreciated.

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I don’t know any easy answer than finding a quiet place, finding one of the ends and slowly untangling the yarn barf. Sorry, never fun but always feels good when you are done.


Oh Jeez! First lock the cat up! Lay it out flat on a surface you can work on. Gently use your fingers to spread it out and to get it as close to the original loop of the skein. Now just sit and look at until you find an end. Once you find an end, pull it out enough so you can find it again and take a 5 minute break. Set the timer on your phone for ten minutes and start carefully winding it into a ball. When the timer goes off take another five minute break. The repeat. Don’t try to force it. If you hit a tangle just follow the yarn and find the spot that you need to loosen up and use your fingers to open it up. Don’t yank! Just keep gently spreading it out with your fingers while keeping it as close to a loop as possible. If you get really stuck, look for the other end and start winding from there.

Go slowly, be patient and gentle, and take breaks.

Or you could just burn it in your backyard under a full moon.


I’m so sorry to read about the dilemma @ElleMC! I have a cat and I’ve had the yarn problem, but I’ve never had the cause/effect experience. While I don’t have a better solution than what @kjt1211 described, I (selfishly) feel like your sharing will save us some of us from the future experience.

I’m sorry for it!


I haven’t checked recently, but aren’t there people on Ravelry who will untangle yarn for you? Some people get into a zen state doing it.

“Knot a problem” is the group, and they have detanglers by location listed as well. You mail it to them and get a ball back.

Good luck.


This is really good advice. I’ve done this before, without the cat excuse. I did start to wind a small, loose ball on my fingers, to better loop it around and through knots. Otherwise, exactly what she has said.
Good luck.

Thanks to all for the support, thoughts and the group of yarn untangles - had no idea. I ended up spreading it out on the dining room floor and spent over an hour detangling - kitty was in her cage. Thanks again


Remember also that the blunt-ended yarn needle used for sewing up is a great knot-picker-outer.