Straightening used knitting wool

I made this post originally as part of a regular post but have been asked to separate it out, so decided to create a menu button for tutorials – I hope I manage more than this one, I don’t like the idea of being a one trick pony! [later edit: I’ve had to delete the button because it just copied everything in – I will investigate and replace it when I’ve worked out how to use WordPress!!].

This is an example of what I am often faced with when I pull down a knitted garment  – very curly wool!

curly wool

There are a number of tutorials on the web for straightening yarn, but I think they are either too complicated or too hard. One of the problems with the “wet” method is that it is easy to stretch the wool, and care needs to be taken when reknitting so that the tension is even.
This is a method I have used very successfully every time (and I seem to do a lot of frogging!).
I use a plastic milk bottle or any other plastic bottle, fill it with water that is as hot as the plastic will allow (about 85°C), and then wind the wool round it; it then straightens beautifully – even the loose bits where I haven’t quite wound it tightly enough. Note that the winding is not particularly tight for any of the wool, it is basically wrapped and therefore not stretched.
This bottle has about 100 grams of thick wool round it. If I had more wool, I would use more bottles. In other words, don’t put too much yarn on a bottle at a time.
I also wrap the bottle and wool in a tea towel to keep the warmth in, leave it overnight, and voila, no more kinky wool! I then wind it into a ball – I use a wool winder, but whatever method you have at your disposal, and it is ready for instant knitting – no drying, no danger of felting, and easy as…

This works really well for any sort of yarn, even wool salvaged from commercially made knitwear. If you are going to salvage wool from commercially made knitwear there is a fantastic tutorial at, although I prefer my method to Dawn’s for straightening the yarn.

If you try it, can you please let me know how you go, especially if you have tried the other methods? Happy frogging.


15 thoughts on “Straightening used knitting wool

  1. This method is amazing! I read all the others and they seemed so complicated and involved. When I read yours, I didn’t think something so simple could work, but it did!! I had to frog the beginnings of a sweater using Cascade 220 Superwash.

    I filled the water gallons with very hot water, wrapped the yarn, put a warm dish towel (threw it in the dryer while I was wrapping) around the container and the next morning, my yarn looked like new!!!

    I had to use 3 jugs- I had that much yarn. But, each one was perfect!!

    Thank you so much! I will tell everyone I know about this method.

  2. Brilliant. Too easy and no fuss. Worked beautifully.
    Thanks. Have no hesitation in purchasing rewound wool in the future.

    1. Thanks Michelle. I mostly use it for when I knit something but then don’t like it. It’s a really sustainable solution to the problem!

  3. Thanks for the tip. It has been very successful and much better than the alternative methods I read about. I used a 2 litre sparkling water bottle and it withstood the hot water without any problem.

  4. Who ever would have thought of this? Not I but I’m getting ready to frog a sweater and will try it out. Thank you so much!

  5. Life changing. I’m too lazy to buy wool wash let alone soak, press (not wring!), and wait. I love the logic and creativity of your solution. I had a bit of extra special sock yarn and it worked wonders. Couldn’t be happier!

    1. That is so lovely to hear! I’m also lazy and the idea of winding into skeins and then hanging weights on them to dry just doesn’t interest me!

Leave a Reply