Many knitters find their craft a tranquil and even meditative pastime—until knots and tangles in their yarn send them into a fury. But for one group of fanatics, there is nothing more satisfying than a hopelessly tangled web.
Daphne Basnet of Melbourne, Australia, once paid about $50 on eBay for a 25-pound box of snarled yarn, simply for the pleasure of untangling it. “I was so happy, I can’t tell you,” recalls the 58-year-old of her purchase, a mess of about 120 knotted balls.
…Finding such tangled treats got easier when Ms. Basnet joined Knot a Problem, a seven-year-old group of more than 2,100 “detanglers” on the online community for knitters and crocheters called Ravelry. Frustrated yarn-lovers from around the world post pleas for help undoing their knottiest knots, often created by children, pets or yarn-winding mishaps.
Devoted detanglers typically offer to take on the projects for the cost of shipping. Competition for the most maddening messes can be fierce. Some members check the group every day.
“People will jump in and say, ‘Send it to me!’ ” says Mary Enright, 56, a detangler from Sioux Falls, S.D.
Some of you may be saying “OK…” but I am more along the lines of “who am I to judge?” And there is this:
Group members like to post before-and-after photos of what they call “tangle porn.” Heaps of yarn resembling bowls of spaghetti become neat balls and cakes. “I think it’s fulfilling for people when they see what it was, sort of like house remodeling,” says Ms. Rothschild. “You see how crappy it was and how beautiful it turned out to be.”
And if you are looking for further signs of dedication:
About a dozen hard-core members celebrated by sending each other yarn to untangle, knotting up new skeins themselves if they had to.
For the pointer to the article I thank Peter Metrinko.