Breaks in yarn

I am now on my third skein of Lionbrand Fishermen's Wool, Oak Tweed yarn. The first skein had three breaks in the yarn that were deep inside the skein. Two of them were tied with really big and sloppy knots. The third was simply a break, no effort was made to tie it. The second skein was a bit better, only two knots. I am about 3/4 of the way on the front of the vest and the third skein also has a knot that is tied in a large loop, so I will need to splice it.

Am I just naive in thinking that this should not happen in yarns, or is this something that happens regularly? I know I am a novice to the art form, but I have never run into this before this project and to have six breaks in thee skeins seems to be a bit excessive.

Thanks for helping me understand.


TinkerJones's picture

I can tell you that Noro yarns seem to always have a knot or two in a skein. This becomes particularly annoying since I usually want to get the full spectrum of the color variations, but suddenly I'm at a knot and the color starts up again somewhere completely different. Considering how some Noro yarns have very weak spots that can pull apart with little effort, the breaks aren't surprising. I guess it's surprising that I still like to knit with it.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks, Allan. It's nice to know that others experience the same frustration. I'm in no hurry to purchase any more Fisherman's Wool for awhile, even though I really like it...but I probably will. Like you, we boggle our own minds.

akkamaddi's picture

Actually, I've regularly found knots in many yarns (even Read Heart Super Saver acrylic), but the worst so far for me has been Ella Rae Classic. The absolute worst was the Ella Rae fugly hot pinky-pink. (I think the official name is something else.) The two I dyed had four knots per 200y ball.

As for Noro, I haven't found a knot yet, but yes, the yarn can get thin enough to make me worry about my work. It makes me hesitant to buy more Noro.

AKQGuy's picture

Sounds like you have my luck. If it's not got breaks, it's got dye lot issues. This little project I just finished had both and I had to splice though lace. Always my favorite!

From AKQGuy
From AKQGuy
From AKQGuy

Basically, you will always find some splices. Sometimes, it gets over board. If nothing else think of it as practice at weaving in ends?

I simply won't buy Malabrigo again due to sloppiness in skein winding causing breaks and ludicrous issues with dye lots. It's simply to expensive to get that shoddy of work, and that's probably a point we each must come to on our own.

CLABBERS's picture

Hi Quinton...thanks for sharing the pain. I have gotten pretty good at weaving in ends. I can see the knot coming up pretty soon, so I can plan for it to be at a seam edge, so it won't be obvious at all. I can't imagine doing that with lace, especially if it happens in the middle somewhere. Your lace project that you shared in this posting is beautiful. I really like it! I hope your cat doesn't have claws to explore the yarn strength!

Tallguy's picture

I feel your pain. I have to say that I have come across knots in yarns before, but not as many as you have. I would be totally p.o.-ed if that ever happened to me. Good thing I know how to splice yarns!

It is my feeling that you should let the seller know that you were very displeased with the yarns, and that you won't be buying any of that again. If it's a small shop, they really don't have that much control over what they get, but let them know you were very unsatisfied. You can also tell them that you don't think you will be coming back again -- and don't for as long as you can stand it. (Eventually, we all come back.) But for a little while, they will miss you (and your money). Word will get back to the manufacturer that their product doesn't meet our standards.

The only thing the manufacturers understand is if it is put to them in dollars and cents. Hit them where they will feel it. We should not accept shoddy workmanship as much as we would not let our knitting get sloppy. For the high prices that we are charged for yarns these days, we should expect better quality. If you do not say anything, they will continue to rip you off again and again. You need to let them know that you won't stand for it any longer!

I have admired some of the photos I've seen of Noro, but have never used it. I find it far too expensive, and what I've seen in the stores, it was of far inferior quality. I can make better yarn myself -- and I do. This puts me out of their claws, and I am not as dependent on them as some of you are for your yarns. But I still say that when we pay such incredibly high prices for yarn, we should demand far superior quality. Let the yarns shops know this. They will get the message. imho ymmv

HuskerChub's picture


CLABBERS's picture

I don't know what eom means.

CLABBERS's picture

Addendum: I emailed Lion Brand and surprisingly, I got a very nice little apology and they are replacing the yarn. So, I guess I will be able to make another vest! Or perhaps a scarf to go along with the vest I am just making now. So, I can't be too pissed at them. They have tried to make amends.

AKQGuy's picture

Fantastic! I'm glad they responded, and so well to boot!

scottly's picture

Knots and breaks happen all the time and sometimes with really expensive yarn too. I found a knot in a $30. hank of baby alpaca recently. It totally tick me off especially when I have to tink back half a row in order to cut the knot out and spit fuse the yarn back together. I think I'd rather have a break, those I would notice earlier. I'm glad Lion Brand replace the yarn, it makes me think more highly of them then I did before.

CLABBERS's picture

Thanks for sharing the pain, Scott. I figured I was just being a cry baby. Thankfully, it's not a $30 hank. I'll let you struggle through that. I am keeping an eye on the knot and it's getting close, so I want to cut it and then rejoin at the edge of a row. I am at the V-neck anyway, so I'll be adding a skein of yarn anyway, so I might as well just do it twice. I keep thinking of your wonderful vest and you are my inspiration for pushing through this pattern for the first time. So far, it is going well. Thanks.

I am still trying to get Lion Bran to include a Men's filter, but they are still not willing to do that. Sigh. I search by Adult and then spend so much time going through things to find articles of clothing to make for men. Thankfully, Ravelry has the filter. I think Ravelry is better anyway.

bobinthebul's picture

I come across knots in Noro fairly regularly. I usually cut it out and go with a spit splice if it's anywhere where it might be noticed. I also am a big fan of the Russian join.

CLABBERS's picture

I usually just start a new piece of yarn then go back and tie it off and weave in the ends. I need to practice the Russian join and spit splice so I can be confident that they are secure and won't come apart once things are done. I'm surprised though that Noro has many knots...aren't they rather expensive?

Bill's picture

My LYS says they get a lot of complaints about Noro knots...and have talked to the company. The company doesn't care.
I've stopped buying it...because it's so difficult to splice with matching colour...

CLABBERS's picture

I think you are wise to not spend your hard-earned money on yarn that is not reliable. I can't imagine running into a lot of knots in a lace product, as so many of the guys here make. Lace is hard enough to do, let alone have to splice things together unnecessarily. Good advice, Bill. The Noro yarn company should really address the issue.