The weather has turned warm and I frequently find myself recommending this hack to clients in the store. Summer yarns tend to be made from plant fibres (like cotton and linen, hemp), cellulose based fibres (tencel made from mashed up and reconstituted plants like bamboo, seaweed, etc), silk, or synthetics (nylon is one of the higher quality synthetics, you’ll also see ‘microfiber’, viscose, and acrylic on labels). These fibres have a tendency to be a bit slippery, and the balls can fall apart or collapse, making a big tangle for you to negotiate at just the wrong time. Enter the Panty Hose Hack ….
NOTE: If you want to learn more about the fibres used in yarn, Clara Parkes is your Guru, she knows everything: “The Knitter’s Book of Yarn” by Clara Parkes (available online or through your public library), or the Craftsy online class “Know Your Yarn” with Clara Parkes.
KNITHACK The Pantyhose Hack
- 1 pair of Panty Hose or Tights
- sharp scissors
1. Acquire a Pair of Pantyhose or Tights
Old hose from the bottom of your drawer will work just fine. Personally, I have an aesthetic issue with regular nude or black hose, I always feel like my yarn is about to knock over a convenience store. I buy mine at the dollar store, I like to find pretty colours and fun textures. I think the ones above were some kind of mesh kids tights from the dollar store. For some reason, I get a kick out of fine gauge fishnets on my yarn.
2. Deconstruct the Hose
One pair of pantyhose or tights will make 4 “yarn bras” or sacks:
- Cut each leg off below the crotch.
- Cut each leg into 2 roughly similar sized parts (it won’t hurt if the upper part of the leg can be a bit longer). You should have two pieces with a closed end (the foot) and two pieces that are tubes with both ends open. (note: I wouldn’t bother trying to get 6 pieces from a single pair of hose/tights, the pieces end up being too short unless the balls you are working with are very small)
- With each of the tube pieces, tie a knot at one end of the tube. (do not tie the tube pieces to each other, and do not tie knots in both ends of the same piece).
3. Insert Yarn in the “Yarn Bra”
Pop your yarn in, and you’re ready to go! The hose/tights will act like Spanx for your ball of yarn, and keep it under control. You can work from the tail coming from the centre of the ball and the whole thing will stay in place.
That’s it, that’s the Pantyhose Hack. There isn’t much to it, but it will make your knitterly life easier and keep you and your yarn much happier.