It’s happened to most knitters & crocheters: you start on a pattern and part way through you realize you did something wrong or you don’t like the pattern. So you have to frog your work. But when you do so, you end up with a big tangled mess that is a pain to work with until you get back to the ball of yarn you were working with. Well, here’s how you can keep that yarn from tangling up while you rework it.
As you frog your work, wrap the yarn around a smooth tube. I used the my Sock Knitting Needle Holders from KnitPicks.com for this example, but a used toilet paper tube or a travel toothbrush holder would work as well. You just want something tubular in shape and smooth in texture. Start wrapping at one end of the tube and just keep wrapping moving gradually toward the other end. Its okay if your yarn overlaps itself, but for best results, you don’t want it to go back and forth on the tube much.
Now start working again from the tube. One end of the tube will probably raise off the surface, which is ideal. Your yarn will come off smoothly and without knots and, if more comes off the ball on accident after you start, you can just wind it around the other end (being careful not to cover any of the yarn already on the tube). When all the yarn on the tube is used, start working from the ball as normal.