Yarntropy, the scientific facts about yarn barfs.

Knitting and the laws of thermodynamics. I bet you thought they had nothing to do with each other, didn’t you?

But think a little longer, and you will soon realise that knitting (or even crochet) is closely related to the scientific laws of heat. If you’ve ever knitted a sweater or (Hello, Shana 🙂 ) a pair of socks in order to keep warm, then the connection is obvious, isn’t it?

But there’s even more of a link between knitting and all that science, and this will explain why most knitters (including the CraftShack’s very own Shana this morning)  are sometimes bedevilled by the dreaded yarn barf. Shana went to fetch a ball of yarn for a new project and opened the drawer only to find what looked like a nest of vipers inside. Her skills as the numero uno Destroyer of Yarn Barfs luckily saved the day.

Thermodynamics explains clearly why yarn barfs happen. It’s all to do with something called ‘entropy’. Nature tends to progress from a state of order to one of disorder. Well, that’s basically what the science says, and who am I to argue?

But why let scientists hog all the best words? Shouldn’t all those woolly acrylic tangles have their own scientific explanation and a fancy word to go with it?

Well now they do.

Let the physicists keep their entropy. Knitters, crocheters, and any other stick-wielding fibre addict can now adopt the following term:


So, don’t tie yourself in knots wondering why your nice neat yarn stash has suddenly rearranged itself into the world’s most impossible mess. It’s just the way the cosmos works. It’s simply yarntropy in action.


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