Typically, I will knit yarn that comes in hanks (technical term for loops twisted back on themselves) from the hank, untwisting the yarn to knit and twisting it back up again when I'm done. Sometimes I'll hang it over my arm, sometimes I'll unwrap a few loops and wrap the rest up to sit in my bag, sometimes I leave it open on a chair or on the floor. I've almost never had a problem with this method. Almost.
[Imagine a picture of blue, green, white, and purple spaghetti here. Or ramen.]
This time, while knitting in the line for the local library book sale, some of the yarn dove from my arm to land in a hugely tangled mess that did not want to cooperate. I wound it up into a center-pull ball, keeping the first few rows of the sock on the needles. As I was knitting, I learned I did something wrong when winding the center-pull ball (never had a problem before) and as I tugged the yarn free, it snapped instead of coming out.
The rest of the knitting wasn't bad. I knit through the Experience Hendrix concert, and the biggest problem I had then was getting so into the music I had to tink back every so often, and this was a simple 4-stitch repeat that just shifted every couple of rows. Good for knitting in the dark, not so good when you're enjoying the show so much you can't consistently count to three.
While I usually don't like it when yarn swirls, I like how it's swirling with the slipped stitch pattern in this yarn. When I tried it on, the slipped-stitch fabric is so firm that I can't get it over my overly-large instep. Of course. Given the lack of elasticity, I'd have to cast on so many stitches that the sock leg would be sloppy and not stay up in order to get it on. Back to the stash it goes!