I was given some yarn that came in 2 liter bottles in a carrier used in the stores. The lady had removed the bottom of the bottle, put the yarn end through the top, put the skein of yarn in the bottle, and replaced the bottom, taping it back together with packing tape. This might help keep the tangles at a minimum. Small dangling bobbins helps on small colorway projects.
Keeping 2 colors untangled isn't too difficult, just stop every 3-4 rows and untangle the skeins. Keeping more than 2 colors untangled becomes really tedious. I'd recommend using bobbins. They come in many styles, and allow you to "carry" the colors along as you knit.
If you have lots of colors and small areas of color at a time, I cut two to three yards of a color and leave it loose. That way you can pull the yarns apart, as long as you do it slowly and carefully, by pulling on the yarn up close to the needle until you have pulled it all the way through the other yarns it may be tangled with. This is not perfect, by any means, but I find it works pretty well, as long as you do not mind weaving in the ends.
If you have only two colors in a stranded (or Fair Isle) pattern, keep one color on top, and the other on the bottom, only twisting them at the beginning of a row or the place where the pattern begins on the row. Because you are going across a row with both colors, you will not have big holes where you change colors. If you have more than 4 or 5 stitches in one color, you may want to twist the yarns to keep from having too long a float on the back side or your work.
A forum community dedicated to all levels of knitters and enthusiasts. Come join the discussion about collections, displays, how-tos, patterns, tutorials, styles, scales, reviews, swaps, accessories, classifieds, and more!