Ravel is an interesting verb, in that it can mean both "tangle" and "untangle." So if you work to ravel yarn into a neat ball, your cat may come along and try to ravel it again.
The first syllable in ravel is accented and gets the short a sound, as in apple: "RA-vle" How can a word mean both one thing and its opposite? In the case of ravel, the answer is sewing: As threads come unwoven from a cloth, they become tangled on each other. Since untangling is never far from tangling, ravel covers both meanings.