Saturday, January 13, 2007

Being One With The Yarn

I tried, I really tried to be one with the yarn, you have no idea how I struggled. Maybe I should start at the beginning. It's another mystery project as the giftee may or may not read the blog.

Many moons ago I decided I wanted to make something for a friend because this person has such a big heart and has been very generous to our family. Instantly I knew the type of item I wanted to make and the arduous search began all over the internet to find the perfect representation for said item. Finally after hours, and yes I mean HOURS over a period of weeks of searching, debating, saving and deleting links to possibilities the perfect item appeared. The yarn that the pattern called for beautiful, there is no doubt and since then I have heard praise from on high for this material. However aside from a hefty price tag none of the colourways were anything like what I visioned. Nothing was appropriate. So another expedition was launched that took our Bodhisattva of Yarn on a wide ranging journey back and forth across the nation via the internet, as well as overseas through the same vehicle, with stops in actual yarn stores on both the west and east coasts.

After much debate a yarn decision was made, but funds were tight so waiting ensued. Still our fearless Bodhisattva flipped back and forth comparing the chosen yarn to make sure there truly was nothing better. The day arrived when budget be damned the fiber had to purchased. A few days later gratification was meant via a small priority mail box waiting on the porch. With much anticipation and excitement the box was carefully carved open along it's seams. A crestfallen expression came over my face as I lifted up beautiful yarn that bore little resemblance to the image on the computer screen. Really the yarn was beautiful, stunning even with a lovely feel but it was the wrong colour, absolutely wrong. Reaching in the depths of that which is THE dharma, (versus the Dharma that is I) I thought about using it because maybe the universe knew something I did not.

Lo, the universe intervened yet again shortly after the arrival of the yarn via the glbt knit list I am on (did I mention I spend way too many hours on my laptop, otherwise know as the Lotus?) where someone mentioned a little fiber business that calls itself Fearless Fibers. There it was, the colour I had envisioned for all these months. Deb, the owner, is delightful to work with and very responsive. But there was the matter of that other yarn, which sat in it's box, alone and bereft. I thought about keeping it, but really I could not think of who the colours would be good for, or what to do with it as I had attached such purpose to the yarn I had trouble reinventing it's image. With a bit of remorse I contacted Simply Socks Yarn and explained the situation. They were lovely about the dilemma and I would not hesitate to purchase from them again - the yarn interestingly enough was, a merino yarn, by yes that's right, Fleece Artist which is also HandMaiden. Confused? Me too, but it does seem that they are both really the same company.

Again the wait for the yarn was begun but this time, oh my, this yarn is everything I had imagined all those months ago. This is Fearless Fibers superwash merino wool sock yarn - why the superwash? Because she had the colourway I wanted in stock and it's the weight I wanted. Superwash I figure is a bonus. Thanks to Grumperina I make sure to smell my yarn frequently and I have to say this stuff, wow, what a lovely scent. I am sure it will fade but in the meanwhile every once and again I take a nice inhale of the wool.

I received two large hanks of yarn, each about 500 yards of lovely fiber waiting to be balled. As luck would have it TGF gifted me with a ball winder for the holidays. Having used Jennie's a couple of times I was looking forward to winding my yarn and casting as fast as possible. However first I had to finish the scarf for TGF's mom, and she was leaving at the "butt crack of dawn" on Wednesday so in true "working on not procrastinating too much" fashion I casted off Tuesday morning and blocked. Tuesday was a crazy day in that I was blocking, TGF was packing, the day before the Purple Beast (my car) started choking which terrified me for many reasons key among them our other car is a stick which I don't really know how to drive and the Lotus caught spider mites or something and had to go in for treatment (part of why I haven't written much lately). As any other appropriately stressed adult woman would do I called my mother to whine. It actually helped which was good, because as my anxiety level decreased as TGF's rose.

Later that day I decided to reward myself by winding the yarn with the goal of casting on that evening. Ha! It was going along rather well for a bit and then (cue the doom music) I thought, if I turn the hank this way it will unravel with greater ease. Greater ease my fat arse! In mere seconds I had a disaster of epic proportions. How larger you ask? I'll tell you, it took me until Thursday night to finish winding that first hank. Hours upon hours of untangling, taking the core off the winder to weave through the knots from both sides, essentially using everything I could think of to do. I was carefully proceeding, loathe to make a cut when in mere seconds, Marcel who had barely appeared by my side, bit through the yarn.

Given the amount of time to that a minor adjustment in handling the yarn made I took a deep breath and started the second hank, chanting a mantra of patience, of following the direction the yarn chose, and not intervening in the great plan. Even with my chanting the yarn did mysterious twist of it's own volition and voila! again a tangled mess lay in my hands. For a number of hours between then and late last night (or was it early this morning?) I sat with the yarn, asked it for direction, followed it twists, unraveled knots, and tried very hard not to curse. About three quarters of the hank were finally balled during which time I shoo'ed away Marcel, Atticus, Saana, and Joia from the tempting wavering, dangling threads, yet despite my attempts, pleas, and offerings to the gods, Marcel once again bit through the yarn. It is quite apparent the universe believes these hanks should not be one ball a piece.

Right before bed I casted on 97 stitches and did the first two rows, already being a stitch short on row 2. I am a humbled grasshopper.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I have a friend who is knitting gauntlets out of that Seacell yarn for her man. I haven't handled the stuff myself, but it does SOUND groovy.

Your yarn-winding fiasco would have driven me UTTERLY BATSHIT! AARGH!