Archive for the ‘yarn ball winder’ Category

My blogversary was yesterday.

 

There was cake.

 

From Misc Pics

(for those of you who are not ‘up’ on yarn-jargon, when yarn is wound on a yarn-ball winder, the resulting ‘ball’ is actually called a cake.  You may laugh now – either at my joke, or the ridiculous naming convention of knitters… because both are pretty darn funny!)

 

I celebrated my blogversary, not by blogging, but by working on… (drumroll please….)

 

a SWEATER!

 

From Fun with Sweaters

Well, a shrug, really… well, the pattern says it’s a Bolero – which is really kind of a shrug… which is about a half of a sweater…

 

It’s going to be for wearing with dresses, because I can’t find a single sweater/shrug/bolero/thingie that I like with my dresses… so I must make it.

 

It is Malabrigo (of course)… and true to Malabrigo’s form – the yarn WILL NOT turn itself into a nice ball.  First, it took a good 45 minutes to get wound into a ball by hand, then two and a half attempts on the yarn ball winder (the half-one was pretty awesome… the cake thought it turned into a bird, and flew into the window, scaring the jeebus out of Tux!)  Then finally, after the last yarn-ball cake  turned into a jellyfish, an old-school hand-wound ball.  The hand-wound seems to be doing okay for now, so we’ll see if it lasts.  I have 4 more hanks that will presumably go into this sweater/shrug/bolero/thingie, so we’ll see how much of the Malabrigo-ball-cake-suffering continues.

 

From Misc Pics

This is a particularly tame picture of the yarn-suffering this weekend endured. The rest were too unwieldy to stop and take a picture. If I had taken my eyes off for a second, Malabrigo would have taken it as a challenge to see how much MORE tangled it could have gotten in the .002 seconds that my eyes were turned.

 

Also, I started Ed’s second pair of socks.  I call them Tweedy Socks, because they are made with Tweed yarn.  Yes, I am a dork.  He loves me anyway.  Probably because he gets socks.

From Socks

 

I also finished the first part of the four-part series – my “desk gloves”.  Fingerless gloves to wear in the office when the air conditioning gets so cold that my fingers stop working.  I have the first ‘cuff’.  Soon, I will have the second ‘cuff’ (after I actually cast it on and start working on it), then both ‘cuffs’ will have stitches picked up all around, and will be worked two-at-a-time until I have two desk gloves (it sounds like only a three-part series, but trust me, it’s four… maybe even 5 or 6… because there’s lace involved at the end).

From Adventures in Lace

 

So anyway… happy blogversary to me!  I accept gifts… either knitpicks gift cards or yarn.  :-)

…back to our normally scheduled programming…

 

I “finished” the sugar cane hat.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

I have the word “finished” in quotes, because while the knitting is done, and the ends are woven in, this hat is far from completed…

 

This yarn does not want to be a hat.  It wants to be a shawl, or a wrap, or a drapey cardigan.  It doesn’t want to hug or grip, or maintain shape in any way.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

I was sort of afraid that this would happen – in fact, I *knew* it would happen when I was able to wind the last skein of yarn with both ends together without much hassle.  Seriously, this yarn LOVES to tangle, so why would it not take advantage of the fact that I was removing it from it’s factory skein, taking the end from the outside and the end from the inside, forcing them together while I wound an entire new ball of yarn?  It should have been more difficult, but it wasn’t.  It was barely even a challenge, and that’s including Tux trying to figure out the best attack angle while I was winding it with the ball-winder.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

No… this yarn knew what was in store, and it couldn’t wait for me to realize what had happened.  It gracefully wound itself up so that I could finish the ‘hat’ that the yarn *knew* wasn’t going to work out. I know I heard giggling when I started to cast off. I thought it was me – giggling from the excitement of being *this close* to a finished project. It wasn’t me. It was the yarn.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

Cheeky yarn….

When my stepmother was in town, she was drooling over the hat that I had made for my grandmother.  I  think if my grandmother hadn’t protected the hat with her life, my stepmother would have stolen it right off of her head!

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

Instead, she requested that I make ‘the very same hat’ for her.  I happen to have some more Sugar Cane Yarn that I would love to not have anymore… I swear this stuff is cursed!  Remember?

From L’Ace Tank for Morgan

 

So when I decided that it was time to start on the hat with the super-soft yarn held double, I predicted that there would be pain.  However, I had managed to actually finish something with the yarn, so it couldn’t be *too* bad… I just needed to remember to use wooden needles and not fiddle with the yarn too much – as it loves to tangle all over itself.

[Enter ominous music]

 

Let me preface this by saying that I knew better.  I have learned from experience MANY times that this yarn loves to tangle.  I also know that center-pull balls of yarn tend to tangle up on themselves inside the ball and ‘spew’ yarn instead of contain it inside it’s yarn-ball innards.  I knew this going in.

 

However, when I looked at my two balls of yarn, I opted to have one center-pull ball.  The tail was already well positioned and ready to be pulled.  I could have re-wound it so that the tail would hide itself, but I had only just recovered from the past ball-winding experience with this skein… it had taken two days to be wound into submission.  I couldn’t risk it.  My sanity was at stake, and all I really wanted to do was start a hat.

 

So I put the yarn cakes (one center pull, one not) into my handy-dandy zippered yarn-storage bag that has a hole in the top to allow the yarn a single place to escape without rolling all over the place (thanks to the in-laws for Christmas).

 

Then it happened.  The so-called Yarn Barf (YB – a real technical term).

From Sugar Cane Yarn

When the tangles that used to be contained within the yarn ball spew themselves into the light of day.  I was annoyed, but not surprised, so I kept knitting.  Then the working yarn started tangling itself around the YB, so I kept having to un-zip the bag, un-tangle the yarn, then keep knitting.  I managed with that for a few days.

 

Then, all of the sudden, at lunch one day… I couldn’t do it anymore.  I needed to know how much time it was going to take to knit through to the end of the YB so I wouldn’t have to stop knitting to untangle this mess.  The YB was longer than I thought, and all of the sudden my lunch hour was over.  I had turned a slightly annoying bit of YB into a pile of yarn spaghetti.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

I gingerly placed it back into its zipper bag and placed it into my backpack until I could get back to it on the train ride.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

Waiting for the train proved fruitful, and then it only took a few more minutes of train riding to have two proper outside-pull balls of yarn.  One hand-balled, the other done with the yarn-ball winder.

From Sugar Cane Yarn

 

The hat is coming along quite nicely now, but I won’t say anything because this yarn loves to be cursed, and I refuse to jinx it…

So with work, wedding planning, dentist visits, sinus headaches and all, I have not been minding my blog…  But I’m all caught up now, and full of antibiotics and a new filling in my tooth; so it’s time to catch my faithful readers up on what I’ve been knitting.

I mentioned my new yarn-ball winder.  This is my yarn-winding ‘station’

From Misc Pics

Jason, Joey and I managed to wind all of these!

From Misc Pics

I’ve also finished a few things:

This was supposed to be an ear-warming headband for me, but since I didn’t pay attention to gauge when I started, it’s a headband for my niece, who will be year-old this month!  It still needs a button, but I like it!

From Finished Stuff

This is the hat that was ordered by my friend at work.  I made it with washable yarn, so they don’t have to worry about ruining it:

From Finished Stuff

I’m getting ready to go to my cousin Katherine’s 6th birthday party, so I finally washed and blocked her presents:

From Warm Stuff

Recognize them? It’s the Cabled Cowl and Headband from a while ago!

If you look at the purple yarn, you can see the second ear-warming headband I made for myself, which also still needs a button. I made it from birthday-yarn Alex gave to me. She probably pet the sheep the yarn came from – how cool is that!?

On to ‘in progress’ projects…

I would love to finish this ‘scarflette’ before I need it this winter.  It’s the one that lives in my ‘knitting purse’ that my Mommy made for me for my birthday.  I make progress on it whenever I have spare time not at home.

From Cowl for Winter Coats

This is KK’s late birthday present, because I’m a horrible big-sister… she’ll probably get it for Christmas.

From Cowl for KK

…and now you are up to date!

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