Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Good news bad news GREAT news ugh

I have some good news!  Well, good news for me, which makes it probably run of the mill for most of you.  Still, good!  I finally got enough sorted out here in our temporary home to get through the fall and winter without falling over boxes, which means I finally cleared time to wind a bagful of skeins into cakes.

You may recall seeing these skeins back in May, when I bought them and took their pictures, after which they went into luggage and sat wistfully near my knitting chair at the condo.

The bad news: sometimes, the skeins I buy from Stoddart Family Farms are not 100% easy to cake from a swift.

They have mohair in them, and they travel a bit in water and then by motor vehicle, and the strands can get a bit sticky, and sometimes actually tangled.  That makes me sad because then, instead of letting the ball winder do the work, I have to pay attention and build a ball by hand.  That means I don't get to watch so much movie, and also, it takes longer, which means less time actually knitting.  You know, first world problems.

The great news:

With the new furniture layout, I can actually lie on the sofa and watch a movie and wind a ball of yarn by hand without getting sore shoulders or even having to look much!

(the keen-eyed among you will notice the consequences of this, wrapped around the underside of the arms of the swift.  but not to worry, it unfurled very easily when I got to the end of the skein.)

Disappointing news:

Sometimes even the jumbliest-looking skeins really do cake easily.

Just when I'd gotten used to the luxury of lying down, too.  Wanh!

 and now the ugh.

It took me just eight hours to wind all this yarn - super fast for me - and on the second last skein I noticed a lot of little breaks.  Not the extremely rare kind that have been mindfully knotted by Silvia, but sort of sad weakened breaks that look like the yarn's been torn.

Perhaps you know where this is going, and perhaps not, in which case let me give you another clue:

they look like they've been chewed.

I must have gotten through eight breaks before I accepted reality and ran around the living room with a box of giant Ziploc bags.  I put all my loose yarn and finished socks (good heavens, all those socks) into bags and sealed them.  Then I put all the cakes and balls I'd already wound into more Ziploc bags, and put them into the freezer.

Because Moths.  Moths!!  Moths of entirely unknown provenance, in just one skein among a ton.


Tomorrow I have something pretty to show you but it's not yarn.  Yarn in plastic bags is not pretty.

Hope you've had a great day and I'll see you later! 


Darlene said...

I thought you weren't supposed to wind into balls or cakes until you were ready to knit with them? Yarn could get stretched even if you wind loosely like I do.

Mary Keenan said...

Darlene, I think the bigger risk is when you wind yarn into a ball by hand, because it does stretch then. A ball winder has that big central post to wind around, and when you pull the wound yarn off of it just relaxes into that space. So, if I have to wind yarn into a ball to get it off the skein I always cake it afterward to make sure it's nice and comfy until I'm ready to knit!

Some of my pre-caked yarns wait for me for a few years before I finally get around to them, especially the ends of cakes from previous projects that I want to pair with something else, and they've all been fine. But in this case there won't be a long delay. My next step is to divide all this yarn into sock kits for this winter's stress relief supply :^)

Mimi said...

Reading your yarn winding tale made me smile. You're a funny writer!

Mary Keenan said...

Thanks, Mimi :^)