Friday, June 13, 2008

Skeins gone wild

(and the men who love their knitters)

There are some days when I love everything about the process of knitting. Then there are days when yarn goes naughty and misbehaves and drives me to the brink of frustration. I had a few of those days last week when my umbrella swift decided to have shaft failure.

You see, I placed a beautiful skein of Schaefer Andrea silk lace weight in the color Clara Barton on my swift to wind into a ball for knitting. I have loved my swift and ball winder and sometimes leave them set up on my kitchen table for weeks because they just look beautiful. My swift evidently doesn't love me back because after winding the first 20 to 50 yards of the 1093 yards, the swift collapsed and as it did, half of the yarn stayed on the swift while the middle fell to the table. I stood in horror and thought, well, I can just scoop up the middle, place it back on the swift and give it another go. Which I did. And the swift collapsed again after another 10 yards or so.

Looking at the mass of tangled yarn now on the kitchen table, I took a deep breath and thought, "No worries, I'll wind it by hand." 1093 yards is a lot to wind by hand, especially when the yarn is tangled. Just so you know, it takes approximately 6 hours of winding time to wind 1093 yards of lace weight. Yep, 6 hours of staring at teeny tiny thread, watching a ball of yarn form at a snails pace. I drank much wine.

Italian, being the very sweet and smart man that he is, left me to wallow in my fury the first night and then searched for swift types in the morning to present me with some options. He found the Farris Wheel style that is a swift/skein winder, and discovered that the umbrella swift's shaft is too soft. This proclamation made me giggle. He also helped wind the yarn as well and even spent some time untangling the knot.

While hunting for new table top swifts, I stumbled upon another man who loves his knitter a lot. He built her a Lego swift and ball winder. Ingenious!

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