Friday, April 5, 2013

Not So Swift

There are days, and then there are days.  Yesterday was a day.

I was super excited to receive my new yarn swift and ball winder yesterday (yay, Amazon Prime)!  After looking at various prices and factoring in how much I’ll actually use it, I decided to go with a less expensive swift and winder I found on Amazon that got decent reviews.  I pulled them out of their respective boxes and had them set up in no time.

Now to wind!  Hurray!

I rifled through my stash looking for anything that needed winding and got to it!  First one skein, then two, then three; all of them wound into beautiful little cakes of yarny goodness. 

Then…A funny thing happened on the way to yarn winding utopia.

Last Tuesday at knit night at my LYS, I purchased a pretty skein of Malabrigo Sock.  (Yes, I know I haven’t even completed my first pair of socks, but let’s not focus on irrelevant details, mmkaayy?)  The skein was tucked into a nice, clean little twist, as it should be.  I unwound it and placed it on the swift, then removed those little strings from the skein.  I put what I thought was the end that pulled from the outside of the skein on the winder and began to turn, turn, tu…  Um, small problem.  Yarn wasn’t pulling from the outside.  Figured I had it wrong so I took that end off the winder and found the other end and tried that.  Turn, turn, tur…  Hmm.  Same problem.  Thought maybe I just needed to readjust the skein on the swift.  Yeah, that didn’t work.  Went back to the first end I had tried.  Nope.  This skein was not cooperating.

I pulled the whole thing off the swift and laid the skein out on my table so’s I could see it better and figure out where the hangup was.  I poked a little.  I pulled a little.  I shifted a little.  Before long, this is what I had:

Not what I had in mind.

Really?!?  Oh, Malabrigo, you’ve had my heart since we first met.  How could you DO this to me??

Deep breath.

Hey, no problem.  I’ve untangled various things with great success before.  So what if it’s 440 yards?  So what?!

I set to work.  Mission Untangle begins at 1530 hours:

Mission Untangle relocated from dining room table to living room sofa at 1730 hours:

At 1800 hours, Mission Untangle in danger of disaster as I am distracted by the still-unfinished lace shawl that I’m making ZERO progress on.  I force myself to look away and press on.

Progress update at 2100 hours:

Five and a half hours so far


At this point, The Husband asks me how much I paid for the yarn.  I tell him.  He suggests that the time I’ve spent untangling it was worth much more than what I paid for the yarn, and insinuates that I should have chucked the whole tangled mess two hours before and just go get another skein.  *GASP*  I know, I know!  Poor deluded man is talking utter nonsense.  It’s almost sacrilegious.  Malabrigo in the TRASH?!?  I was glad I wasn’t close enough to him to be injured by the lightning strike I was certain would happen at any moment. 

It didn’t.  He went to bed.  I continued with Mission Untangle. 

Final update – 0115 hours:

Mission complete.  *yawn*

***  ***  ***


  1. Ugh, been there, done that. I admire your perseverance. I had a Lion Brand Pound of Love that I did throw away once because I got it hopelessly tangled trying to knit from both ends. I decided the $5 wasn't worth my pound of frustrated tears.

    1. Oh my, I've used the Pound of Love before and I don't blame you on that one!

  2. I find it therapeutic untangling yarn. It took me days once to untangle some genuine vintage dishcloth yarn that I found in a charity shop. I didn't mind and it was lovely to work with once it was untangled.

    1. Una, I'll need you to PM me your address so the next time I get snarled up, I can ship it to you for therapeutic purposes! : )

  3. I have been there! More than once in fact. There are definitely some brands of yarn that I have more trouble with than others. my tip - as soon as you realise its not going smoothly take it off and do it by hand, its a mission, but much less so than what you ended up with. Experience!

  4. Ah, you were attacked by the flying spaghetti monster. I have been there but I'm insanely lucky to have a partner who sees untangling yarn as an enjoyable challenge.

    Throw out Malabrigo? Tell him to wash his mouth out.

    1. Right?!? I still have horrific flashbacks of the whole conversation...

  5. The picture of that tangled yarn made me so queasy the first time I read this post, I couldn't manage to stay long enough to leave a comment. I had to brace myself and come back a second time! :-)

    Several years ago I brought a skein of fingering weight cashmere back from China for a friend. It got hopelessly tangled and she spent a few minutes here, a few minutes there, slowly untangling it over the next YEAR! I'm glad you were able to get it sorted out in much less time than my friend.

    1. I'm glad you had the stomach to come back! : )

      Wow, a whole year? Then again...there is probably no end to what I might go through for cashmere *sighs blissfully*.


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