Monday, August 17, 2009

What To Do First?

Down home we say “If you want to make Rabbit Stew, first catch the rabbit.” So it should be of no surprise to you or anyone else, that before I start to knit I wind the yarn. [I could go back a few more steps and shear the sheep, but…that’s outside my skill set.]. I know there are many mechanical gizmos that twirl around and wind the yarn and all you have to do is stand there and turn a crank. Or maybe it does it by itself.

Recently I was chastised for winding my own ball of wool by a knitter who said it was as boring as watching grass grow. And why would I want to do it myself when there was an easier way? I reminded her that she could buy a sweater already knit and skip the whole process. Really… c’mon. Let me do the things that give me pleasure, things I know how to do, and…even better… things that don’t cost money.

Winding yarn is a calming task that is a prelude to knitting. It lets you feel the yarn go through your fingers so you get a sense of how it will knit up. You can also check for irregularities like knots or color splotches. You control the tension and don’t end up with a “sprung” section at the end of the ball.

Knitters are a varied group who share a common interest but have individual ways of enjoying their hobby. Just ask a group how they cast on, or if they “throw” the yarn. Straight or circular? Steel or wood? Fine points or blunt? Natural or acrylic?

Knitting is my salvation right now. As my brain attempts to heal itself, I love the repetitive rhythm of knitting. I have so many projects going I never get bored. Someday I might finish one or two. I did actually finish five and I took them down today to enter in the State Fair Home Arts Division. A sweater I made for Ember, a hat I made for myself that doesn’t fit, a felted purse I will never carry, a mauve Van Dyke lace scarf that I will definitely wear, and a pair of beaded fingerless mitts that I am saving for a night at the opera. I won ribbons for my entries last year but these are not as unusual so…probably not this year. But if you happen to attend the Oregon State Fair…look for them.


Blogger Eugenia Jo said...

Love the explanation of how the yarn feels as you wind it. Now I understand more why my mother did it and had me help too. I didn't mind it at all. Sort of meditative. "Many hands make light work!"

3:39 PM  

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