Monday, February 13, 2012


I'm almost done with my Tuscany shawl - only 20 more rows.  No border, no fringe, just 20 more rows and then I am done.  Done done.  No mas.  Finito. 

So why do those 20 rows feel more like 20 feet?   That's because each row increases by 2 stitches, so the easy-peasy 'hey-I-can-get-this-knocked-out-quick' becomes 'OMG-will-this-will-never-end' by the 21st repeat.

Now in all fairness, I really like the pattern.  I've just hit the hump.  I didn't think I'd hit the hump on this project because I was enjoying it so much.  Using Tess' Yarns Cascade Silk Sport (100% silk) in a new leaf green, and it feels like a dream when I'm working on it.  (Tess' Yarns will be at Stitches West again this year.  If you are there you need to see this stuff - totally yummy yarns.) 

Then I ran out of wound yarn.  Luckily I have 2 skeins, but winding this stuff up was a bear.  It may have been my fault for getting it tangled, but man, what a hassle getting it in a ball - all 665 yards of the stuff.  It's silk and slippery and tangled, which means the tangles come out but you have to work at it.

The secret, I found, is to wind the ball with just enough tension to keep the yarn on the winder without popping off (been there) but loose enough to keep from over-stretching or even breaking the yarn (done that).  Not sure what the exact number of pound of pressure per inch is but I'm sure some scientific type could tell me.   Key term here is 'just enough'.

I had hoped that the one skein would be enough for the project, but I didn't quite have it.  So, back to the winder I went.  My winding process went something like this:

  1. Pull out the swift and set up on the desk (nowhere else to put it.  The winder I keep set up on  my desk.)
  2. Find the other skein of yarn.  It was somewhere...
  3. Notice the skein was slightly messed.  Told myself no worries - it should be just fine!  
  4. Not. 
  5. Ended up having to de-tangle for about 300 yards before I could start the winder.
  6. Started swearing.
  7. Finally got the skein untangled enough to start on the winder, but can't pull too fast because the swift was putting too much tension on the yarn.
  8. Got the ball half way wound and it popped off the winder.
  9. Increased the volume of my swearing. 
  10. Managed to get the half-wound ball back on the cupcake holder and finished winding.
  11. Decided the tension was too uneven, so thought re-winding the ball would help.
  12. I pulled from the outside of the ball.
  13. Ball went bouncing merrily on the floor.
  14. Cat thought it was a shiny new toy for her.
  15. (Yes, the cat is still alive.)
  16. Rescued ball from the cat and thought I'd be smart and put it in a large zip-lock bag to hold it in place.
  17. The ball seemed to have a mind of its own, escaped from baggie went back to dancing on the floor.
  18. Cat was having a great time.
  19. I seriously thought about shaving the cat and/or take up heavy drinking.  Stuck with getting more creative with my swearing.
  20. Rescued the ball from the cat again and successfully finished winding the ball.
Found a nice video on how to do a Russian Join (YouTube is a Knitter's Friend) and continued forth. 

Just 20 more rows to go.   

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