27 October 2015

There's Always Something to Learn

I am still knitting away in the evenings and am pleased at how my cardigan is turning out, I am now well past the armholes and have settled into a nice rhythm, the pattern is interesting enough to keep my attention but also has some easy bits when I don't need to think too much!
I am knitting with two skeins of yarn, alternating every two rows as recommended, this is a hand dyed yarn and I don't really want to have an obvious stripe halfway down where I changed skeins! The yarn itself comes like this...
You have to undo the skein and wind it into balls yourself. Years ago when my Grandmother taught me to knit (must be close to forty years ago now) one of my jobs was to sit with my arms out holding the skein of yarn while she wound it into a ball. I used to complain that my arms were tired and think of every excuse I could to get out of sitting for what seemed like hours when I would rather be outside. I really hated that part of the process! I don't have any willing helpers around here, I don't think Jasper would be much good at winding yarn, although he does like to retrieve the balls when they roll off!
So, I bought myself a second hand swift, it holds the yarn while you wind the balls, so far so good...
I have now knitted the couple of balls I had wound and needed some more, however I am a bit slack at winding and while knitting my balls would roll about and get in a right snorl as my Grandmother would say (Snorl is a lovely Scots word meaning a knot or tangle). Whilst browsing Ravelry I noticed that lots of knitters had lovely neatly wound balls of yarn that looked nothing like mine.
Hmmm some investigation was required, it turns out you can buy something called a yarn winder that does the job for you in a fraction of the time and much neater! Who knew? (probably everyone except me) You can get an expensive electric model or the much simpler hand powered one. I decided to buy the larger hand operated version, so I could wind big chunky hanks as well as finer yarn.

Wow! You turn the handle et voila! perfect little cakes of yarn in no time at all. I think they look like Chelsea Buns...
There is always something new to learn!


  1. They certainly look good enough to eat!

  2. You sound just like me, always the last to discover some time saving device that everyone has been using for ages! I love the skein holder , it's gorgeous! Sort of looks like a crazy spider.

  3. It is fun to watch your project grow :)

  4. It is fun to watch your project grow :)

  5. Oh Elaine you have made me laugh. when I lived in NZ I clipped, spun, and dyed my own wool or mohair and it was second nature for me to do what you are now learning about. I now live in the tropics and we hardly ever wear woollens here, I don't think any one here owns a coat either LOL. Hope you keep on having fun with your knitting how I loved to knit curled up in an evening by the fire when it was so cold out side. Cheers Glenda

  6. Glad you are enjoying your knitting. And yes, a ball winder and swift are necessities of life! I was taught how to wind balls of yarn as a child too. My mother used me to hold skeins like your grandmother did you!