Saturday, 11 January 2014

Snarled Yarn

There is nothing I like better than a new skein of yarn and a new pattern. Every knitter has their way of beginning, and it usually falls to personal preference. Do you start the yarn from the outside of the skein, or from the centre?

I like to start from the centre, that way the skein isn’t turning over and over as it unwinds. But eventually it will collapse in on itself as the inner portions are used up. If you’re lucky, you finish that project without
encountering the ‘big snarl’.
You guys know what I mean.

The ball of yarn, which is a misnomer as it’s a skein of yarn until you wind it into a ball, gets so snarled and tangled you have to stop any actual knitting until you get the yarn untangled.
And the bigger the skein, the bigger the snarl.
I hate to admit the number of hours I have spent hours winding yarn into a ball.

To unsnarl, I usually find the end of the yarn and start winding, until it’s untangled and I can continue with the active work. I’ve discovered if I don’t move the yarn too much it doesn’t get as snarled, but if I’m constantly putting it aside, or pulling it in and out of my bag, the snarls are worse.

I found this neat idea for keeping your yarn snarl free, it holds the skein in place, while easily letting it unwind from the outside. The bin could easily hold some other tools, or your pattern. I think I might try this.

I tend to buy my yarn in 7 oz skeins, as that seems to be what is available here, given our limited retail resources. When I had the opportunity to shop out of town, at Michaels, I bought the yarn for my Christmas projects and enjoyed the vast array of choices not offered locally.

I love to crochet and usually have plenty of projects I want to tackle. Just check out my Pinterest board of the knitting and crocheting ideas I’ve accrued, waiting for that ideal time when I have the perfect match of yarn and pattern.

I vowed last April, that I would only buy yarn for a specific project, and not because I liked the colour, or it was on sale. I’ve maintained that new practice. I bought yarn for the hats I made over Christmas and have been diligently using up the leftover bits and pieces.

My collection of crocheted hats has grown, what I’m going to do with them all is unknown. Maybe I’ll do the same as one of my friends, and donate them next Christmas to the Giving Tree or to the shelter.

Like most knitters, I have a big bin of yarn, some new skeins for future projects, (from before I vowed not to do this), and some leftover bits from finished work. The little bits come in handy for embellishing, especially in the hats I’ve been making for the last month.

I keep it all; you never know when you might need that little touch of colour, to add a flower to a plain hat, or owl eyes on another. But how to organize it is the challenge.

Last year at this time, I had completed all my Christmas projects and had scads of leftover bits. I grabbed a bunch of clear plastic bags and sorted all of it into colours, so I could quickly and easily see what I had, and they didn’t get tangled. When I moved it all went into a big pink bin, which my son has stored for the last six months and just delivered to me.

I have lots more to add to the bin, and am constantly finding bags of yarn I’ve stashed throughout my place. I think my January project is to organize all my yarn, before starting something new.

My friend is using her leftover bits to make herself a granny square afghan, all the squares joined with black. But I found a great sweater pattern, on Pinterest of course, that followed the same idea.

For now, while the snow is falling, and yet another storm is predicted, I think I have enough to see me through the coming weeks. Whether it’s hats, or something in granny square style, my resolution for this year is to use it all up, the challenge is to find a creative way to do it. I’ll keep you updated on my progress.





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