Sep 14, 2009

Wyld Ryd

Almost every Saturday, I volunteer at a genealogy library. Volunteering means hanging with my other crochet buddy, Meredith, who always inspires me to think outside the box when it comes to crochet and knitting. We discuss our current projects, new yarn finds, our families, our ancestors. It is, after all, a genealogy library and we are there to help patrons with their often elusive family searches.

Last Saturday, on my way to my "volunteer" (a genealogy library but my girls have always called it going to the volunteer), I pulled up behind a black Lexus sporting license plates that read "WYLD RYD." I thought, what a great title for a blog, but gave it up because cars and crochet don't mix, right!?.

I had brought my ball winder with me to wind a few skeins of yarn in preparation for some lace projects I am getting underway. Holiday gift giving and all that. Note to Vern and Con: yes, you each will be getting a lace shawl. I don't own a yarn swift so I thought I would take advantage of the highback chairs at the center to serve as an extra pair of hands. First up was a skein of KnitPicks Bare Peruvian Highland Wool fingering weight. Gonna use this for StitchStud's Peacock Track Mystery Crochet-A-Long. I plan to dye it in peacock blues and greens. Next up, Martha's Vineyard Fiber Farm's Sock Weight, perfect for an oversized scarf. Although the chairs were a tad bit narrow to hold the yarns with any real tension, the skeins rolled off nicely as I wound them into balls. Then came Araucania's Lonco Multy. Some of you already are aware of
my love-hate relationship with this yarn. I've been avoiding working on a second Bird of Paradise Shawl because of the hours spent unraveling this tough little cotton yarn.

Hoping to avoid any opportunity for a mishap, I grabbed the leather office chair. Its back is wider so it should hold the yarn better. As I cautiously started to unwind the skein, the chair shifted, revolving slowly like a yarn swift. I pushed it along and the yarn came off with little hesitation. I held my breath. The chair jerked to a stop as the yarn snagged. I cursed the yarn and wondered why I even bothered. In frustration, I gave the yarn a little downward tug, surprisingly freeing the yarn. I nudged the chair, smooth sailing for a few yards. Another snag, another damn, another tug.
I spun the chair, faster. Another snag, another tug, finally, freedom. Soon, the chair was turning like a kid spinning on a merry-go-round. Patrons walking into to the library stopped short, fascinated by the spinning chair as yarn was pulled off and formed into a little ball. Finally, the last length of yarn left my hand, completing the new yarn ball. I reached out, stopped the chair, and took a deep breath -- I had been holding my breath somewhat. What took 13 hours to wind the first skein, only took 45 minutes for this ball. Cue the chorus of angels. I was in yarn heaven.

Lesson learned?
Yarn can be quite temperamental. Some can be quite easy going, allowing you to wind it up with a child's helpful arms. Others need a swift kick in the @#$ and can only be controlled by the unyeilding arms of a yarn swift. Although I know that the unusual way the Araucania Lonco Multy was put up into a skein had a lot to do with my earlier problems, I realize that I had unwittingly created more twists and turns as I tried to "figure out" each and every snag by untwisting every perceived twist, only to twist it upon itself even more. Human nature being what it is, we try to outwit such yarn and think ahead of a snag, a twist, a perceived tangle. But under the constraint of a yarn swift, you are forced to let the swift and the yarn work together. Your hand just goes along for the ride.

So, if you need an extra pair hands and no yarn swift is handy, go to work and give that office chair a wyld ryd.

P.S. Get yourself some Araucania Lonco Multy but don't forget the swift.