Tickets

A thousand thanks to everyone who offered me 11.4m of the yarn I needed in the correct dye lot.  I would have absolutely jumped all over that if I were the sort of knitter who knew where the ball band was, but sadly, I’m not.

This has prompted a new policy to keep track of the ball bands of all the yarn I use.  Never again. The fact that a a gajillion knitters possibly had exactly what I needed to make this happen without any kind of a crazy pants yarn dance, and that because I can’t keep track of a ball band I had to rig a solution? (Admittedly, ball bands are really losable.)  Nope.  The solution was way, way too easy.  From now on I’m listing the lot number along with the colour number on the blog- at least once.  I go back and use the blog all the time to remember what stuff was, and I can’t believe that it didn’t occur to me that this tool was sitting right here all along.  There was probably a bunch of this yarn in the world, and here I was shredding a whack of another lot number when it was totally unnecessary.   It worked out okay in the end (I think)  it’s not like the whole thing was ruined or like puppies died because I lost a ball band, but I did have to spend time and money because I didn’t do one easy thing.  It’s crazy to spend this much time on something and not do what it takes for something to be the best it can be.  Still,   I don’t think the fix is obvious… do you?

How about if I show you?

Not too bad? The whole time I was disemboweling balls of yarn and test knitting to find 11.4m of yarn that would work (which took about 4 hours, by the way, since I was wrong and had to re-knit twice.)  I kept thinking about this joke I heard while I was bartending.

There’s this great guy down on his luck, who goes desperately to church to beg God for help.  He walks in, falls on his knee and prays.  "Please help me.  I’m broke, my family needs help, I’m too old to work… please.. let me win the lottery."  He goes away, doesn’t win the lottery.  The next week he’s back in church.  "Please help me. Please.  I really, really need to win the lottery. I have no other option.  I’m desperate.  Please, please help me."  He doesn’t win.  He can’t hardly believe it.  Here he has ultimate faith and he’s being let down. Buddy goes back a third time, and this time he’s wracked with grief and desperation.  He prostrates himself on the ground and says "Why Lord? Why?  Why won’t you help me? I’ve been good my whole life.  A good man.  A good husband, a good father, a good citizen.  I’ve done everything I can to deserve this, and now when the chips are down and my beautiful wife and I are eating cat food – and not much of it, let me tell you… now you abandon me.  Please. Please… let me win the lottery."

Out of the blue,  he is answered.  As he lays there sobbing, wondering why he hasn’t won the lottery, a voice comes from above.  The voice, booming and resonant declares "For crying out loud man.   Meet me halfway.  BUY A TICKET."

Yeah.  Thanks for offering all the help.  Next time you all try to help me win the lottery,  I’ll have a ticket.

For the record.  I have started a pair of socks.

162 thoughts on “Tickets

  1. what a simple solution. Glad you thought of it. Take care and thanks for the blog.

  2. OH Man! We were all commenting at the same time! Been there with the dye lot and started keeping bands in a zip-loc bag for when I tear out the grown out of it things I make for my son.
    BTW – I think there’s a silent competition for being a first commentor. I’ve seen it before in your comments section.

  3. I gotta say – it occurs to me that this is payback for those wonderfully matchy matchy socks. A little knittic-karma?
    That’d what it would be if it were me, I think.

  4. I knew there was a reason I never throw the ball bands away. 🙂 Of course, I suppose I could do that after I’m done with the project…might save a lot of space that way.

  5. I think it looks great, you can’t tell that it’s not the same dye lot. Great idea too to keep track of your info on the blog.

  6. But how do you keep up with which ball band goes with which project? I’ve saved all my ball bands, but couldn’t guess which one goes where!

  7. The fix looks great, unnoticeable, as such a fix should be!
    Ball bands, ack. I have leventy million of them around, along with receipts from yarn shops in case I bought too much and want to return something. Never can I find the right one at the right time, so them I turf the lot and … you know what happens then…

  8. Steph, what I do is to keep two copies of any pattern I’m working on: one pristine original in a plastic sleeve and one noted-all-over-the-place scanned copy out in the open. As I use up yarn balls (or when the ball band gets so loose it threatens to fall off) I put the ball band into the plastic sleeve with the pattern original and retain all of them with that original of the pattern. That way, I can not only have rapid reference to the yarn information during the knitting process, I can also sanity check the real yardage required at completion of the project. It’s useful to know in case your mileage is way off either plus or minus just by how much, even in evaluating future patterns from the same source. I just keep all of this together on a lightweight clipboard throughout the life of the project and on file after completion.
    Yeah, I know, a bit OCD…but I find I’m better off copping to my psychological tendencies than driving myself crazy trying to be a free spirit.
    Just for your consideration.
    Vicki Stammer

  9. great idea!
    but b/c i’m crazy, you might also want to take a picture of the front of the tag? b/c you can see the color and dye lot, but what if you forget the manufacturer?
    or possibly i’m the only idiot that does that?

  10. A gentle suggestion: When photo documenting for future reference, tie or drape a sample of the yarn about the label and include maker’s name and name of yarn in the shot. (Tying a yarn sample to the label helps with multi-color intarsia projects, also.) Mentioned as color names are so danged vague/subjective and even with glasses to read the fine print I would still be guessing if the photo was of one of Claudia’s hand-painted sock yarns or…??? Just a thought. Congrats on the Frankenmatch, btw. Looks super.

  11. It looks great! I couldn’t identify the odd swirl out until you pointed at it. It totally looks like it belongs.
    And, hey, at least it was an educational experience?

  12. Good solution! Here’s what I do: leftover yarn and ballband go into a ziplock and are then saved for…well infinity, I guess. I have a drawer full. Sadly, I’ve only ever done this for sock projects. But it did save my mom, who wore a hole in a pair I made her a couple of years ago. I had extra yarn and could even tell her what it was (they’re one of her favorite pairs of socks).

  13. Good solution. I had been known to save ball bands like, well, a crazy person. That is to say, if I do not make maintaining what mental health level I do have a priority, I am going to end up a candidate for that A&E program, “Hoarders.” On a related note–I cannot watch that program.

  14. That joke was my Daddie’s favorite, and still is mine!
    It is a reminder that we should give God something to work with!
    Kudos on endeavoring to figure out some kind of system! I don’t have that kind of intestinal fortude!

  15. You could also put that information on your ravelry entry for it if you’re so inclined. You never know, maybe you could help someone else in that same situation!

  16. fix looks fine!!! ((I keep each of my ohsomany projecTs in a BAGGIE (SORRY, KEYBOARD DIED HERE–CAPS ONLY!) AND THROW AT LEAST ONE BALL BAND IN WITH EACH PROJECT. DOESN’T MATTER HOW LONG IT TAKES TO FINISH, THERE’S ALWAYS AT LEAST ONE BALL BAND WITH THE PROJECT UNTIL IT’S DONE. YES I USE BIG BAGGIES FOR SWEATER/SHAWL/OTHER MONSTROSITIES. NO OTHER RECORD-KEEPING NEEDED, WHICH IS PERFECT FOR MY DISORGANISED SELF–NOT TO MENTION THAT THE PROJECTS ARE PROTECTED FROM COPIOUS AMOUNTS OF CAT/DOG/FLYING-SQUIRREL HAIR AT THE SAME TIME))
    SLINKING AWAY WITH MY NOISY CAPS NOW…

  17. I ball my yarn, shove the ballband into the center, and then start knitting from the outside. No problems here 🙂

  18. The scarf looks great! I’m glad you were able to make some of the new yarn work and save the project.

  19. The scarf looks good to me. Good for you for making it work. Just as a FYI, I attach a ball band to my working copy of any pattern. That was not matter how many times I put it down for a nap before finishing, I always know what I was working with.

  20. this could’ve happened to me as well as i never keep track of my projects on paper. fortunately, i became addicted to knitting again only 2 years ago – so the solution to this problem is ravelry 🙂

  21. Hey Steph,
    Relax. It’s yarn!!
    It’s only yarn.
    Now, go have a beer and be grateful to to knitting goddess!
    Love,
    Christina

  22. Hey Steph,
    Relax. It’s yarn!!
    It’s only yarn.
    Now, go have a beer and be grateful to to knitting goddess!
    Love,
    Christina

  23. R.A.V.E.L.R.Y. Jess, Casey, Mary Heather, and Sarah are wicked smart and have put a great feature in the Stash page so you can put the dye lot and other details there.
    ~~~~says she who still has dozens of pics in the camera and not downloaded to her rav stash pages~~~

  24. Your blog posts inspired me to drag out my unfinished swirl scarf and knit a few more medallions. It took two balls plus a little more. Fortunately, I had bought three! Nice job….no one will ever notice the slight color difference!

  25. I would just like to point out that if you had saved the ball band and posted a search for it on Ravelry and got it from someone and finished your scarf quietly and peacefully…you would have had nothing to blog about. This way is such a Harlotty solution, and vastly entertaining. Yes, I know, laughing at your pain again. Just call me Pollyanna for looking on the bright side of knitting disasters. (And the scarf looks great.)

  26. Make sure, when you take a pic of the ball band, that it is large and clear and legible. (And you can guess how I know this!)

  27. I’ve seen several people note that Ravelry is a great place to note the colorway and dyelot. But having it here AND Ravelry could be a really good thing. For example, should either be temporarily down (like that would ever happen) and you have an emergency (because the knitting fates are that cruel!) your info should still be easy to find.
    And the added color looks great!

  28. I do this stupid thing where I wind the yarn into a ball — around the ball band. Not a problem, because if I run out of yarn, I’ll have the ball band. Except… people ask what yarn it is. And I have no clue because the ball band is in the middle of the yarn, there’s a whole bunch of the stuff left, and I can’t just pull it out. Yeah. Don’t do that, either.

  29. I save one ball band and wrap some of the leftover yarn around it and put it in the plastic sleeve with the original pattern. I always make a copy of the original to work with and mark up like Vicki…and I would say I’m also a bit OCD and Virgo about everything!

  30. I lose everything. E V E R Y T H I N G. But most of the time I remember to roll up the ball band and put it in the center of the ball as I take the yarn off of the ball winder. And it is usually still there with what is left over some time after I have finished, tossed in a zip-top bag, forlorn.

  31. I do something like what Vicki does. Rather than risk losing a really good pattern (as I’ve done in the past), I make a copy of the pattern I’m working on, and I keep it in the bag with the UFO. Yes, this kills many trees; so sue me. Better a tree should die than I beat my head against one because I can’t find the pattern anymore.
    I’ve gotten in the habit of stapling the ball band to the pattern so I can keep track of both. Since I’m now addicted to knitting socks (thanks to my favorite yarn enabler), this works out great because the entire project, including the first of the 2 socks, fits in a large Ziploc bag. Just doing what I can to keep it all together in every sense!
    The scarf looks great! The yarn looks yummy!

  32. If you hadn’t told me, I’d never have known that this was make-do.
    Btw, did you all hear the Cast-on podcast series Make Do and Mend. Total enjoyment.

  33. SMRT – putting it on the blog. Half the time when I start a project, I’m nowhere near my computer or Ravelry, so I just shove the ball band in my knitting bag to be found later and either saved if the project isn’t done or tossed if the project is complete.
    I certainly don’t have all of my stash documented in ravelry b/c while I LOVE that the feature exists, it just seems foolhardy to open yourself up to covetous yarn thieves. HA!
    Trush is, I just don’t seem to have the same amount of spare time that I once had. Funny how 5 month-old children will eat up all your leisure time.

  34. Reminds me of one of my favorite jokes – the river’s rising and the house is swamped. A volunteer comes by in a boat, offering to take the homeowner to safety. He refuses, saying “God will provide.”
    A few hours later, the water’s up to the second floor and another boat comes by. He won’t go. “God will provide.”
    By morning, he’s on the roof and a helicopter hovers over with a basket. He refuses yet again, saying “God will provide.”
    He drowns. Shows up at the Pearly Gates and asks – “Why did you let me die?”
    “I sent 2 boats and a helicopter – what more do you want???”

  35. I’ve been thinking for the last few days that maybe I should buy a lottery ticket for the first time in my life. Maybe your post is a sign.

  36. Excellent solution – just curious, but wouldn’t the yarn shop where you bought the yarn have the lot information in their inventory? I know, barn door, horse. . .
    Anyway, glad you came up with a solution!

  37. Steph, you’re a member of Ravelry…you can enter that on the projects page! Makes it even easier to find later.
    Oh, and while Toronto didn’t have snow in November, it’s snowing right now in south Louisiana, for the 14th time in 120 years.

  38. The scarf is perfect. I couldn’t find the fix until you showed it and I’m still not convinced that it’s not a joke your plying on all of us. (Not really, but it looks really good.) Can’t wait to see the new socks. Having the blog as your back-up is a great idea. Just be sure you can read the writing in your photo.

  39. I simply can’t help but notice that on that ball band you photographed, it states “Hand Dyed – each skein is unique”.
    (removes tongue from cheek)

  40. Hello! I’ve noticed that you often wind your yarn into a center pull ball. I also do this. But additionally I put that ball into a ziplock bag (to keep it “nice”), close the top leaving a small opening on the side of the seam for the yarn to flow through. Before I seal the bag I drop in one of the yarn bands so I can have it for reference later on. Just a suggestion.
    Thanks for all you do!

  41. I was reading along the whole time thinking R*A*V*E*L*R*Y – and here Lori beat me to it!
    😉
    I love the scarf.
    But I love that joke more!
    Glad you got a fix that worked for you…
    (((Hugs)))

  42. besides ravelry, if what i’m knitting is a gift for someone, i stick the ball band inside the envelope with the card (also saves me time if i forget to write the care instructions down, they have how to wash and dry it right there!)

  43. Ball bands are very easy to keep track of…you just have to *want* to keep track of them, girl.

  44. I heard it as a priest/rabbi who’d spent his little all helping others and just wanted enough to be able to retire without being a burden to others. That said, “Buy a ticket!” is my favorite theological joke in the world, even above “Well,sure, some ESKIMOS came along…”

  45. Let’s think about this, hmm…, no snow in Toronto and yet there’s snow in south Louisiana. I believe that’s what they call Climate Change.
    I’m taking the second boat, you never know if the helicopter is gonna show up.

  46. The scarf looks great, and your plan to use the blog as a (more thorough) notebook is a wise one. Furthermore, seeing that you have just begun a project using Claudia Hand Painted Yarn prompts this plea: does anyone have an extra skein or two of Claudia’s sock yarn (label reads “fingering weight 100% merino wool”) in the Turquoise Jeans color, dye lot 011? I ask humbly, as a fellow member of the “didn’t buy enough” brigade.
    Fingers crossed. . .

  47. The scarf is beautiful! Is it blocked? Are you going to block it? It looks like fun (well minus the yrn issues of course).

  48. I tuck the ball band inside the ball of yarn after I wind the ball. I’ve even started (more than a few years too late, but still started) to label each skein as it’s spun as to what it is, where I got it and when I got it. I’ve even started to do the same with fiber stash as it comes in if it doesn’t already have a label.

  49. I always record the lot number with the colorway on my Ravelry pages.
    Great fix! I’m glad it worked out.

  50. It never fails… you girls crack me up every day. Your scarf is terrific! Know one would ever know there was a problem…except us…(sorry). Love all of the different ideas for keeping track of project details. Thanks for another day of :grin and bear it” for me.

  51. To Allison, near the top of the comments: Flying squirrel fur????
    To Stephanie: I wouldn’t have noticed without the arrow.

  52. Heck – I only remember the dye lots by putting it in my Ravelry stash &/or projects. Plus, then I can look it up when I’m away from home!

  53. I’m terrible about saving ballbands. I’m always too excited to start the project to worry about where they land. I’m sure my fiance throws them away after a couple of days and then I get to play detective trying to remember the name and color. Ah well, a little mystery to keep everyone (meaning me I suppose) on their toes never hurts.

  54. Oh, and fantastic job blending in the last swirl. I couldn’t tell which one it was until you pointed it out. *insert standing ovation here*

  55. Another vote for Ravelry. Post when you begin the project with all the known details. Photos and changes can always be made when the project is finished. I would think it would be faster to find it in Ravelry than searching through the blog.

  56. Thank you. It was killing me (!!!!) that you were ordering more yarn when you could have just asked if anybody on ravelry had part of dye lot #_ _ _. Of course, the fact that you have no idea what the dye lot was takes that pressure off of me.
    I think the swirl looks great! Congrats on finishing, and thanks for writing your blog. I love coming here and seeing what you’re up to.

  57. That’s so what I thought I’d do in your situation. Great minds, eh?
    Of course, you can’t count the blog out…the world is lucky you use your power only for good and not evil.

  58. As disorganized as I am in virtually every other area of my life, I have actually started keeping a knitting notebook. And the first thing I do when I start a project is tape the relevant portions of the ball band to the bottom of the page. I may forget to write down all the rest of the useful info, but knowing that info from the ball band is there is remarkably helpful. For my sanity, if nothing else.
    Your last spiral looks like it belongs, too, great job on matching it! You should always remember to use the Blog first, though. That’s what we’re here for!

  59. I’m another collector of the bands, in a very haphazard way. Bands are still floating around from the ice age – and I’ve moved five times in the last ten years – long after sweaters and leftovers have disappeared into the great beyond. I also work from a plastic sleeved copy of the pattern, not the original. But that’s not because I’m OCD but rather the reverse. My patterns get mushed, smushed and folded so much, not to mention left stuffed into bags in drawers along with neglected on-the-needle projects from three years ago that the only way to preserve them…(Ooh! Did I say three years? I just wish! Some are still waiting from the aforementioned ice age. In fact, I only recently passed on the yarns from a moth eaten project my MOTHER started for my brother when he was three years old. He’s in his mid-fifties now.)
    Can’t wait to see the scarf blocked!

  60. Wow! I would never have know which swirl was the Desperation Swirl if you hadn’t pointed it out. What a great matching job and a very cool scarf! I know what you mean about the ball bands, I used to have a terrible time keeping track of the little buggers. I finally started to put them into a basket near my chair where I knit at home, or into a special little knitting kit that I usually take with me whenever I travel with my knitting. I also try to write it down in my knitting notebook, but I think I’ll start writing all that info down in my project notes on Ravelry. That way, all my bases are covered and there’s a really good chance that if I ever really need the info, I’ll be covered! Happy sock knitting.

  61. Oh, I am forever losing my ball bands. I’ve tried tucking them inside the balls, but they usually fall out at some point. Or I’ll clean out an old knitting bag after finishing up the projects inside and find a half dozen ball bands, but no idea to what yarn they belonged. The introduction of two new kittens into the household hasn’t helped matters any, since they will gleefully shred/eat/steal both my patterns and my ball bands at any opportunity.
    My solution has been to include color # and dyelot every time I record yarn in Ravelry, whether it’s just for stash, or as part of a project. That way once the ball band disappears (and it always does), I at least have all that info for later, if I need it.

  62. I wouldn’t even know that that swirl was different.
    Another joke for a knitter:
    One cat says “last winter I swallowed a ball of yarn”
    Another cat says “what happened?”
    First cat replies “I had mittens”
    Hope your socks go quickly and fly off your needles.

  63. Maybe it’s all in where you buy your yarn. I was knitting Isobel of Mar with the proper yarn from Virtual Yarns and a year after I ordered it and started the sweater, I ran out about a skein short. (I also don’t check gauge.) I could find the color but not the right weight, but ordered it anyway, thinking I could cobble something together. I got an email from a lovely lady at Virtual Yarn who noted my “mistake” and rummaged in their storage, found the exact correct yarn and send what they had left. So I love Virtual Yarn, and always buy extra yarn wherever I buy yarn (cause I still don’t swatch).

  64. I’m going to add my voice to the other folks mentioning Ravelry. It’s saved my arse a few times!
    You can also tie it into your website with a sidebar widget, which would allow you to access the info at one click, anytime you need it.
    Of course, if you’re knitting presents for folks, you’ll want to NOT fill in the blank asking who its for, but still…it keeps ME organized, and that’s saying a lot! 😀

  65. Regarding the scarf: it’s beautiful! The last piece blends in well. And as my mother always said in situations like this, “It’ll never be seen on a galloping horse.”

  66. You do realize that this commits you to telling us (the blog collective) about *every. single. project* you begin. Or at least the ones you’re willing to admit to. I’ve heard there’s this cool little site called Ravelry that might allow you to do the same thing. Just saying.

  67. Oh, that really does match up nicely! I’m glad it all worked out.
    As marie in NJ just pointed out, Ravelry has a very lovely Stash option that would give you a place to put the colorway and dye lot in either yarn notes or project notes. Depends how public you want to be, I suppose.
    But I’ve learned this lesson too, and I’ve only been knitting since March!

  68. This is where the Ravelry notes function has saved my butt. Not so much with dye lot issues (yet), but needle sizes, definitely, particularly when I knit the second sock months after I knit the first one.

  69. Great solution, made me realize I should be using Ravelry’s project page that way, light bulb moment.

  70. Just remember that YOU are the one who knitted matched socks! The rest will work out…eventually!
    Happy Christmas!

  71. So glad everything worked – the scarf is beautiful. You could also staple one of the ball bands to the copy of the pattern you’re using.
    Or slip it into the plastic sleeve the pattern comes in.

  72. I love a variant of that joke in which the poor beset man is prostate on the steps to the altar crying, “Why God, why are these terrible things happening to me and my family,” and the deep voice says, “I dunno, there’s just something about you ****es me off.”

  73. I’m with you on the ball band issue. I think the dye lot number should be genetically imbeded in the yarn somehow. You know, someone told me about this great website that allows you to input details about the projects you’re working on, like what yarn you use, what pattern is is, who it’s for, even the dye lot! It’s called Ravelry; you might want to check it out.
    (ok, you can hit me now)

  74. Vicki Stammer @ 5:48 PM, I love you. Will you please come to my house and organize my husband? He has a piling system rather than a filing system, and all his treasures are in boxes filled with assorted other trash and they take up too much room. But he won’t let me go through them and organize them, even though he hasn’t laid eyes on any of it for years, and even though I found his dad’s love letters to his mom and all his old, mildewy Boy Scout stuff when we moved and preserved them so they’d last forever. *pant, pant* Sorry, I lost it for a minute there.
    Nice fix, Steph.

  75. Your new system is a wonderful idea and surely will come in handy. I think everyone has run out of yarn at some point (and usually just barely).

  76. The blog is a very good ‘yarn band’ solution. But for those who don’t have that, there is another: Ravelry. Granted when you have as much yarn in your stash as you (and I) do, it would be a pain to put it all up there. But maybe as a member starts a project, they could take the time to put the info up there. I don’t seem to lose bands often, in fact find stray bands from other projects hanging around post project. That’s when I have to say ‘nope – wrong project/yarn’ and toss it.

  77. That’s a great idea, Steph!
    Also, Diane’s idea for the rest of us using ravelry is pretty sweet.
    Alternatively, I know that some stores record what dye lot you purchased so that if you need another ball you’ll get the right one.

  78. I usualy save the ball bands so I have the care instructions. If I give the knitted item as a gift, I tuck one of the ball bands in with it so the recipient knows how to clean the item. My ‘system’ is to use the bag the yarn came in from the yarn shop for the yarn, the ball bands, needles, instructions, etc. until the project is finished. After I have a few unattached ball bands, I start throwing them away. When the project is finished, I empty out the bag (and either throw it away or recycle it). As you can imagine, my stash is very small.

  79. It looks beautiful!! It has been my experience with Jojo that even if you have several balls of the same dye lot, they are not necessarily the same. It is my theory that you are getting a continuation (doesn’t all fit in one ball) of the color, which most times is not the same as the others. Hope you followed all that. But, I pay no attention to that; the colors all work together. Wear it in good health!

  80. If you have a scanner, you can scan the whole ball band into your computer and then you can name the file after what project it is. It works for me. I don’t have a camera, so that’s kinda how it goes. =P

  81. Lol…awesome. I mostly try to have full admission of stash in Ravelry–so dye lots are tracked there but I think the blog is a perfect answer for you!

  82. Not being on Ravelry, I am a fan of the ziploc bag system. One gallon bag for the yarn in use and its ballband and the pattern and the UFO, and another bag for the rest of the yarn, all together in a dedicated project container. However, I don’t put a date on them – that would be too upsetting.

  83. The scarf is great and the fix is not at all obvious.
    But can I suggest that when you post the pic of the lot number to the blog you add a little to the description beyond “socks”. I knit less than you. (By a lot. I think a logarithmic scale would be an appropriate measure.) But at least twice when I have been going through the saved ballbands, tucked neatly into the front pocket of my notebook just like the ‘How to Knit’ books recommend, I have been faced with the problem of: just *which* of these Knitpicks heathers did I use in *this* project?
    Fortunately Hubby is of the any color as long as it’s brown school of male attire, and thinks that I actually planned to make him another pair of socks the same color as the ones from last year when I guess wrong.

  84. In a moment of infrequent, extraordinary organizational discipline, I started listing my yarn stash on Ravelry (like many other commenters), including the dye lot. Once started, I was sufficiently obsessive-compulsive enough to keep it up until I was completely through the stash. The whole process also compelled me to devise a storage system (with lavender sachets in every container as a first line of pest defense), so I have a location ID for every ball of yarn as well. (I stopped short of photographing each ball of yarn, and I didn’t put the prices in there because I really didn’t have that much courage.)
    Although it took a lot of time, it was worth every minute, because the system actually works. I even have a special basket that all purchases go in, and I don’t put them away until they are listed in my stash.
    However, sometime during this process, I lost control over the room itself, which now is an absolute hovel that will require a good 25 hours to put right…maybe because I have too much stuff?

  85. Beautiful swirls. Great solution! I lose the ball bands the minute I rip them off. I try, really I do, to keep them and I even have a binder with plastic pages to keep the bands in, with a sample of yarn. In the binder, which, in a fit of optimism, I started three years ago, are three labels and three pieces of yarn. Now if I could just find the binder. Being organized that way just doesn’t work for me. I do, however, have all my current patterns 3-hole punched and in another binder, with my needle gauge. My motivation is that I hate misplacing patterns. Oh, and I even know where my tape measure is!

  86. Bartender!?! It never fails to amaze me the multitude of talents the harlot has acquired!

  87. I can honestly say that I wouldn’t have been able to pick which swirl was the one you had to “fix”! It’s perfect as far as I can see.
    Loved the joke too… sooo true.

  88. That is one of my favorite jokes and you made it funnier TYPING it than I have ever told it.

  89. Blogs are a wonderful place to keep track of information! I’ve used mine to track everything from what color or size I made a gift for someone in “last year” to when I last had jury duty!
    Glad to hear you were able to fix your scarf!

  90. I can hardly wait to see the blocking on this beautiful project. I have a similar project OTN and blocked it out “just to see” and ended up using most of my metal sock needles to block all the hexagonal edges. Happy blocking!

  91. Whew! It looks great. I do have to say, however, that you really SHOULD have seen it coming. After the post about the perfectly matched socks? That post was like throwing the gauntlet at the Knitting Fates!!

  92. I’m so glad you got it finished. It will be a conversation piece worth remembering if you dare to tell on yourself.. I’m just as guilty as you with the ball band thing. Most always, though, I buy WAY too much yarn for my project. I have leftovers like crazy. >sigh<.. Gosh it’s cold outside! I’m gonna go knit! Love Your Blog!

  93. Stephanie
    That’s such a pretty scarf.
    After the cat got into a project, I started keeping the pattern, yarn with ball bands and everything else for the project in a lidded plastic container. Keeps things from getting lost or played with.

  94. Stephanie
    That’s such a pretty scarf.
    After the cat got into a project, I started keeping the pattern, yarn with ball bands and everything else for the project in a lidded plastic container. Keeps things from getting lost or played with.

  95. One other option is call the yarn store you bought it at and since most stores track your purchases and their inventory they may have been able to tell you what the colour was that you purchased… so long as you remember the brand and maybe when.

  96. I keep all of my used ball bands in a big ziploc bag, and write on the BACK of the ball band which project it was used for.

  97. Yarn Bands: As soon as I take off the band I poke a small hole into the paper band. I then knot a loop of yarn through the hole as a sample. I can never remember what the yarn was called or what band goes with what skein of yarn or finished project.
    Typing the info in Ravelry also always helps me.
    ps. Love reading your blogs and books!
    ~ Janet

  98. I love your awesome idea. You have shown that there really is a need to keep track of those silly slips of paper and card stock that seem to accumulate at the bottom of my knitting bag. So far, I’ve just let them hang out down there till I finish the project (and maybe the next one too) then toss them all in the trash. But maybe it would be worth keeping a permanent record of them…..? Because after a couple of projects move through my knitting bag, I wouldn’t have a clue which ball band went with which project.
    Hmmmmm….. Gotta give this one some thought. Thanks for the heads up on this! You rock, as always!

  99. When I wind a new skein of yarn, I always fold up the ball band and stuff it into the middle of the “cake”. That way when I am trying to use up my “ball bums”, I can match up fibres and even brands if I think I need to.
    It has also let me help out a few friends by knowing that I have the right color/lot.
    (I don’t knit from the middle of the cake though, I knit from the outside….the cake still stays in one spot, but it never collapses on itself, and I always know what yarn it is.)

  100. Your fix looks pretty seamless, though you would have been a bit happier with some yarn from the same dye lot.
    I’ve been ridiculously lucky so far with dye lot issues, but I think I’m going to keep that in mind when I start new projects in the future. I could easily use my blog in the same way, which would definitely be easier than remembering to put all of the information into Ravelry at the beginning of a project.

  101. What a great solution! And a great idea to boot…I don’t have a blog, but I need to make sure that I keep some sort of record. I actually find ball bands all the time….just not the ones I am currently using. Usually they are months or even years old.

  102. That is one of my family’s absolutely classic stories (though told in a Yiddish accent). “It would help if you would buy a ticket!” is family shorthand at this point.

  103. I’m sorry to post this here, but I have what seems to me might be dumb question about your one-row handspun scarf…
    I’m still a novice, I suppose…
    When you say repeat the one row, does that mean when I turn the project (I’m knitting on my DPNs) to go ahead and knit rather than purl that row? Somehow this isn’t clear for me, likely my own brain overcomplicating things…

  104. I love that story – that last line is pretty much family shorthand (in a Yiddish accent):
    “It would help if you would buy a ticket!”

  105. these things happen to all of us. It helps me to remember that knitting is not a life or death situation. and then laugh.

  106. At least you are trainable.
    I will admit that I spotted the odd swirl right away, just because it has colors in it that I don’t see in any of the others. (“One of these swirls is not like the others…” **aaaargh!** will I ever get that fool show out of my head??) I will also say that it looks perfectly harmonious, and if I didn’t know the backstory I’d never have guessed.

  107. Dude! I seriously cannot believe you don’t use Ravelry in that way! You can use it to track the pattern, the exact yarn (down to dye lot if you want), the start and finish dates, who it’s for, additional notes about the yarn or the knitting, *anything* relevant. And then you have a great stack of photos showing your WIPs and your finished projects chronologically. I mean…you know that, right?! 😀 I do also keep a 3-ting binder with ball bands and a length of yarn attached to hole-punched paper, because the one thing Ravelry can’t do is let me fondle. That’s another possibility for you. 🙂

  108. Warning: This comment has nothing to do with lovely swirly scarves.
    I was ranting on and on about knitters and Sock Summit and media underrepresentation to the techy guy at work. He said, in part, ‘Knitting is so simple you can do it in your sleep.’ I said, ‘Knitters would like to knit in their sleep but they don’t.’ HE said ‘Yes they do! I have seen them; snoring! You say “Excuse me” and shake them and they loose their place in their knitting and find it again.’ (He thought old ladies knit.) I hold out hope that if I knit consistently, maybe I might learn to knit in my sleep. I have not been a consistent knitter though, so I expect you and my friend Anne are more likely to learn since you have been consistently knitting during your lives.
    I just hadda let you know that.

  109. Your joke reminds me of a sign in my fave hometown restaurant that says “Trust Everyone but brand your cattle.” Ha ha Yours should say “Trust Everyone but stash your ball band.”

  110. Good idea to record the dye lot… but why don’t you record the dye lot on your project page in Ravelry? That’s what it’s there for… and it’s easy to go back and reference.

  111. Wow, that’s great! I never would have guessed. It looks like a normal piece. Sorry you had to go through all that, but it looks like it is going to be a well loved scarf.

  112. t/b or in this case, comment broke.
    Um, you know Ravelry has a lovely, lovely thing called Stash? I’ve done the same thing myself . . certainly have had few occurrences since I list all my stuff there.
    ;D

  113. I keep all my ball bands in a special shopping bag I love. Once in awhile I look through them, and it’s satisfying in that way that looking at a list with all the items crossed off is. It makes me think “look at what I’ve accomplished!”
    Though I suppose something like that could inspire guilt the way the pile of empty halloween candy wrappers does. I guess I’m a glass half full kinda gal!

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