Four things

Four things that happened this morning.

1. I stayed up super late, but I got all the sweater pieces finished, and washed, and semi-blocked. By semi-blocked, I mean that I laid it out sort of orderly on the rack of the dryer, and then set it for a while, and went to bed.

2. I got up super early, so that I could hit the reset on the dryer if it was still too damp for sewing up.  Even though this means that I got way too little sleep, it was a very good call. All pieces are now dry, and in my suitcase.  I’ll sew them up when I land. After I buy buttons.  Ok. I’m a little behind. I still think it’s totally possible though.

sweaterpieces 2014-10-17

3. I drank coffee and carefully wound some yarn for the trip, then realized that I’d wound the yarn in the wrong direction (don’t laugh, this yarn totally has a direction) and decided to quickly re-wind it.  I’ve known that my ball-winder was headed for the great big yarn shop in the sky for some time – I can always tell that I’ve worn through another one when they start making breast shaped yarn cones instead of pretty cakes, but this one confirmed it’s impending absolute uselessness by being nearly completely bloody useless this morning. It made a freaky shaped yarn thing, then flung it off the winder, tangling in the tension curl, and tumbling to the floor with the other half of the ball.  (It there collected an unreasonable amount of cat hair, but that’s hardly the ball winders fault.)  It did this as my cab arrived.  I had 30 seconds to curse its vile name, put the tangled snarl into my suitcase for rescue tonight, and quickly grab something already wound.  I guess I’m making socks.

4. I drank enough coffee (see #1 and 2) that I can sort of feel my hair growing.

63 thoughts on “Four things

  1. Oh that looks like a beautiful sweater. Anybody that puts the pieces of a sweater in a suitcase to wear the next day seems normal enough to me. At least it makes me feel not quite so – um – abnormal.

  2. Beautiful Rhinebeck sweater! Have a wonderful Rhinebeck time. Maybe when you get home you can continue with Joe’s gansey as inspiration for Joe to get to the kitchenknob…? Then you’ll have your project for next year’s Rhinebeck ready long before it’s due.

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  4. You can find buttons at Rhinebeck – I am confident of it. And everyone else, (who will also be wearing slightly damp sweaters with no or just sewn on buttons) will very rightly admire yours.

    As for coffee – thank God for it. I couldn’t have done Spinzilla without it!

  5. You are going to the land of yarn. I think you can find something for a project that doesn’t involve socks.

    Enjoy Rhinebeck!

  6. LOL about your yarn winder! mine is not that old, but once in a while does exactly what yours did – pops the unfinished ball off and flings it to the floor!! I thought I was doing something wrong! thanks for the laugh and good luck with the untangling – the sweater is gorgeous.

  7. When my ball winder does that “flinging off” thing, I feel like it is trying to reject the yarn for that project – always makes me re-think my choices! (along with the usual @#**@@ response)

  8. I’m way to cheap to spend a lot of money on a good yarn winder so I got a cheapo one from ebay. My crappy yarn winder flung off the yarn cake not once but twice in the same morning. I was winding 3 skeins of drops lace, which contains alpaca and silk, I blame the silk! It took me maybe 4 hours to wind up those 3 skeins, and they’re not properly wound because I keep getting tangles.

    • Just a thought–do you wind your lace directly on your ballwinder, or on a cardboard tube? Nearly every roll of toilet paper thoughtfully provides a cardboard tube that almost exactly fits snugly (more or less!) on your ball winder. If you tape the end on the tube, then wind the yarn up carefully on the tube, you can remove the entire tube + lace from the ball winder! Yes, and then knit, snag-free, from the free end you have dangling from your wound-up yarn!

      Of course I’m going to feel silly when you tell me you have problems even using the cardboard tube method….

  9. Can’t really believe that I’ve let another Rhinebeck pass me by. Think it might be because I can’t quite figure out how to tell my husband we’re going to celebrate HIS birthday by traveling across the country to yarn heaven…
    The sweater looks wonderful, you are (still!) amazing, and the tiny angry owls were totally worth any caffeine overload you may be experiencing.

  10. I am constantly amazed at what you can turn out in such a short amount of time. I wish I could knit that quickly. As it is, I am trying to finish a project that I started at the end of March (and worked on steadily at the April Retreat) and had hoped to wear tomorrow. I might manage to finish all the knitting tonight, but there is no chance that I will have it blocked by the time that I have to leave for the bus in the morning. Oh well. I am considering maybe wearing it unblocked…is that sacrilege? Heh.
    Anyway, Rhinebeck is huge, but hopefully I get lucky enough to run into you tomorrow. Would be cool!

  11. My idea of a Rhinebeck sweater is one that I have not worn at Rhinebeck before. You must have plenty of those. I can’t go this year but the weather is going to be fabulous and you will have a great time. And I am sure one of the nice people there will be happy to rewind that yarn for you. New Yorkers really are friendly people.

  12. I hate to even admit this – I have an electric ball winder – more time knitting less time winding. Oh and I so can relate to Item #4 – so much coffee you can feel your hair growing – usually happens when i’m doing a mad dash to finish my Christmas knitting – have a great time at Rhineback!

  13. Just wanted to drop a line to say thanks for sharing your trials & tribulations as well as your happy & joyful moments. I don’t get to read your blog nearly enough, but it’s always wildly entertaining when I do – even if I’m supposed to be working (or some such nonsense). You’re my blogging-hero. Also, I have ordered a set of the Dark Side of the Moon sock yarn, so someday when Must Stash returns to the fray, I will be able to knit socks like yours. In the meantime, I’ll keep on with my one-too-many projects on hand and pray for the deliverance of an extra eight hours to the day so that I can accomplish all my knitting goals before I die.

    …perhaps that’s motivation for populating a larger planet…its daily rotation would take more hours to complete, thus there’d be more hours in a day…and it could conceivably be located farther from its sun so the year would also be longer, thus giving us more time to get things done! (Don’t bother pointing out that the human lifespan might not jibe with my theory of planetary relocation…it’s all about mind over matter, right?)

  14. I hope Rhinebeck is lovely! And obviously you have to buy even more yarn while you are there because of the ballwinder tragedy. Must provide a woolly balm to the frustrated spirit–something to squeeze/pat/look at fondly while you’re untangling.

    Safe travels!

  15. A few of my friends have 3 D printers. Maybe one of threm can design a better wall winder. Personally I cannot use mine when little ears are around to hear the language. I have worn sweaters without buttons. If any one asks I just say I am shopping for them. Also I do not always use matching buttons-they just have to look nice together. My favorite sweater has antique pearl buttons, each one different.

  16. I don’t know how I missed that pattern when searching for another cardi. . . Very nice! Buttons or no! I’m sure there will be plenty to choose from where you’re going.

  17. Pretty blue tweed! It looks very Lou-ish. Is there enough left to make him a little matchy something for when you see each other?

  18. Is it still a Rhinebeck sweater if it’s not done until Sunday at 5pm? 🙂

    If I were going this year, I’d be taking the approach someone else suggested — wearing a sweater that I hadn’t worn to Rhinebeck yet.

  19. Just worried my mom by laughing my arse off at this post… And worried myself by laughing the hardest at drinking enough coffee to feel your hair grow.

  20. Enjoy Rhinebeck! Can’t wait to read your report(s) on such fun!

    All my best wishes on finding the perfect buttons for the cardigan. May they show up, seemingly out of nowhere, in the clearance bin — and in just the right number.

    As for the ball winder. . . when will manufacturers start making products that are built to last? {P.S.: The amount of cat hair in that corner was entirely reasonable to the cat at the time. Give her some catnip in thanks that it wasn’t 10 times more!)

  21. It’s beautiful! I hope the yarn behaved well for you later–you can let it know a bajillion knitters will give it That Look if we have to for it to get in line.

    Have a great trip!

  22. Purple Prose? Is that this sweater, or, what your family heard when your ballwinder crumped?

    May you get some sleep. Enjoy the weekend. This purple blue sweater is a very simpatico break from your signature russets, olives and mustards. It’s just as flattering. (Hey, those are Arts & Crafts colors! By any chance are your walls papered in William Morris wallpaper? Stenciled with Frank Lloyd Wright stencils?)

  23. Ah! You’ve just confirmed for me that my ball winder is indeed sick and dying. Breast shaped rather than cakes of yarn? Yup. I thought this might be the case. But it’s a personal ball winder. Not a store one. I’m kind to it. I don’t wind super fast or anything.

    Have fun and travel safe and we’ll be waiting finished sweater portraits, buttons and all!

  24. For all those with ballwinder woes, I wholeheartedly recommend the Strauch ballwinder. It’s made here in the USA (here in Virginia, in fact), if buying North American matters to you.

    It’s not cheap (in the $140 neighborhood), and it looks like the simplest machine on the planet, but it WORKS. You’re supposed to clamp it to a table with the included clamp, but I usually sit my Amish swift and the winder on my hallway floor and sit myself on the stairs.

    There are no gears, which is the brilliant part. It uses a stretchy drove band to connect the disc with the crank to the yarn-ball-holding rotating tube. Tube, disc, and base are all wooden and very sturdy. A thick piece of copper wire (non-bendy and sturdy) with a twist/loop is permanently attached as a yarn guide.

    With no gears, yarn just doesn’t get tangled. It never ejects a ball. Also, I have, no kidding, wound a ONE POUND hank of handdyed worsted weight wool into a SINGLE ball on this winder! I had to hold the guide out just a bit at the end, but that was for 800+ yards of yarn!!

    Not affiliated, just a happy user who scored my winder with my birthday discount at my awesome LYS (fibre space, Alexandria, VA, USA). Strauch. Check it out.

  25. Safe travels………Sweater looks great so far. Ball winders can be nasty little buggers,lol! Another pair of socks never hurt anyone. Knit on lady!

  26. Did not make Rhinebeck this year as I am not working and have no money. Did teach a student of mine how to do cables. Your sweater reminded me of this so the 18th of October should be declared an official knitting holiday.

    Teaching someone how to knit, knitting something on that day or attending Rhinebeck should have it’s own tax deduction!!

  27. It never dawned on me that my venerable ball winder may be nearing the end of it’s days. Say it ain’t so! It was my moms and I have used it forever (like, I’m of a certain age). Breast shaped balls, yup, that’s what it has been doing and I couldn’t figure out what I was doing wrong. Turns out the ball winder has geezer joints like me.

  28. Great job on the sweater! I saw you wearing it but didn’t want to butt into your conversation. I was also in the late finish camp this year, up until 2am finishing a sleeve and sort of blocking it, and then grafting it onto the sweater and closing up armpit seams in the morning and on the ride to the fairgrounds!

  29. I’m a bit sad that I didn’t run into you at Rhinebeck this time around (it was kind of becoming a tradition), but we had a blast 🙂 One of my friends saw you and came over to tell us, but you and your friends were waiting in line for food, and we decided not to disturb you (See? I can adult sometimes!) Hope you had as much fun as we did!

  30. Thanks for the laugh – and for making me feel better about my own life.

    I continue to enjoy your writing, whether or not I’m knitting at the moment, and have nominated you for the One Lovely Blog award. I hope that, in between flying and knitting and all the other things you do, you’ll find time to pass it along to other bloggers whose writing you enjoy. If you’re not already familiar with One Lovely Blog, you can find out more about it at!One-Lovely-Blog-Plus-fifteen-more/cmbz/16B98C61-7713-41E6-87F2-60115FD0FB6F.

    And good luck with that ball winder.

  31. Based on your later post about being unsure of the color – it looks fantastic on you!

    I would love to know about winding your yarn in the wrong direction. Is there more to it than your comment? Can mere mortal knitters learn how to read our yarn and then wind in the right direction? Please enlighten us!

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