Saturday, April 12, 2008

And I Thought Birthing A Skein Was Hard

A few years back I was an assistant for a local knitting instructor. As she explained to the class how to start a pull skein she warned about the giant yarn fetus that occasionally comes out of the center of the skein instead of the just the end of the yarn. She referred to this occurrence as 'birthing a skein'. We've all had this happen more times than not and you must spend the extra time untangling the yarn baby before you can begin rolling it into a ball.

I've been a knitter most of my life, a really cheap knitter. I had never considered purchasing hand dyed yarn. It was pricey and I'm a solid color kind of gal anyway. I do however love to trade with other sellers. So when I was offered a trade by a yarn seller, I thought, this is my opportunity to get some of this popular yarn and try it out. It was beautiful and purple and wrapped in a neat little twist that I assume is standard practice. Then I attempted to undo said neat twist...disaster. I spent the better part of a evening untangling and winding it into a ball.

I used it to tat up the most beautiful tatted scarf. I enjoyed making the scarf so much that I offered to make it in any sock yarn a buyer could find on etsy. Very quickly someone took me up on the offer, so I bought another skein of hand dyed yarn. It too arrived quickly and lovingly wrapped in that neat twist. Maybe I had just been too hasty the last time. I carefully uncoiled the twist and proceeded to make the exact same mistakes I had previously made. This led to very long afternoon of untangling and winding.
I did manage to tat a gorgeous orange scarf from the yarn, so I'll let my offer stand.

I assume that there is a trick to this skein stuff. I know I just should have just asked first, but I had to get started. I'm hoping at this point that I'm not alone, that I'm not the only one perplexed by a skein of yarn. I'm not...right?

quick update: I have been educated in the way of the skein, thanks so much!
twentypoundtabby
twentypoundtabby says:
When you undo the twist there's going to be two hopefully obvious ends that form the loop of the skein (the one end went through the other to hold the twist).

Put your fingers in the ends and untwist, BEFORE untying any little pieces of yarn securing the skein.

Once it's untwisted, put it on your swift (or spouse or inverted chair legs), put the cat outside, and unwind.

4 comments:

CarolynArtist said...

Hilarious! how true!!!
'As she explained to the class how to start a pull skein she warned about the giant yarn fetus that occasionally comes out of the center of the skein instead of the just the end of the yarn. She referred to this occurrence as 'birthing a skein'.'
Your work is beautiful!

ingermaaike said...

I love the scarves you make with that yarn, alas no help from me on how to undo them...

Hyla Waldron said...

Nice Blog!

Mikiye Creations said...

You are AMAZING!
THIS scarf is G O R G E O U S!!!!!!!