Friday, September 11, 2015

A Swift Lesson

I have had the yarn swift for years. I bought it when I first started writing the crochet mysteries. It looks sort of like something to hand clothes on to dry. It along with a ball winder is used to wind yarn that comes in a hank into a ball. I tried using the yarn swift once and it was a total disaster, so after that I mostly avoided yarn in hanks or if I bought it at a yarn store had them use their swift to put it into a ball.

And then something happened a few days ago. I am going through my editor's comments on SEAMS LIKE MURDER. I always make the recipes again and I check over the patterns. The pattern is for something called The Hug and I decided that I wanted to try some different yarn. I couldn’t find it at the local yarn store, so I ordered it online from a catalog. It was expensive. Twenty dollars a skein and since it was three strands together that meant a sixty dollar investment. The package came amazingly fast and when I opened it, I was shocked to see that it was in hanks instead of balls. You can’t knit or crochet from a hank.

The yarn is very, very fine and fuzzy. I started to panic since the edits are do next Tuesday and if I was going to use this yarn for the pattern, I had to make a Hug with it now. The only choice was to try the dreaded yarn swift and ball winder.

I started by watching a YouTube video which of course made it seem simple. But I kept thinking about things that could go wrong - basically the yarn could get tangled up, which is what happened when I tried the swift before. This thin yarn getting tangled would be a nightmare.

I came up with a solution. I had some giveaway yarn that was in hanks. It was giveaway yarn because it was in hanks and I had chosen to get rid of it rather than deal with the yarn swift. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought it. Maybe I didn’t notice it was in a hank or I thought I’d find a friend to hold it in their hands while I made a ball by hand.

The point was, I had nothing to lose if it was a disaster since I was planning to get rid of the yarn anyway. I took a deep breath to relax myself and decided to take my time. Both of those things are good to remember when you’re doing something you’re worried about.

Surprises of Surprise, it was just like the YouTube Video and I ended up with a neat ball of yarn, which would no longer be in the giveaway bag.

I was still worried about the mohair and silk yarn because of the texture and because I wouldn’t have the same “I don’t care attitude” I had with the giveaway yarn. But eventually, I took a deep breath and went for it. Surprise, surprise again when the three hanks became lovely little balls.

The point of all this isn’t really about yarn swifts or yarn, it’s that sometimes having no choice is a good thing. It make you push past your fears and go for it. And now I have a whole new skill and all the hanks of yarn in the giveaway bag will have new life as balls.


Planner said...

You're right, Betty! Sometimes we need a little (big?) push that a deadline provides. I'm glad it worked out so well for you. YouTube instructional videos give me confidence sometimes, too. (Thanks for the photo of a yarn swift. I didn't know what it looked like. So many innovative gizmos....)

Linda O. Johnston said...

I didn't know that yarn was so quirky! Glad you figured out how to handle it.

Betty Hechtman said...

Planner, I figured everybody wouldn't know what a yarn swift looks like. It is so funny, now that I have mastered it, it seems like no big deal.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda, I didn't know yarn was quirky when I started out. I do love learning about all this stuff. It is always good to keep stretching your horizons.

Jeannette said...

If you are crocheting three strands held together you can use the winder to make one ball. Take a strand from each ball and wind them up together. It is much easier to use then. Oh, and guide the three strands into that curlyque yarn guide with your hand.

Betty Hechtman said...

Thanks for the tip, Jeanette!