Monday, 15 October 2012

The pleasures of winding wool.

I'm really glad that much of the wool on the market comes in hanks that need winding into skeins before using.  If all wool sold was wound into balls and skeins before being sold, we would miss the pleasure of winding our own.

I spent a good deal of time this weekend starting new things.  I was unsettled and restless.  I finished the black sweater I have been working on.  The only garment in my pile of unfinished things is a vest that needs to have the button bands ripped back and redone.  I will do that shortly, but it just wasn't what I needed on the weekend.  I think it is still in the thinking-about-changes-I-want-to-make mode.  Nothing happens till the thinking about it is done. I worked rather desultorily on a Daybreak scarf, but that involved some ripping out too.

It seemed the perfect time to wind.  

Winding yarn is an exercise in frustration if you don't look for the joys in it.  Winding is a separate job in the grand scheme of things.  It is an opportunity to see yet another character of your yarn.  You can see how springy it is, does it cling to itself, how does it perform under tension, will it kink back on itself ?  All these things show up in one way or another when you wind.  

But the thing I most enjoy about winding yarn is that first moment when you take that hank you bought at the store and you pop open the ends and out falls a river of splendor.  Even ordinary old Cascade 220 has splendor at this stage, falling wantonly away from its tightly wound packaged form.  If the river of yarn has a scent or hides a little of the rinse after dying in it, it wafts up and you are instantly tied to something the makers and sellers never intended to tell you about the yarn.  

If your yarn is processed simply and lightly, when you open the skein, you smell sheep and farms and it reminds you of meadows and sunlight and soft breezes through your hair on a sunny summer day.

I did a little of that this weekend, and I am content.  I know what I am going to work on next.  I know what the next stitches will be.  My path is clear and I feel good.  

Good things come when you are lucky enough to wind your yarn. 

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