These are crazy times: masks are in. Zoom is in. Staying in is… in. I have only been knitting since December, so I had just found a good local yarn store when it had to close due to coronavirus. I don’t have a swift or a ball winder. Normally this wouldn’t be a big deal because I could just have them wind the yarn at the store. But given that it’s not always easy to pop by the local yarn store these days, I thought it would be worth it to wind a couple of balls of yarn by hand. Here’s my handy checklist for old-school winding:
remove the ball band
untwist the hank into a loop
cut off the yarn ties
find one of the ends
secure the loop of yarn over the back of a chair, on the arms of a helpful friend, on your knees, however works for you
hold the end with your fingers and wrap the yarn loosely around your thumb.
continue for way longer than you think
admire your beautiful center pull ball of yarn
If you’d prefer to see the steps in action, and get a good look at my pandemic hair in the process, here’s a video of me winding a hank of wicker park worsted in the colorway gold-star blackout, into a neat ball.
A couple of months after I had my oldest, I went out with a group of my friends that didn’t have kids yet. I remember thinking to myself throughout the night, “Don’t talk about the baby. Don’t talk about the baby.” I was paranoid that I would bore my non-parent friends to tears by turning every conversation topic back to newborn sleep schedules and colic. So I spent the night trying to hold it in and think of something, anything else. But the truth is, all I really wanted to talk about was newborn sleep schedules and colic. (Which, if you’re currently experiencing colic in your family, my condolences. I promise, you will one day emerge from this fresh hell).
That is kind of how I feel about knitting these days. I started knitting just to try something new in December 2019. I have knit at least a little bit almost every single day since then. I made my first sweater, and it fit! I successfully learned German short row shaping. I turned the heel on my first pair of socks! And if that’s not magic, I don’t know what is. And what I have come to realize is that it’s really hard to share these things with non-knitters. As much as I want to talk about my projects, I have to remind myself that not everyone can get genuinely excited about a really tight join while knitting in the round, or eliminating those tiny holes under the arms in a top-down sweater.
This blog is my attempt to give my non-knitter friends a break and share with like-minded people who get it. Thanks for stopping by, and happy knitting!