Thursday, January 3, 2008

All Tangled Up

Yesterday MM and I went to a yarn shop in the U District. She goes there frequently to select unique and beautiful yarns for her crochet pieces and sometimes looks upon the outing as a pleasant reward or escape after a particularly grueling day.

Yesterday was all of that as we shepherded Mom and Dad with all their accouterments and frailties to tour an assisted living facility in Shoreline. That's another story for another time. After we returned from that outing and they settled into their routine at Merrill Gardens (Mom in her chair and Dad in bed to sleep it off), MM and I stoked the fires with a double shot Americano each and headed out in the rain and gathering darkness of late afternoon to The Weaving Works, a little diversion after a long and sober day.

I was impressed. The yarns are gorgeous and there was so much selection that one barely knows how to begin. I've done some knitting in the past after my high school friend Ellen taught me a simple stitch with large needles. Since then I've knit perhaps half a dozen long, straight winter scarves with inexpensive yarn. Inspired by the thousands of skeins in all colors and styles, I found this yarn from Uruguay, hand dyed and "marblelized" blending all the fall browns and golds. I plan to knit (another) scarf and get my skills up so that perhaps I can advance to a more challenging project later.

Last night, as a just-before-bed project, I decided to roll the yarn into a ball from the loose skein. Mistake. I obviously don't know how to do this and spent over an hour with the biggest mess of tangled yarn in my lap. Working from both ends of the skein towards the middle has got to be all wrong but seemed the only way to make any progress. I finally gave up and so it sits, waiting to be worked on again today. The mass of yarn is so tight that it feels like I'm running a comb through dreadlocks. When my frustration gets impossible at one end of the skein, I try the other for awhile. Back and forth and back and forth I go while the matted mess in between gets tighter and tighter. I'd throw it all out and start fresh had I not spent a lot of money on this gorgeous yarn.

Meantime, I'm sick with a cold and have a migraine. But, I did do myself a good deed today and gave the only available car to Laura for the day. I am therefore house-bound on this rainy, cold winter day and that's probably the best thing for me. That and the ball of tangled yarn.

Would that the mindful process of untangling this yarn help to shine light on how to untangle other things that may be more subtle but more challenging in my life.


  1. So happy that you liked the yarn shop. I'll help you untangle that skein and show you how to wind a ball without a mess. I can also show you what to do with a crochet hook too if you like. Have a good and quiet day.

  2. Hi, my mom's an Arubakid - Susanne Gravendijk Wirth - and pointed me to your blog because I'm an avid knitter. The yarn is beautiful - it looks like Malabrigo or Manos del Uraguy. I've been there with the tangles. Most yarn shops have ball winders and will wind yarn bought in their shop for free. It can still be a good idea to hand wind it yourself though, because they often have knots in them and you can catch it before you're in the middle of the row. Hope that helps, enjoy knitting.
    Amy Wirth, Santa Cruz, CA


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