Blackwatch

17 Jan

First, thanks so much everyone for your congratulations and words of encouragement! I tried to reply to everyone’s comments personally, and I apologize if I missed anyone. GP and I appreciate you all so very much!


Now, about the title of this post – that’s the name of the colorway of my latest yarn acquisition. Here’s a brief picture primer for the non-knitters who read this blog, should you be interested in learning a tiny bit about yarn.

Yarn often comes in skeins, like the ones pictured here. It’s not really easy to knit from yarn that’s skeined up, unless you’re really adventurous and like to spend hours untangling knots in yarn. Most people don’t, so we take the skeins and wind them into balls. This can be done the old fashioned way, where you loop the skein of yarn around your friend’s hands and then wind it into a nice round ball a la Little House on the Prairie. Or it can be done the modern and more convenient way that doesn’t require a buddy. Just a strange contraption called a swift.

The swift attaches to the edge of a table (or chair, or counter, whatever is handy) by a clamp. You the loop the yarn around the swift as pictured here, so that it looks like you’re attempting to make a strange woolen umbrella that would not really protect you from the rain. On the other end of the table you attach your ball winder.

Like the swift, the ball winder attaches to the table via a clamp, and it has a little handle on the back that you turn to pull the yarn off the swift (which spins as the yarn is pulled from it) and onto the winder as seen here. The winder also rotates so that the yarn is evenly distributed from top to bottom, kinda like winding a bobbin on your sewing machine, if that helps clarify any.

There’s the whole set up on our breakfast table. See the yarn going from the swift to the ball winder? Once you’ve wound all the yarn off the swift and onto the ball winder, you get a nice little ball of yarn, like so:

My yarn is strangely out of focus, except for a tiny bit on the top. It was really dreary yesterday, and I just couldn’t get good pictures. Anyway, some people call these yarn “cakes” instead of balls because they’re not, well, round like a ball. I call them balls because I don’t really care about the morphology of my yarn. So, now I have yarn done up in a way that I can work with more easily. In fact, I just cast on for a pair of socks.

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