A little loopy
Wednesday August 19th 2009, 11:08 pm
Filed under: Knit,LYS

Twenty-five rows today–sing it with me: 9685 loops of pink on the wall, 9685 loops of pink, take one down, wind it around, 9684 loops of pink on the…

Yeah. I know.

One lesson learned, given that I’m someone who winds my hanks into old-fashioned balls and these hanks were made into cakes on the ballwinder at Purlescence: given the slightly wiry character of baby alpaca when it is spun into a yarn as fine as this laceweight, one should knit the cakes working from the outside. Not centerpulled.  I did the first centerpulled and it wanted to kink on itself constantly and it would not run smoothly through my hands; I was constantly stopping and rolling the ball on its side to try to work some of the excess twist out.

The second one, working from the outside in–rarely a kink. Piece of cake.

This is probably not news to those who use ballwinders and laceweight all the time.  But I have to quickly add how grateful I am to the folks at the LYS for winding them up for me: as I explained to Kathy when I bought these Saturday, knitting-wise, I’m at the equivalent of standing in the frozen foods section looking for the prefab meals.  I’m not lifting dyepots. I’m not winding cones’ worth by hand, nor even hanks.

Today is two weeks post-op. I might be able to stand and wind a hank now. Just let me finish up this big bubbly lump of pink first.


23 Comments so far
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it looks like a pile of pink gossamir!

Comment by marti 08.19.09 @ 11:16 pm

I generally prefer to knit my cakes from the outside-in, anyway. When I’ve pulled enough out from the center of a cake, going from inside-out, I wind up with a floppy doughnut of yarn that makes me want to use my childbirth words.

Comment by Lynn 08.20.09 @ 3:53 am

I’ve never been able to get on with centre-pull balls for anything. Of course, I still wind everything into an actual ball over my thumb, even laceweight!

Nothing wrong with a yarny ready-meal when you need one. Thank goodness for the people at your LYS. 😀

Comment by Genny 08.20.09 @ 4:05 am

i agree with Lynn. i love the convenience of the ball-winder, but i always knit from the outside of the cake. keep healing!

Comment by Tola 08.20.09 @ 4:21 am

I am in awe of your work even though the picture doesn’t show detail of the actual project. Such softness! Such lightness! Would I ever be able to knit such a fine thread?

The sock yarn I’m using for my Julia is the finest yarn I’ve used yet, but it is not a natural fiber, so I don’t know how it matters in comparison with laceweight…

Thank you for doing so well on those first two weeks. Make sure you keep doing things the way you should and are not getting ahead of yourself just to have to step back a couple of steps.

I hope everybody in your family is being a good patient. 😉

Comment by Suzanne in Mtl 08.20.09 @ 5:21 am

That pink fluff makes me want to cuddle up in it. So pretty. BTW, I have a laceweight baby alpaca in charcoal grey that was a gift (not a color I would have bought for myself,but thanks anyway). The problem I’m having is trying to find something to make with it. I’ve already ripped out five different projects. If I start and rip out another scarf, shawl, sock, etc. it’s going to disintegrate! I have 516 yards of the stuff. What should I do with it!? Any suggestions?

Comment by Jody M 08.20.09 @ 5:22 am

I am still in awe at the speed & accuracy of your needles:) I can’t wait to see it in all of its blocked glory. Keep up the good healing.

Comment by TripletMom 08.20.09 @ 5:32 am

Slooooowww… like a turtle sloooooowww… The level of pain control automatically exerted by someone who has lots of it over a long period of time can sometimes give a false health reading.
Ask me how I know :-}

Comment by Diana Troldahl 08.20.09 @ 5:37 am

Ahah! I’ve never liked yarn done on a ballwinder, and I think you have just explained why. Next time I encounter a yarn cake, I’ll have to try knitting it from the outside.

Also, your shawl looks like cotton candy to me!

Comment by RobinH 08.20.09 @ 5:40 am

That’s been my experience, too: lace weight alpaca, use the outer end. Sock yarn, now, works just fine as center-pull. I knit socks for a long time before my first lace-weight project, and I began just as if I were knitting a sock…wrong!

I know you want to have this done, but look at all the knitting entertainment you got for your yarn dollar!

Comment by Barbara-Kay 08.20.09 @ 5:40 am

I’ve always heard that with laceweight, you pull from the outside, but I’m not sure anyone every explained why. Now I know…

What a lovely pink blob! (And that leaves 15 rows for today, right?)

Comment by Channon 08.20.09 @ 6:21 am

I learned that lesson about knitting from the outside rather than a center-pull more than once. I’m a little slow sometimes. 2 weeks post op already?

Comment by Michelle 08.20.09 @ 6:34 am

I love those cakes and now you have pink frosting. Loverly!

Comment by sherry in idaho 08.20.09 @ 6:54 am

Beautiful! It looks so soft and scrumptious and – peaceful…if that makes sense. Beautiful. The recipient is going to be absolutely floored and overjoyed!
Please take care though and don’t overdo…ok? 🙂

Comment by Abby 08.20.09 @ 6:55 am

ok I am a dunce – what do you mean by a cake – the only cakes I have knit from are the unspun icelandic – do you mean like that? Or do you mean like I do on my ballwinder —

as always you amaze me with your knitting 😀

Comment by rho 08.20.09 @ 7:57 am

Oh but there has to be a way to hand wind yarn while sitting down? Can your husband rig up a swift at eye level or lower for you?

Comment by karin maag-tanchak 08.20.09 @ 8:38 am

Ah, cotton candy! That’s something I can relate to even though I haven’t had any in about 70 years. Beyond that, you guys are over my head. Two week post-op – just keep healing, young lady.

In the meantime, sumpin’ funny:

Remember any of these old Johnny Carson Carnac lines?  

(open envelope)
THE QUESTION: What does an Irish chicken do?    
THE ANSWER: Hi Diddle Diddle    
THE QUESTION: What’s the first thing you say in the morning to your diddle diddle?    

THE ANSWER: Skalliwags        
THE QUESTION: What does your skalli do when it’s happy?   
THE ANSWER: Grape Nuts    

THE QUESTION: What are Ernest and Julio Gallo?    
THE ANSWER: Igloo    
THE QUESTION: What do you use to keep your ig from falling off?    
THE ANSWER: Gatorade    
THE QUESTION: What does an alligator get on welfare?    
THE ANSWER: Supervisor    
THE QUESTION: What does Clark Kent wear to keep the sun out of his eyes?  

Comment by Don Meyer 08.20.09 @ 8:54 am

I don’t like center-pull cakes or balls–wrong tension and too tangly. This just confirms my low opinion!

Comment by Lanafactrix 08.20.09 @ 8:57 am

No pressure to wind balls just yet — that’s what those ballwinders are for 🙂 I’m glad you’re feeling better enough to be knitting thousands of pretty pink stitches!

Comment by Jocelyn 08.20.09 @ 1:21 pm

Darn! I wanted to be the first to mention cotton candy! Ah well, right now that IS what is makes me think of. PInk, sweet, and soft.

Comment by Ruth 08.20.09 @ 4:48 pm

I wind all my yarn with my winder. Makes it easier to store. Sometimes I do notice a tendency to kink from the centerpull on occasion but mostly not. When I do I will just wind the cake again from the center. But I do agree about the collapsing mess at the very end. It just seems such a drag to have to stop and pull yarn from the outside all the time. I don’t have to do that when knitting from the center. Can’t keep too much loose yarn visible because of the kitties. They think it’s hilarious to watch me after one of them bites my yarn in half.

The pink fluff looks gorgeous! Just my favorite color is all. LOL! Can’t wait to see it blocked.

You keep healing! Two weeks isn’t that long.

Love & Hugs,

Comment by Gretchen 08.20.09 @ 6:45 pm

Your shawl is so beautiful. Those fine yarns knit up so impossibly gossamer. I just finished a handspun(by me ) alpaca and silk (50 Black Alpaca/50 hand dyed silk -7 shades)and it does go through my wedding ring. It is so barely there. I also made a wimple out of what was left. I am so glad you are feeling better. A few years ago I had a hawk about that size hit my picture window. It scared me silly, but flew away in a few minuets. I’m sure he had a whopper of a headache. Pat

Comment by pat flores 08.21.09 @ 4:01 pm

So THAT explains it. I’ll have to try using the outside yarn first on my next ball of laceweight for my current shawl. The kinking is maddening and I thought it was because I’m a wrapper, not a thrower or picker. Hmm.

Comment by Steph 08.22.09 @ 6:21 am

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