At the beginning of the beginning
Monday October 17th 2011, 11:02 pm
Filed under: Knitting a Gift

Winding a racetrack-shaped hank by hand is its own pastime: you create a perfectly lovely round ball, all curves and come-to-me’s, rather than the matter-of-fact flat cake from a mechanical ballwinder setup.

And it gives the mind the freedom to meander the possibilities as you wrap the tethered strand steadily around and around itself; there’s something about working with a good yarn while not being held to anything yet.  Two ounces of cashmere, 400 yards, and ideas on what on earth to do with it went from totally zero to the proverbial sixty, centered by a desire to honor the recipient as well as knitterly possible.

But there is no more where that came from. I’m debating going with something else with more yardage, much though I want this to be in cashmere, just because I so do not like having to worry about whether I can finish what I started the way I want it to come out from my hands.

Let me do some swatching and measuring and checking–but in the meantime, (assessing the inner image I have now of what this project will be, something that had eluded me all day till I finally sat down and got all wound up about it),  it’s done me a great deal of good already.

To be continued.

6 Comments so far
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Yes, there is something immensely satisfying about getting to know the yarn at a leisurely pace. Kind of like an old-fashioned courtship, as opposed to speed dating.

Comment by Lynn 10.18.11 @ 4:48 am

I hand-wound the alpaca baby grande too, just because… It was relaxing.

Comment by Channon 10.18.11 @ 7:07 am

Meditation is good for what ails one; and this is pure meditation.

Comment by Sherry in Idaho 10.18.11 @ 7:43 am

I love it — from zero to 60 — nice

and I agree, there is something soothing about winding the yarn by hand — and my hand wound balls don’t collapse in the middle and make a big tangle!

Comment by Bev 10.18.11 @ 8:32 am

That’s getting “wound up” in a positive way.

Comment by Don Meyer 10.18.11 @ 9:22 am

I always wind my yarn by hand. A very nice lady at a local yarn shop asked if I would like them to wind my Manos wool for me, but I said no. The feel of the yarn, the patient winding and avoiding tangles, letting the mind go where it will and ending up with a solid idea and a warm, lovely ball — priceless. I suppose if I knitted on a production basis I might cave and get a swift and ball winding thingie, but there’s no need to do so and every need to get my hands in unprepared yarn. Winding yarn is collecting thoughts.

Comment by Patricia Day 10.19.11 @ 2:19 pm

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