...or yarn piggery: either, both, all of it...it's my new word, which I acquired at the weekend (thanks to the Grocery Girls knitting podcast), right around the same time that I was unpacking some fresh supplies. In my defence I offer Christmas knitting: these skeins are all destined to be turned into Christmas gifts.
Ah: skeins: now we get to the real memo, this Monday. For here in the UK, for all of my knitting life so far, I've been used to buying my wool in balls, neatly wrapped with a paper band and completely ready for some fast needle action. But it turns out, I am discovering, that it's not the same the world over; and that here too, more and more independent dyers are offering wool in skeins, which have to be wound into balls or cakes before they can be knit. All of my Christmas gift wool arrived in skeins.
But I had a plan. I know a man who still needs a lot of rest and who has just been given another four weeks off work, in time to help out, in a quiet, sitting down kind of way. My plan looked like this:
...until it hit a snag. Because, I discovered, he is the one who knows how to wind wool. I've never done it before. His mum used to use hanks of wool straight from the mill, because she knew someone who worked there. My mum bought balls of wool from the wool shop (which used to have a clever little lay-away scheme. You could choose your wool and set aside as much as you needed for your project and then collect and pay for it, a ball at a time. I often called in at lunchtimes, out of school). So, as you can see from the pictures, we swapped. I held it and he wound it and we surprised ourselves with the little bits of social history we thought about as we worked. Remember black and white films in which a male suitor was pressed into service as a yarn holder? How he'd sit in the parlour and try to impress with his patience? Or, think of a Tom and Jerry cartoon: sometimes a great round ball of yarn would come rolling along the floor. Now I know why it looked like it did, because when we had finished winding, our skein had turned into this:
And that is my "first" for this week. How about you?
Alexandra, Deb, Ruth, Barbara, Helena, Mitra, Mary-Lou, Ladkyis, Maggie, Krafty Karen and Karen made a memo last time round. Go on: give 'em a wave! And maybe think about joining us? Have a good week!