Tuesday, May 13, 2003

Odd Yarn Habits

Okay, here's where I fess up to odd yarn habits that I have.

Balling Yarn
No, it's not THAT odd. I mean winding balls from hanks to balls. I have both a ballwinder, a swift and a nostepinde. I prefer to use the ballwinder and swift to convert my hanks to balls, but I also like to confirm the yardage in each hank, so I run the yarn through a fishing line measurement tool that measures the yarn in feet.

I got this little beauty at Lakeside Fishing. It was only about $15 with shipping and handling.

I also never break knots in the yarn that is used to secure the skein (if it's part of the skein of yarn). I carefully untie them. And before the last 10 or 12 spins of the ballwinder, I slip the part of the label with the yarn color and dyelot under the yarn on the ball and finish spinning. This secures the "label" on the outer part of the newly wound cake of yarn.

Smelling Yarn
Someone asked me in an e-mail yesterday whether I ever smell yarn that I'm about to buy. I have to admit, I don't, but I do know folks who are much more highly in tune with their olfactory sense than I am who do sniff their yarn. One designer/yarn store owner I know will not knit with silk because of the "wormy" smell of it.

The only time I was ever affected by the smell of yarn was on a recent eBay purchase. I bought a couple of pounds of Rayon yarn in a bright blue. Not only was this head of yarn tangled and stained, but it had a VERY strong musty odor. After hanging it outside for a while, it still smelled, so I ended up throwing it out. It only cost me $9, so I didn't care.

Fair Isle Progress
To keep me honest, I'll tell you that I need to have 16 cm (or about 6 inches) done on the sleeve steek before I start the neck steek. I've finished about 6 or 7 cm so far. I worked on it some last night, but ended up going to bed early. Mondays are long days for me since I have to get up at 4:30 a.m. to get to Albany by 8:30. It felt good to get a full night's sleep last night.

But I will keep you updated on the progress and pictures will be forthcoming.

Off-Topic Commentary
Today I discuss charity, religion and fundametalism. This is where you see what a bleeding heart liberal I am. Three events have sparked this commentary:

1. A question from a reader on charitable knitting (kind of).
2. The stoning of three children by her mother
3. A fundamentalist on one of my Knitting lists who's afraid for all the list members' souls

1. A reader who has been encouraging me to knit for others asked about the two sweaters I am making for my neighbors kids. I do not consider this charitable knitting, I'm doing it as a barter for organic vegetables throughout the summer. We've already gotten the most amazing asparagus I've ever had, so it may well be worth it.

You will never read about me doing charitable knitting on my blog. Charity is one of those things that I feel should be done in private (if done at all). Whether I knit or donate and/or what I knit or donate to charities is between me and my higher power. I am highly egotistical in a lot of ways, but I don't feel the need to get kudos from blog readers for charitable acts. Brownie points in heaven is all that I ask.

2. I saw an interview of the neighbor of the woman who killed two of her children and severely injured the third by stoning them because God told her to. While this is obviously a tragic case of mental illness (probably post-partum related), my concern is on the neighbor's comment that "she belongs to a good church". I can't imagine defending a church that was so out of touch with her religion that she would stone her children. She home-schooled (most probably so they wouldn't learn about evolution in public schools) based on religious conviction, and probably had no time away from them.

I feel bad for the poor woman...worse for the children. But I despise the church that helped her get to that point, or at best, had no idea she was at that point. A good church indeed!

3. A woman on one of my Knit lists has decided that the membership is all headed for hell, and it's her job to save our immortal souls...ugh! Her tired old rhetoric about how the bible tells us why we're in danger has become almost anachronistic in this day and age. I can't understand how someone like that doesn't understand that her blind following of the words from her pastor are as crazy as the voices in the Texan woman's head telling her to stone her children. I further can't understand how she hopes to convert folks who don't believe that the bible is...well...gospel.

The best part of this woman's inane rantings are the wonderfully thoughtful conversations that have ensued about religion and some of the funniest, most sacreligious flames I've ever read. Most enjoyable reading I've had for a while.