A Yarn Miracle.

Blog friends, I have experienced something new and totally awesome. Something that has never happened to me before. Something so major, that the karmic backlash is going to be completely epic, and I don’t even CARE. (Actually, I like to think that  I’m a super nice person who tries to send out nothing but good vibes and happiness into the world, and when something like this happens, it’s like a nice pat on the back from the universe for not being a jerk, because lots of people are TOTALLY JERKS. But I digress.) Guys, I have experienced a real, no-foolin’, honest-to-god yarn MIRACLE.

“How?” you ask. “How could an event involving normal yarn be something that could be considered to be a miracle? Please enlighten me Lolly, because I am confused.”

First of all, you’re working with an incorrect assumption. It was not in the least normal yarn. It was my one of a kind, unique in the universe handspun, spun from fiber that was also one of a kind, and totally non-repeatable. This wool was totally gorgeous and awesome and special and there was absolutely no way to get more. It’s like something that a hipster dreamed up when they were thinking of how to be cooler than their friends (I may not be done making fun of hipsters.) But actually I should go back even further and tell you about the sweater. I already told you about my plans for this sweater in a past blog post, but having all the materials there and ready to go was too much. I had a pretty light grey yarn as the setting for the blue handspun, (Ella Rae Classic Heathers if you care) and I was completely wild to see how they looked together. I snapped and started the sweater.

Before I knew it, the yarn for the yoke was wound and ready to go. 10.14.14.1

Lovely gradient, isn’t it? I also had two matching mini skeins with the exact same gradient for the cuffs on the sleeves, but more on them later. Before you could even blink, I had most of a yoke! Knitting with this stuff is incredibly addictive, because the colors layer on top of each other in the most completely charming ways.

10.14.14.2

I knit away happily, slapping in a bit of simple colorwork when I deemed it the right time, generally following the guidelines that I had made up beforehand, but for the most part making it up as I went. (That’s why it’s a top down sweater, so I could wing it like that. I’m not completely insane. I’ve been trying it on as I progress.) I separated for the sleeves, and in a brief moment of clarity (I do occasionally have them) I realized that if I did the sleeves first, I could use all the remaining yarn on the body. I like my sweaters to be nice and long, so had I started with the body I would be worried about running out of yarn on the sleeves if I made the body as long as I wanted. This way I could finish the sleeves and then knit until there was no more yarn. (Turns out, in mockery of my magnificent plan, I’m going to have at least a full ball of yarn extra. Take heed my friends. If you plan awesomely, the Knitting Goddess will give you tons of extra yarn as a joke at your expense. If you don’t plan well enough, she will smack you down with the pain of being impaled on thousands of tiny sock needles, and you will run out of discontinued yarn with three completely essential rows to go. Tangling with her is a no-win scenario.)

Anyway, I got distracted again! What is the deal with me? Writing ADD ahoy! Back to the story. I did one of the sleeves, using the same colorwork motif as on the yoke, just, you know, smaller. Because it was a sleeve. I started the grey portion of the other sleeve, and then, because I am smart and like to plan ahead (My mother just fell out of her chair laughing. A smart cookie I may be, but a planner I am most decidedly NOT.) I wound the ball of handspun for the other lovely matching cuff. (I was really proud of this idea, a matching handspun yoke and cuffs. Beware, pride goeth before a fall. If you think you’re super smart, the universe is about to get a big old laugh at your expense.) I tucked the ball into my makeshift project bag for the sweater, which is actually the pouch that one of my sheet sets came in. I am using that because none of my zipper bags is big enough for the sweater and all its associated accoutrements. The thing is some kind of woolly amoeba. That is actually important, because that bag buttons shut rather than zips, and is a less secure storage space for wee balls of yarn with wandering tendencies.

So there I was, one night after work, knitting away on the second sleeve, and lo and behold, it’s time to do the colorwork bit that starts the second handspun cuff! I’m excited, just so ready to get that sucker going, and I reach into the bag for my tiny ball of handspun (seriously tiny, like 40 yards), and it was GONE! (Dun dun dun…) At first, I tell myself not to panic. It probably fell out while I was working on it that evening, and I need to just relax and look around my apartment. No luck. That’s okay, I remember that the night before when I was working on it while watching TV at Greg’s house (he has a TV and I don’t, so I go over and mooch off his. Also he cooks me dinner all the time and it’s the bomb. Lest ye think I’m a total freeloader, I do way more cleaning of his house than I do of mine, because he both hates cleaning and adores having a clean house. Barter system for the win!) anyway, when I was watching TV over there, I had to dump out the project bag to get something, and it likely rolled away without me noticing. No biggie, I’ll just go over there tomorrow and retrieve it. Yeah. For now, I need to just relax and get some sleep. (you can take a guess at how well I slept, not knowing where that tiny ball of yarn was.) Some of you may be asking “But Lolly, why didn’t you just text Greg and ask him if the yarn was there?” The answer is pretty simple. I try to play it cool and act like I’m not totally obsessed with this knitting thing. It’s totally an important part of my life, but calling Greg at a time perilously close to the middle of the night and waking him up so he could search his apartment for a ball of yarn seemed a bit like overkill (and I feel like that was a solid decision for the health of our relationship.) It turned out it wasn’t there either. At that point I was feeling a little panicked. Even though I know the lady who dyes this fiber, it was a one of a kind colorway, and even if it was possibly repeatable, I wasn’t sure exactly how much fiber I had used for the rad little cuff piece. A replacement would still not be the same, and I would forever be mocked by a non-matching cuff, and it would be TERRIBLE. I decided to retrace my steps, and go everywhere that the little ball of yarn might possibly be. I was searching around the cafeteria looking like a complete crazy person, when this little old Chinese lady came over to me. She asked me what I was looking for, but the language barrier was such that we had a little trouble communicating. (Some people would be upset by this, but her English was still better than my (nonexistent) Chinese, so I figure I’m not allowed to be bummed out until I get way more educated.) Our conversation went something like this.

“What are you looking for?”

“A ball of yarn”

*blank look*

“Like string? A ball of string?”

“A bottle of WHAT?”

“No, a ball, not a bottle.” At this point I think I tried to shape it with my hands. That poor lady must have thought I was some kind of lunatic. But then I bethought myself of the great and mighty powers of the google, and I pulled up a picture of a ball of yarn to show her, figuring that it would be more effective than my attempts to explain why I was looking under all the tables. I showed her a picture of a ball of yarn, and she immediately shouted “OH!” and ran over to the windowsill where my ball of yarn was sitting innocently, for all the world like it hadn’t jumped out of my bag like a TRAITOR. The lady looked at me very sternly, and said “It was on FLOOR.” I felt ready to sink through the same floor with embarrassment, because she was gazing at me with this expression that clearly said “you can’t even keep track of a ball of string, how are you even a person who lives in the world?” However, she patted my shoulder and waved away my thanks, like she goes around fixing disasters in her spare time like it’s no big thing. I clutched my returned treasure, hardly believing that I had actually found the thing. I had truly believed that it was gone forever and made all kinds of crazy contingency plans that turned out to be totally unnecessary. Of course, having found it, I immediately smooshed it on my face and took a selfie (as one does) so all of you could share in my moment of joy.

10.14.14.4

I promise that it’s not out of any sense of narcissism, because there is some weird grainy business going on with that picture. My face doesn’t normally look (quite) that odd. Of course, I started knitting the yarn into the sweater immediately so it didn’t have another chance to escape, and now…

10.14.14.3

I’ve got a few more inches to add onto the bottom and some ribbing so it clings fetchingly rather than flaring out weirdly, (I have a thing about sweaters that don’t have ribbing at the bottom, and it is not a good thing. Maybe someday I’ll break out of that box, but for now I think they just look weird.) and then it’ll be done! When it is done, that thing is getting a major blocking, because the sleeves are puckering slightly. I still think that it’s within the realm of something that blocking can fix, so we’ll see!

And that’s my story! (it turned out to be much longer than I thought.) Until next time friends!

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12 Comments

  1. That jumper is beautiful. And you’re so right about the Knitting Goddess – never mess with her. 🙂

  2. Glad you found it! It’s very beautiful 🙂

  3. Great story with such a happy ending, Lolly! So glad you were able to find the missing ball. Your sweater looks beautiful!!

  4. Ah the light of knitting gods doth shine upon you and bless you with grace and extremely good luck. Bet you almost grew an ulcer in the meantime though. Fabulous sweater. Now, you realise you owe those gods an offering…perhaps you need a sacrificial ball of yarn.

  5. What a gorgeous colour and it sounds so simple but why oh why have I never thought to do the sleeves first and avoid running out of yarn?? Its just genius of you. And just amazing that you found your yarn again and very lucky too coz your jumper is gorgeous 🙂

  6. Ooh ahh I just wanna squish your yarn. Beautiful sweater.

  7. I love, love, love the melted-crayony colorwork at the edge of the cuffs and yoke! That really would have been tragic (in the most Shakespearean, protagonists dying right and left way possible) if the tiny yarn ball had disappeared. No hyperbole intended, either. Keep the karma flowing, Lolly!

  8. Beautiful! I love the way the colourwork ‘drips’ into the background colour, such a pretty and striking effect.

  9. Absolutely beautiful!

  10. What an unbelievable story to go with an extraordinarily fabulous sweater! Bravo! Can’t wait to see a photo of it on you when you finish. 🙂

  11. Oh. My. Gorgeousness! Your sweater is amazing!

  12. Wow, really nice sweater! Lucky you were able to find the missing ball of handspun 🙂

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