Sunday, October 19, 2014

Turkey baster knitting. Because I can't knit like a normal person anymore.

So, someone said they wanted knitting talk. Or, yarny talk. Or something to do with the header of this blog that now seems wildly misplaced.

And I thought, "Yeah. Knitting. What ABOUT that anyway?"

Then I went to Ravelry

Because in times of Maybe I Should Knit a Thing, But What? That's where I go.

Despite the fact that I have a whole shelf full of knitting books full of patterns. And all kinds of shit I've printed out over the years and organized in a binder like an old fashioned knitting lady. And patterns folded up with their yarn, all halfway done and foolishly hoping to be finished in my stash in the closet.

I'm FO-averse, friends. That's one of my knitting problems. 

I get started on something and, unless I'm totally obsessed with the finished object it is meant to become, I get part of the way through the thing and just go, "Meh, I'm over it. Let's play PS4."

Oh yeah, because now we have PS4. Which is another one of my knitting problems. 

Because knitting usually makes me angry and when I'm angry I need to kill things and society says I can't really kill things so instead I play PS4 where I'm rewarded for killing things.

Also in PS4, starting over is a matter of hitting a button and in knitting, starting over is a matter of frogging usually hundreds of stitches during which time drinking is out of the question.

Which brings me to another knitting problem and that is - no drinking.

Seriously. I can not. 

Because when I do, shitty shit happens and then frogging happens and then I'm hauled off to prison on homicide charges.

We can't afford that kind of bail, so I (we?) have decided that knitting = no drinking. 

And since cocktail hour is a much hallowed daily event in this house since graduation and starting a new job and Bubba starting a new job and JMT and and and, the result has been zero knitting since April. Though one might contend that April's knitting project looks like it was conceived and created by a very active drunk.

Which brings us to today and the new knitting project I'm about to start. 

Because despite the fact that I've "Cast on" on Ravelry, I haven't cast shit on. In fact, I haven't even knit the gauge swatch that I'm totally going to do because, brace yourself, I LEARNED SOMETHING.

People, friends, remember when I knit that perfectly awesome sweater for Bubba? And it came out all perfect and awesome and actually fit him?

You remember.
All of that was made possible by me actually knitting a gauge swatch. Because if I'd forged ahead knitting forever and all the while hoping that the gauge would magically come out right even though it NEVER DOES when I don't knit a gauge swatch first, it would have come out unmagically like a pile of shit.

And I've decided I don't want a pile of shit. The dog spends her time preparing those for me on the hourly and that is just plenty, thank you puppy.

Instead, I'VE LEARNED that I want a wearable knitted object that fits and in order to have that I'VE LEARNED that I must always knit a gauge swatch first. And then I'VE LEARNED that I must be for real with the measurements and accurately judge whether my gauge swatch is the size indicated by the pattern or whether it means I need to reknit the swatch with a smaller/larger needle or whatever to get it right.

I'VE LEARNED, is what I'm saying, and for this all of your lives are safer. I promise you.

But that's not actually why I haven't started yet. It's because I've also learned that, for me, starting a new knitting project is a fucking project in and of itself.

I have to first find the bloody project, which this time didn't take too long because HELLO.

I will make that and it will be orange and I will wear it over my long sleeves to work where I will load up those pockets with my two phones because I'm a loser and my greenhouse keys and my pH probe and all the nonsense that sticks out of my jean pockets all the time and really needs somewhere else to live.


But then next I had to figure out what yarn to use because OBVIOUSLY the yarn used in the pattern isn't available on Jimmy Beans Wool and they're really the only place I ever buy yarn so thankfully they have a calculator on the site to help me find a different yarn.

Not that the yarn used in the original pattern doesn't exist somewhere on the internet, I'm sure that it does, but then I'd have to set up an account on another site and wait and see how many hundreds of years it takes to get the shit in the mail and what if it's not right and UGH.


Another knitting problem I have is that I trust no one. 

I won't delve too deeply into that matter as it relates to yarn buying, but let's just say that I've been burned by one too many fruity geocities-esque craft sites that happen to miraculously carry the otherwise unavailable color/make/model/style/material THING I'm desperately hunting for and then the transaction and usually project all go downhill.

Except at Jimmy Beans Wool which is my safe place of yarn.

As it was this time when I got Malabrigo's Rios yarn in Glazed Carrot because ORANGE. I love orange. You know this.

Extra orange is what I was going for. Obviously.

But, in my haste and excitement to buy this so gorgeous I want to eat it yarn, I forgot to pay the extra WHO CARES amount to have the skeins wound into center pull cakes that make knitting with the yarn just way fucking easier.

I assume, if you are a knitter, you've tried to take one of these beautiful wound skeins (hanks? I can't keep all the nomenclature straight. Nor do I care to. So, don't like, leave me a lot of comments about it.) and just start knitting from it. 

Just one of the more horrible ideas I've had in my life. The resulting pain and misery were enough to keep me from knitting for some time, I'll just tell you. Then I had to only buy yarn from the store near my house that wound it all for you when you bought it. 

Then I found Jimmy Beans Wool that offers this service and TEE DAH we don't shop anywhere else anymore.

Then I forgot to have them wind the wool for me this time. 


So, this brings me to the last knitting problem of mine for this post anyway and that is - winding yarn. 

I do not have a yarn winder. They're big and clunky and OH JIMMY BEANS CAN JUST WIND MY WOOL and, if I need yarn wound I can just go back to that knitting shop which OOPS is out of business, DAMN IT ALL FUCK.

But! I had a momentary flash of genius in my moment of BUT I WANT TO START MY PROJECT WITH THIS FANCY ASS YARN WHAT WILL I DO and that was - go to YouTube. 

Not so much genius as common sense, but you can understand how, to me, that seems genius-y. 

And, on YouTube I found lots of nice people who could show me how to make a center pull ball of yarn from a useless skein of yarn using all manner of tools like a toilet paper roll, giant knitting needle, broomstick, turkey baster and probably lots of weirder things that I didn't take the time to check out.

This is the video I followed, though I used a turkey baster rather than a monster knitting needle, and it worked pretty fucking well.

And because I'm a fancy bitch, I used the dye lot tag as the center pull bit. I'm still congratulating myself on that bit of genius. 

Take that YouTube! You're not the only one that can think of things! 

Kind of.

So yeah, I've spent the last day and a half winding yarn into center pull cakes and I have some impressive carpel tunnel claw hands to show for it, but once I can uncurl my aching fingers and uncramp my meat fists, I'll go about knitting that gauge swatch for this, the project that will take the rest of my natural life.

Yay knitting.


  1. ::sigh:: I want to wind yarn...but I have projects that need finishing and other projects that need making before I start anything new and there's Stormageddon and Little Man to contend with and waaaaaaaaaahhhhhhh! I'm a big baby.

    But, I have a huge, fancy, and hugely fancy expensive ball winder. I lurves it.

    1. But how much do you USE the winder? Where does it live in the mean time? Like, does it have its own wing of the house, because those things are big.

  2. Aw, if you'd had more time and didn't mind the postage I would've said send 'em to me.... I went cheap and got an Amish-style swift ( ) rather than one of the shrinking/expanding more expensive ones. And if you're going to be balling a bunch of yarn, you can get the plastic ones somewhat cheap on Amazon, but I have already had to replace the first one after part of it cracked from too much wear and tear.

    Well done - I've had to handwind before and that suuuuucks. Plus, if you don't do it center pull like you did (NEAT!), you have a ball rolling all over the house as you're knitting, unless you have a yarn bowl (I don't).

    1. Yeah - I don't have a yarn bowl and I've done the ball-rolling-all-over-the-house-while-the-dog-hairs-it-all-up thing thanks.

      I just really need to remember to have Jimmy Beans do the winding for me. Hand winding BLOWS. I still have claws!

  3. Unrelated to knitting - but more related to all the stabby sh*t in your pockets while rampaging around the farm: Check out the Roo Garden Apron. Awesome apron with lots of pockets, and a nifty built-in ginormous HARVEST POCKET that dumps neatly and easily. I love mine - so I figured I'd pass it along (not sure if they come in orange - I'm more partial to purple, myself - and it *does* come in purple).

    I'm sure they have a website and I'm almost-positive that Amazon sells 'em. But since I am [too busy swilling tequila] in Mexico where the interwebs like to take numerous siestas, I'll let you do the Googling if you are so inclined!

    1. I remember seeing yours when I was over there. Pretty cool, but yikes - I'd fill that thing up with so much crap - I'd never hear the end of it at the farm. What I really need is a red wagon to pull behind me everywhere I go, but again - judging...

  4. I applaud your super-fancy turkey baster way, but can't you just make a ball out of it? I find it strangely meditative.

    1. Oh I can make a ball. If I want that fucker rolling around the house forever as it unwinds. This way it unwinds from the middle and never moves. I like obedient yarn, is what I'm saying.


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