When you are on your own, there’s no one to hold the yarn

I have been on my own for three weeks.  Regulars to this blog will know that both my kids are half way across the world in Vancouver at university.  My husband Doug has been in Malaysia for three weeks on business.  I realized the other day that we are equally dispersed around the world in terms of time zones – the girls are currently 8 hours behind me, I am 8 hours behind Doug and he is 8 hours behind the girls.  This makes for difficulties in communication.

But I am here to tell you, communication be damned – this makes for difficulties in knitting!  I am, despite a super busy schedule, knitting away on the ultra-cute Carpino designed by Carol Feller.  I just now bound off the ribbing on the body:

1-IMG_8203I have discovered that there are two major problems with knitting (and knit blogging) while on your own.  First, there is no one to hold the yarn.  Yes, I know that many knitters wind yarn on their own with the use of a swift.  I, however, don’t have one and have always relied on the method of bullying some poor family member into sitting with their hands up in the air while I wind skeins into balls.  (Leah even has a special music mix saved for listening to while immersed in this task.)  I suppose it is time to invest in a swift.  (I must point out, however, that the yarn used for Carpino, Loft by Brookln Tweed, is a very fragile, breakable yarn and I prefer to wind this one the old fashioned way.)

4-IMG_8209The second problem is that there is no one to take any modelled photographs.  I have no proof to offer you, but this baby fits great!  I have made absolutely no modifications to the pattern – none, nada, zip – and the fit is perfect.  I can’t show you, however, because I can’t both wear it and photograph it.  (But what, you may ask, about the now-standard selfie taken in front of the bathroom mirror?  No, no and no.  For reasons why not, please see this delightful post on how not to photograph your knitting written by Emma, my daughter and partner-in-crime.)

There is also the related problem that among the family members, all of whom are frequently called upon to be blog photographer, I am probably the least skilled in this arena.  Thus the top photo, which as you see, has a shadow falling across the sweater.  Sorry, Emma, I know this is not up to your standards!

6-IMG_8211One of the very cute features of this sweater is that the front is knit in a tiny lace stitch and the rest is knit in stockinette.  Above is a photo of the side ‘seam’  (of course there is no actual seam as it is knit in the round).  Isn’t it lovely?  It is such a cute pattern and so easy and intuitive to knit.  I also love the flecks of colour in the Loft. This purple-y colour is called Plume and it has lovely flecks of reds and blues.

Now, all I have left is the sleeves and some very minimal finishing at the neckline.  First, however, I need to wind another skein.  My plan is to drape it over my knees and wind it by hand.  Having done this before in times of emergency, I can tell you that it involves a fair amount of contortion and looks rather silly.  Good thing there’s no one around to take a photo!


17 thoughts on “When you are on your own, there’s no one to hold the yarn

  1. A straight backed chair also works for lone ball winding. 🙂
    love teh yarn and sweater. I believe you that it fits beautifully, but I hope someone comes along to take your photo soon!

  2. I recently passed my swift and ball winder on to others because my new apartment is too small to set them up. But I’m way too impatient to wind the yarn by hand before I start knitting, so my solution is to wear the skein like a necklace while I knit, then very carefully re-twist it when I’m done for the night. This only works with small-ish skeins, though. I tried it with some Cascade Eco recently and it all went horribly wrong.

    Your sweater’s looking great! Can’t wait to see the modeled shots. Not having a photographer around is tough when you’ve got a project you want to show off.

  3. Beautiful work. I use the old ladder back chair method of ball winding. No one in my house would ever hold still long enough to hold the yarn. 🙂

  4. When I was growing up we used to put the skeins round the top of the uprights of the back of a dining chair. Unfortunately the ones we have now are rounded at the top . . .

  5. This is a gorgeous project. The yarn is beautiful, and the pattern likewise. I’m loving this type of construction – I just got a Tea Leaves by Melissa LeBarre off the needles, and this “no seaming” concept is working for me on so many levels! It might take me 2 months to sew on the buttons, but that’s another story…

    Get thee a swift and ball winder. I bought mine on Knit Picks, and while I’m very satisfied with the swift (oak, made in Italy, nice workmanship), the ball winder will be replaced by the gold-standard “Royal” model once the KP version bites the dust. If I win the lottery, I’ll buy both of us Nancy’s Knit Knacks Heavy-Duty Ball Winder! My LYS just bought this model, and it makes you want to wind every one of your skeins into cakes!

Leave a Reply