Many years ago, I had my first knitting machine. The only thing I saved from that adventure was the Brother ball winder that I had purchased to use with it. Many years later, I have another knitting machine, but I mostly use the ball winder for handknitting projects as I don't use the machine too much even now. However, I do NOT have a swift, and therein lies the rub, or rather the knot.
When I re-learned to knit a couple of years ago, I purchased some yarn, forgot about it, and rediscovered it this week. It is a lovely sock yarn, and I think I got it at the Studio, but not entirely sure as there is no sticker on the label. I have knit socks before, but with yarn that comes in skeins, not hanks. Hanks are twisted into a nice little twisty-ropey-looking things, and they are created by the Devil. I though, hmmm, I will use this for myself. I would like my own pair of socks, and if I make short cuffs I will have just enough yarn. Great! yarn untwisted, safety ties untied, and POW this monstrosity of yarn that is a big wiggly hula-hoop-type thing falls out of my hands, and onto the floor. I am just barely over five feet tall, the damn yarn didn't fall that far, how could it have gotten so screwed up on the way to the floor - and it no longer looks like a hula-hoop. It more closely resembles a plate of colored spaghetti now. Then part two of the disaster - Natty the cat is having her nightly cat fit, and flies through the pile of spaghetti yarn and gets all four feet tangled up, but pulls the yarn about three feet apart. The mess has just went from a moderate-sized catastrophe to a homicidal event!
Long story short, after two and a half hours, I have 420 yards of sock weight yarn, which does not unknot easily, wound onto the ball winder. The memory of where I purchased this is starting to come back to me. I did purchase this at the Studio, and the day I purchased it there were about six pain in the ass women in the knitting store with me, and they were driving me crazy. I was still very new at knitting, a little intimidated, and definitely irritated as they pushed and shoved their way through the store and people to ferret out anything and everything. When it was finally my turn at the register, the sales lady asked me, "would you like us to wind this for you?" I distinctly remember that all I wanted was out of that store, and I didn't realize I had just set myself up for disaster. I should have stayed and let them wind my yarn. It would have maybe taken ten minutes, fifteen tops to let them wind it as they have a swift, and the same ball winder that I do, but most importantly a swift. I cursed myself by saying, "No, I have a ball winder. I will be fine." I naively walked out the door, came home, put the yarn away and forgot about until I found the little cursed hank this week. The curse was still alive and well when I opened the yarn this evening. The moral of the story is ALWAYS let the store wind your yarn, it is worth the time to wait!!! It is not impossible to unwind a hank of yarn without a swift, it is just damned unpleasant!!! I have no one to blame but myself for this most recent lesson in knitting. When you make the mistake yourself, it will stay right there until you fix it, or until it has the chance to bite you in the ass . Either way, it was one big giant suckapallooza fixing that mess.