Attack of the yarn monster

Lately I’ve been listening to The Knitmore Girls podcast. They are a mother-daughter team who post a new episode every week. There are around 250 episodes to date, so it’s been fun slowly catching up on years of knitting stories with them. I’m still listening to podcasts to and from work, on my lunch break, and sometimes while I knit in the evenings. Gigi and Jasmin break their episodes into familiar segments, and my favorite is When knitting attacks!

It’s great to hear about the struggles of other knitters. I find I learn a lot from segments like these in this and in other podcasts. It’s nice to know even the best knitters run into trouble just like the rest of us. Plus there’s the small mercy that this horror isn’t currently befalling you.

I was victim of a knit attack last night, but first I’ll set the scene for you. Yesterday afternoon my four lovely skeins of Malabrigo sock finally came in the mail at the office and I was THRILLED. (I say “finally,” when in reality it only took a week.) Purlwise even included a gorgeous little sample of Cascade silk in a lovely orange-peachy color. I have to say I was tickled.

When I got home I finished the hexipuff I’d been working on during the bus ride. Matt and I heated up leftovers from the night before and then I pulled out my beautiful skeins to admire and show him. We agreed on a favorite, and I resolved to wind up each ball before finishing Harold.

Harold just needs a face!

Harold just needs a face!

Little did I know I wouldn’t get past the first skein. I carefully removed the string and tag holding it together and located the end. My plan was to untwist the skein and hang it from my arm as I quickly balled it up.

Well that escalated quickly

Well that escalated quickly

I swear, within SECONDS, it was a crazy tangled mess. Plenty of it was hanging dutifully from my arm, but mostly it just went EVERYWHERE. I couldn’t believe it. Yet I somehow remained calm, mesmerized by my attraction to this gorgeous yarn.

Yards and yards to go

Yards and yards to go

This lovely skein of thin strong sock weight yarn is a whopping 440 yards long. Needless to say I was winding all night. About an hour in, Super-Size Me came on. I’d never seen it, so it was a good distraction as I weaved my growing yarn ball through the tangles.

Yarn monster! Run for your lives!

Yarn monster! Run for your lives!

The yarn monster remained sizable as I made slow and steady progress. The movie finished, and by the time I went to bed, Matt and I estimated that I’d spent about three and a half hours on it so far. I say “so far” because sadly, it’s not over. At one point I did come across the other end and got started on a ball from it.

One night's progress

One night’s progress

The night time lighting in our living room isn’t great, but when it’s finally all balled up I’ll try to get a good shot of the color. It’s just beautiful. Amazingly I only got frustrated when it was time to admit defeat and go to bed. I knew I wouldn’t want to wake up to this thing this morning.

Alas, the yarn monster is still waiting patiently for me in my office (the second bedroom). Matt just kept shaking his head at me in sympathy last night. Poor guy’s going to have to watch me suffer for a few more hours I’d imagine.

With the three remaining skeins, I OF COURSE am going to consult the gurus at my local yarn store and hope they have advice. I’m really hoping they’ll just wind it for me, so cross your fingers!

Poor Harold. Guy just wants a face and some ends woven in.

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9 thoughts on “Attack of the yarn monster

  1. The yarn monster looks truly terrifiying! Perhaps they sell yarn winders on ebay? Harold the Hippo is very cute. Usually my yarn monster is my dog Clancy who likes to steal bits of fleece and chew it up

  2. I have just had to use your post to explain to my husband that everyone gets attacked by the yarn monster at one time for another. He couldn’t believe the monster I created but yours if a whole other level.

  3. What’s so sad is that I took a second hank to the yarn store and the ladies found trouble with that one as well! I’ve decided to take a break before tackling the other two :S But the yarn monster is becoming a beautiful Hitchhiker shawl by Martina Behm.

  4. Ugh! I have had this happen before. Once with malabrigo sock, and once with madelinetosh sock. Why is it always the expensive skeins that magically turn into a giant gordian knot the second you try to ball them up? One of my friends is a math professor and he sent me a whole article about how knots can form spontaneously in string that was pretty amazing. http://www.pnas.org/content/104/42/16432.full Found you via Jasmin’s tweet about your blog, btw. 🙂

  5. Hi Diane! Thanks for leaving your thoughts, I will definitely check out the article whilst enjoying my morning coffee 🙂

    I read online that Malabrigo is notorious for these sorts of troubles. At least I know it wasn’t just me!

    Do you have a blog as well? It’s great to meet another Knitmore disciple!

    • Aaaahhhh Real Yarn Monster! hehe glad I found your post! I’ve been so bad lately at checking out the blogroll, so happy coincidence. I see you also are a Q&C fan? Just finished my Owls sweater by Kate Davies out of Puffin (silly me, it’s the deadly Aussie summer right now, 99 degrees F predicted today :S).

      • Oh I have been awful with my blog roll and reading list, too. So yes, happy coincidence! I love that you are from Minnesota originally – I am currently in Wisconsin and have been enjoying the subzero high temps lately – lol! The complete opposite of what you’re experiencing!

        Yes, yes. HUGE Q&CO fan – I have mittens in Osprey on the needles right now. Lark is waiting in the wings for a hat for my son – both must be finished by Christmas… No problem! Owls in Puffin though?! Brilliant! I made one a couple years ago in Rowan’s British Sheep Breeds Pure Wool, but it is still being used as a shop sample – I am dying to get it back. Maybe I should just order some Puffin….

      • YES order the Puffin! It’s single-ply and a little fuzzy and soft. The stitch definition is incredible. It’s so deadly hot today but I’m going to try and get a photo in it before it goes into a bucket to soak (the sweater, that is). Jealous of the snowy midwest right now, I just got back from the gym and I’m already sweaty after my shower…

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