Tuesday, February 24, 2009

for the love of the yarn

it all started, as these things do, on ravelry. that place makes people do silly things. 'ravelry made me do it' is probably a legitimate defense to use in court.

first, i learned that my local yarn store (lys) had some yarn that i love on sale. 3$ per big skein of soft, local, beautiful wool. then i just happened to be perusing the patterns for things that i could make with that weight of yarn, and i found this.i've never knit a sweater before, but isn't the best time to start when the yarn is on sale?

that did it. the yarn had my head in a death grip and wouldn't let go until i got some. so i made a deal with myself. if i could run all my errands and make it to the lys on one bus ticket, i could have the yarn. if anyone could make it to the five places on my list and the lys (which is far from all the other places) within the hour that a bus transfer is usable, i would say that the yarn gods must be smiling on them and they should get the fibre they seek.

so, of course, i did it. lightning-fast trips to the bank, the library, the drugstore... i did not stop to smell any roses. i had mild panic attacks every time i had to switch buses. what if i just missed it? what if the bus came late? for what was intended to be an enjoyable day off from my domestic responsibilities, it sure stressed me out. but i did it; i deserved all the yarn my backpack could hold.

my final bus dropped me off a little ways from the lys. google maps says it was about a mile. but have i mentioned the weather? it was -33 celsius that day, -27 fahrenheit. bloody cold. and the wind was crazy, blowing sheet after sheet of insidious snow into my face and into all the corners and crevices of my hat, my scarf, and my coat. it was worse than this looksand actually not that fun to walk in. that mile took me half an hour.

i got to the store and found my beautiful yarn. at the checkout i did what it took to cram the yarn into my already full backpack, telling the saleswoman that there was no way in hell that i would carry a bag, my hands needed to stay in my pockets for warmth. as i wound my scarf around my face and arranged my hat and two hoods, she jokingly said that she hoped i wasn't going out walking in that maelstrom. she was visibly shocked when i affirmed that i was. i admitted that if ever my commitment to yarn snobbery was challenged, it was today. but it's common knowledge that i have more stubbornness than smarts, so there i was, in the industrial area (read: bad bus service) in a winter storm.

my original plan was to stay at the store and wind all my yarn into balls using their equipment, saving myself heartache later. but the sun was about to set and the storm wasn't going to get better any time soon, so i figured it would be better to go for my stroll while the drivers could see me walking in the road instead of waiting for it to get dark. (the sidewalks were impassable)

i trudged, head down and shoulders hunched against the wind, through the storm. it sucked. but i happened to look up at just the right moment, and saw a bus! for a moment i thought it was just my wishful thinking taking me for a ride, but the rare and elusive bus that drives that route just happened to be going past! i sprinted and waved and yelled. (this is the place where if i were making this up i would say the bus driver didn't see me, but this here is a truthful account, yo)

the bus stopped. my transfer was long since expired, but the driver so admired my tenacity that he let me ride for free. the most wonderful part is that the bus i was on passes within a block of my house. i was home, drinking hot coffee, 15 minutes later.

but the story doesn't end here. nosirree. i may have escaped frostbite, but there were still more (less dramatic) adventures to come.

remember how i didn't wind the yarn into balls? well, i'm making socks out of that same yarn, from a skein that i bought (and wound) earlier. i'm almost at the toe of the second sock, but the yarn ran out. this evening i got to wind the skein into a ball.

oh, pshaw, you say. big deal. you probably do it all the time, just for fun. but do you remember that i have a 3 year old and a 1 year old? not so fun.to keep it all out of their reach, i had to hang the yarn from my splintery, beat-up bedroom door. as i wound, the yarn caught on the wood and caught on itself and caught on the wood again. plus yarn from the top kept slipping off the door, creating a messy tangle at the bottom of the loop. when the boys realized what i was doing, the wanted in on the action. they enjoyed swinging the door open and closed, crying when made them stop, kicking the door over and over, lying on the floor wailing when i made them stop, begging for treats, whining when i said no...

i wished i was back out in the blowing snow.

it took a couple of miserable hours, but i got it done.
it seems like a lot to go through for something so small, but this is yarn, people. 100% worth it. now i can finish up the socks and get them mailed off (they're already late for my dad's birthday. i'm a very bad daughter) and start a new, exciting project. one that uses yarn that is already neatly wound on cones.


  1. Brava! Hooray! *wild applause* A lovely adventure to read. You have spunk and tenacity. You have courage and gumption. You, my friend, have yarn.

  2. LOL! I'm glad the adventure ended on a good note! And I agree with you completely... yarn is totally worth it! :)

  3. What a great story! I'm glad you wrote it all out for us to read. You deserve to win a prize for it ;)