Friday the 13th. A full moon. Knit night!
The week started out with our Internet connection crapping out on us repeatedly, requiring a visit from the "cable guy." And work was entirely too intense and political and headachey. But there's nothing like the prospect of an evening of knitting with some cool folks to get one through all that.
Tons of people showed up. At least it felt that way because the room filled up so quickly and the conversation was so lively. There were - get this - thirteen of us there! All female. The ages ranged from 6 years (she was serving more in the capacity of knitting coach, but her 9 year old sister was knitting like a champ) to... let's just say that there was more than one grandmother in attendance. We should have all gone outside and danced under the moon - just because - not that the moon is showing itself as much tonight as it did last night or even this morning when it was so wonderfully glowy and beautiful outside.
This was only my second knit night. My second time ever knitting in front of other people and seeing other people knitting and talking technique and showing off projects without requiring an Internet connection. I got to show off a finished project and another in progress. I will post about those tonight, but first we must deal with Jerry's burning question about yarn: why does the stuff come in skeins instead of balls ready for use?!
I'd love to hear what more experienced fiber-folk have to say about this, but I'm willing to take a guess or two. For starters, I think it has to do with knowing what you're getting. Example: some months back, I purchased a quantity of red cotton yarn off eBay. At first glance, the box filled with skeins looked fine (as it had in the photograph), but as I unpacked it, it became clear that the yarn had been stored and neglected for quite some time. It is flecked with dust and crud. It is possible that something nested in it for a while. With it in skeins, I can inspect it very closely. I can wash it and let it dry. You can't wash yarn in balls and you don't know what's in the center of a ball unless you unwind it.
In Yarn Harlot: The Secret Life of a Knitter, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee writes about a moth infestation of her beloved stash. She details every step she took to rid her stash of the minuscule menace - and let's just say that was a lot of inspecting of skeins and unwinding and rewinding of balls of yarn. Freezing and microwaving, and drop cloths were involved, too, as was lots of cursing. All completely understandable, especially the cursing.
I'm also wondering if skeins are traditional because wool is often sold by weight, and with skeins it is easier to see you are getting yarn and nothing but yarn.
I think I also read that some people use yarn for something other than knitting, but that could just be an ugly rumor.
Now, on to some actual gosh-darn finished objects from last year. It's the next post, and I'm typing it up right... now.