Goldi's Locks of Yarn

My place to discuss my raging obsession with yarn and crochet along with happenings in my life and the world at large

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Okay, will the frustrations STOP it already???

I swear I'm beginning to feel cursed! It seems like nothing I touch is destined to go smoothly, whether it be rewinding badly wound yarn or trying to edit posts on my blog. I'm still in the "active" phase of my monthly cycle but I swear I feel like I am having PMS again, which makes all these little frustrations grow in magnitude to where I just want to go postal!

Deep breath...

Meditate meditate meditate - ooooohhhhhhmmmmmm....

Okay. Another deep breath.

Here's the deal:

After I made my last post, I noticed I'd used a different shade of purple for my additional, blog-only comments. In other words, the first one was in a lighter (and therefore harder to read) shade than the second one I added. I wanted to go change the color of the first one to match the second. No big deal, right? Just highlight the text and select another color. WRONG! No matter how many times I tried it, that color just would NOT change - I even tried copying the whole danged entry into an email composition window and doing it from there, and it STILL won't change! GGRRRR!!!

I've been having all kinds of niggling little frustrating problems with this computer this weekend (and, in fact for the past several days). I'll be typing away on a composition (like this one) and periodically the whole system freezes up so that it takes several seconds for what I typed to finally appear on the screen. Pages I try to load are coming up BLANK, even though I know darn well they're NOT blank, and no amount of refreshing will change the blankness of the page! This wierd little problem started yesterday.

Whether I like it or not, I am just going to have to switch back to my other computer and try to troubleshoot what's ailing IT so I can fix it and get on with my online life. But that may take an unknown amount of time - and time is a precious commodity to me - which is why I've been putting it off for so long in the first place. It appears that I am at a point where I have no more choice in the matter. I don't know how long (if at all, actually) it will mean I'm offline while I go through the tedious process of trying to pinpoint my problems with that system. And all I want to do is crochet!

Today, after noting that I am almost to the end of my first ball of yarn for my shawl, I decided to prepare the second one so it would be ready. I had handwound this one too, but fortunately for me, I got smart and left this one on the tp roll after I finished winding. So rewinding it using my nifty little yarn winder didn't take long at all, once I made a few adjustments and found something to hold the original ball - my stand-up paper towel dispenser. Once I found a way to get the new tp roll to fit snug on the winder's holder, it took less than 10 minutes to rewind that baby into a nice neat cake, ready for working! Beautiful!

So, since I already had the set-up handy, I thought I would rewind the Sunshine laceweight yarn I had wound by hand - except this one, being my first and me being clueless yet, did NOT have the tp roll still in it. Yep, I'd removed it immediately after finishing the winding process. I already knew this one would be a headache, from my previous experience with the current one (that took over 4 hours to rewind, detangling and all), but I'd hoped a few modifications to my technique would simplify it. I had a slender cardboard tube I'd saved from something (can't remember what was on it now - oh yeah, my new bath mat!) and so I tried slipping it through the center of the wound ball, keeping my fingers crossed that I'd actually hit the center through all the strands. So far so good. The tube was just long enough that I could slip it into my paper towel holder where the dowel usually goes, since the tube was too small to fit the dowel into. Got a fresh tp roll and set it up with a paper towel stuck between it and the plastic yarn holder on the winder, as before, for that snug fit, and I was ready to go.

Things started out smoothly enough, and soon I was rolling along at a brisk pace, only having to stop every once in awhile as the yarn got snagged whenever it came close to the bottom of the tube. But then I noticed something...

This hadn't even occurred to me, but the hole the tube was sitting in (where the wooden dowel usually sits) was NOT smooth, and the friction of the yarn against this area as I was winding was causing a LOT of fuzzing on my strands! I was wearing my yarn down! YIKES! So, I stopped and made some more adjustments (got some heavy-duty aluminum to line the hole with). Back to winding I went. I had to stop frequently, though, as the yarn would snag up on itself (including in a few areas where it had fuzzed up pretty badly, even having to cut some of the longer fuzzy pieces off - I sure hope I don't have to frog this project too much, it might be impossible). It looked like I was about halfway through the hank, but I noticed something else: the ball I was winding to didn't seem to be very large, it certainly didn't look like this hank of yarn was going to turn out as large as the last one I'd finished (in less than 10 minutes, remember). And then I noticed something else - despite my attempt to make the tp fit snugly on the plastic tube, it had been shifting, and part of the wound yarn had gone directly on the plastic tube below the tp roll! Shit!

So now I'm trying to UNwind BACK to the original roll, everything I just did! And as I'm doing it, I'm realizing that part of the reason why this ball is looking so much smaller than the previous one is probably because it was winding so tightly. **SIGH** So now, I have to unwind the whole danged thing and start all over again! This has turned into a much more major project than I was willing to deal with at this point, especially since it's going to be awhile before I actually use this yarn!

And I still have the adventure to look forward to of rewinding one #10 and two #3 balls of thread that I also did this to... Oh, and the #10 is already in a hopeless tangle, too. That was the one I'd tried to use for a thread scarf and got a whole 4 rows in before running into THE MESS. I also have three more hanks of the laceweight yarn to wind (thankfully, these are still in their original unwound state. Would be nice to have that swift for them, though.).

I've discovered one thing from all of these experiences: I am lousy at hand-winding yarn! So, even though I'm frustrated as hell, I'm also SUPREMELY grateful to have that yarn winder. At least the yarn for my shawl will remain trouble-free, and as long as I don't get stupid with my crocheting again, I should have a very nice product to wear in a couple of weeks or so, depending on how quickly I can get this done. Computer problems aside, I do intend to find a way to get a picture of my shawl-in-progress posted by tonight - I'm holding out for the absolute latest I can, so I can have an up-to-the-minute version to show. My last pic of it was when it was just a baby that fit across my hand (at 10 completed rows). I am working on row 35 now, the first of a new sequence series (which are 4 rows which add 4 new shells) and it's looking mighty fine! It actually drapes over my shoulders now, and I can reach behind my back and touch the tip. The plan is to have it drape down below my (big) behind, so I have a LOT more rows to go to get it that large, and the rows will be taking longer and longer to complete, naturally. I'm currently up to 15 shells per half on this shawl, and I'm thinking it will take working it to around 30 per side (which works out to 60 more rows) to get it the length I'm envisioning. But who knows, maybe it won't take that many. Doni had stated in her original pattern that the average was around 25 shells per side for a full-length shawl, but it's harder to gauge that with this laceweight yarn. My first Seraphina, which I had decided to make relatively short, is only 11 shells per side, not counting the shell at the tip.

Funny, but just thinking about and writing about my shawl project has done what the deep breathing couldn't - calmed me down! I think I'll go ahead and post this and then go work on it for awhile before I try to tackle all my frustrating problems again, not to mention all the chores that await...

Oh - Becky's scarves have been washed and are now in the process of drying. Hopefully they will be dry enough to package and send out tomorrow. I have been battling the urge to make a third scarf, the reasons for which I will have to keep to myself for now. If I do decide to go ahead and make it, it will have to be sent seperately, as I am NOT holding up this package any longer! If the scarves are dry, it's going tomorrow; if not, then definitely Tuesday. One of them is close, but the other one may take a bit longer, unless I can find a safe way to speed it up.

Okay, off this goes and off I go to crochet awhile!

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