July 7, 2010 - 10:41pm -- swingbug

Picture two intelligent women holding, between the two of them, a skein of yarn, loosened from it twist. Each woman gingerly holds half the skein, the threads looped delicately over the back of fingers held wide apart, with swift and ball-winder at the ready. A half dozen threads join two women.

“This should totally work,” one says.

“You do the honors,” says the other, passing over a pair of scissors.

One snip.

In the three hours following, while I untangled 436 yards of sock yarn, I could see all kinds of (pardon the expression) loopholes in our logic. What is shown below is the well-intentioned, if not precisely well thought-out, plan to create two balls of equal size.


What you see above is enterprise. Daring. Bravery. Sure it was a failure, but sometimes you have to grab a pair of scissors and go boldly forth.

What you see above is also a 100% merino sock-weight from A Verb for Keeping Warm in colorway Mum’s the Word. It’s about to become Cookie A’s Eunice socks, which I will call Cherry Wine socks, because it took a glass and a half to get me through the last of the tangles.

There has been a lot of untangling lately. I walked into work yesterday – at the beginning of the week which was not a Monday, which makes it a Monday<sup>2</sup> if you ask me – to a heavy workload that only got heavier as the morning progressed. I had my hand in so many different projects that I was soon caught at a stand-still in the file directory not knowing which way to turn. It took me about 12 hours, but I got that messy skein under control too, and by lunchtime today I had it wound up neat and tidy.

Knitting is not unlike life.

Not all the knots have gone astray lately. This week, in predictable Sac Valley summer heat, I finished up my celtic knot sweater. I think it came out quite well, fitting both my specifications and taste, and it was my first knit sweater. So huzzuh for knots where they’re supposed to be and not where they’re not.

And speaking of weaving tangled webs, we’ve got literary knots too. My three-year-old son developed a pretty severe fear of spiders a few months back when a deceased daddy-long-legs was found in close proximity to him in the bathtub. To solve this problem, I went to the library, hoping for books about how cool and necessary spiders are in our ecology. Turns out most books about spiders are aimed at 9-year-olds and are all mandibles and poison glands.

Not helpful.

I then dug through my own collection and pulled out my own battered and well-loved copy of Charlotte’s Web, with my second- of third-grade penmanship scrawled across the inside cover.

I’m proud to say that my plan has worked well. Luke now actively scopes out spiders in the yard, pulling me by the hand and leading me on to this web or that big spider that eats bugs just like Charlotte. He’s grown quite fond of Charlotte. Quite fond. And now the end of the book is approaching.

I’ll later be revising this passage in my upcoming book “101 Ways to Emotionally Scar your Small Child.” I’ll keep you apprised of book signing events and so forth.

In the midst of all these tangled paths, I’m also trying to get a Crow edition out the door and get the family ready to leave for an annual retreat on Sunday, with a few other projects on the side. I’m sure I’ll get it all done.


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Submitted by ania on

Laughing too hard to find a clever comment to make.

Ah well. We'll know better next time, eh ?

I will not laugh at your two equal skeins! Note for the future, though, I have a postal scale which I gladly lend out...Love your solution for the child and spider situation. I wish I had been so clever when my little fellow was young.
Lovely sweater! Miss you and Ania....can we plan a knit time when we might see y'all?

Submitted by swingbug on

Oh, I have a scale. We had all manner of scientific instruments working towards our demise here.

Submitted by Chezza on

You know, if you dig up an earthworm and put him on a piece of paper , you can hear it? All of it's little hairs that help it move it along in the dirt scratch the paper - at least so I've been told.

Just thought I would add a random comment and some cool thing about worms in case Luke ever has an issue with them. :-)