Knotty Yarn Holiday Contest Winners

About the contest

There I was with my newly spun yarn. I was already disappointed with the end product, but I figured after I got my yarn ‘pancake’ that everything would look better and be just fine. So, I put the yarn on the swift and I was winding on about as fast as greased lightning. I kept my eye on the yarn ball winder when suddenly the yarn snagged – or so I thought.

Turns out, my yarn fell off the swift and gathered around the ankles of said swift. Just like a homeless man with his pants around his ankles. It took me hours to unravel this mess.

Since I didn’t like the yarn anyway, I made a Multnomah Shawl with it and gave it to someone I knew I’d never see again. She loved it




My story involves some very beautiful ribbon yarn, some family and friends and a very tangled mess.

My Mom and I found some beautiful ribbon yarn at a yarn show to make scarves for Christmas gifts for a couple of special friends.  We each chose our colors and after receiving some sage advice as to winding the yarn into a ball we went on our merry way.  A few weeks later, we had a family get-together and Mom and I decided it would be a good time to wind the yarn.  We figured it wouldn't take us long, so decided to start with her yarn and wind it before dinner.  About 5 minutes later we had spaghetti (and I don't mean dinner).  It was more tangled than either of us would have ever believed could have been possible.  We put it aside for dinner and then got back to it after.  It took myself, my Mom, my daughter and one of my daughter's friends the next 3 hours to get that one skein of yarn into a ball.  My Mom made a scarf with it and actually ordered another skein from the store.  She tried to wind that one on her own and, I believe, it is still a tangled heap on her floor.  My skein of yarn remains as it was purchased, waiting for me to gather the courage to wind it.  I guess I'll be on my own - I can't convince anyone to help me!!




One evening I got about halfway through winding up a hank of yarn and decided I wanted to sleep more than I wanted to finish. I left the hank draped on a chair back with the ball on the seat and awoke to my precious son saying "look mom, I maked it a yarnball." I tried hard not to yell, scream or have snakes erupt as hair from my scalp in response. I HATE un-knotting I will clean up vomit first hate it.

I made a call to my good friend who is one of those sick loves-to-untangle-yarn types. She is so into unknotting that she is part of the group on ravelry that (for no charge) will untangle yarn for those of us who want to jump of a bridge at the thought of the task. She had rescued me before when I was 2/3 through a lace weight silk project where my ball-winder pull skein had turned to 'cuss barf' I knew for her it was only a beginners task. My son's life was in the balance. He played tractors while she fixed the yarn....and we all lived happily ever after.

The yarn later became part of a pinkerton shawl to celebrate sunlight and was sent to a dear friend who is living for the first year in Alaskan darkness as the sun disappears for the year.

May other knitters find their place in the knot-unknot spectrum and keep the species alive!





This is what I came home to after I went to town for just a short time! He met me at the door, all tangled up, as you can see in the picture. He looks at me as if to say. "Help me, Mommy......... I was only trying to help, honest! Please don't be mad at me." It was hard to not laugh as I untangled him. He's such a big goof, and we love him to pieces. I was still able to use the yarn to make a beautiful pair of Norwegian mittens.

After he did this another time, I hid all my knitting and shut the doors to the other rooms. I was able to save the yarn, too, which I was determined to do as it was expensive yarn!




Imagine working on a shawl as a commemoration of your recently passed dog.  Each yarn was picked with care, reminding you of some aspect of your beloved pet; the softness of her fur, or the color of her coat in the sunshine.  When not working on the project, you lock it away in a plastic bin for safe keeping.

Next imagine a 4 month old puppy you are fostering, hoping any day he’ll be on his way to a new home.  As puppies go, this one was no worse behaved than any others, maybe even better than some.  However he was still a puppy. 

Now image coming home one day to find the bin containing your special work-in-progress shawl chewed open and every yarn strung all about the house, the shawl in tatters and the exhausted puppy fast asleep right in the middle of it, looking like the angel that he most certainly was not.

After the expected yelling and tears, I have to admit there was some laughter as well.  What a show it must have been to see this little demon tearing around the house with first one yarn, then another.  I had to start all over with the shawl and some of the yarn I never could untangle, so it didn’t turn out quite as I first imagined but then seldom does anything in life.  And the devil dog did find his forever home, right here with me.




My knotty yarn story occurred on a previous Christmas.  I was trying to knit a pair of socks for my hubby's sister-in-law.  So, as usual, I was behind on my "Christmas knitting" and so I was knitting somewhat feverishly on everything.  When I got to these purple socks, the last of my Christmas projects, I figured I was now on easy street.  I knit socks very easily---I make up my own patterns--and so I figured I had no more worries.

Little did I know that my cat, Leonard, had been enviously gazing at the two balls of yarn I was using for the socks---and making his plans.....
All of a sudden he jumped forward, grabbing one of the balls of yarn in his mouth.  He took off running, yarn in mouth, dragging not only the ball of yarn but jerking my half-knitted sock out of my hands as well!  The nerve!

I ended up chasing that mischievous cat through every room of the house---around table legs, up over coffee tables, under a bed, up and down some stairs, etc.  And I could
tell by the look on his face that he was enjoying every bit of the chase.
Finally, my hubby grabbed him as he tried to blow by.  Sadly I gazed at my salvaged project.  My knitting ball was totally chewed up and wet with cat spit and my knitting project was sans one needle.  Sigh....   (Since then, I have held tight vigilance when knitting socks if Leonard's around.....)

But I did complete my socks as evidenced by the photo







There is not a fine yarn shop near my home and I look forward when I travel, which is frequently, to visiting any that I find and to attending knitting shows and expos. Last February I attended the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival and came home with a stash of wonderful yarns. One of the things I purchased was yarn to make a silk and mohair entrelac stole (Schulana Kid Seta).  There were 2 colors that required only one skein of yarn.  While I was knitting, one of these two balls of yarn slipped out of my bag and my one year old Weimaraner, Stormy found it before I missed it. As usual when she finds a treasure she slipped away to a more secluded area to "inspect". About 3 minutes later I went to see what she was up to. She had chewed a chunk out of the ball, not large but...

After carefully unwinding what was still in one piece of this very fine yarn throughout my house then backtracking my steps and making into a ball, I  started sorting the assorted lengths that were left.  I made a second ball joining the longer lengths and then made a little hank with the shorted lengths hoping they would not be required to complete my project.

Luckily the remaining project went together nicely and my nightmare of having to piece together my 3 inch pieces never happened.

I'm still knitting whenever I can and Stormy is usually not far away. One big difference is that when she slips away I'm a lot quicker in going after her.  Attached is a photo of Stormy wearing my finished project.




I've had some pretty knotty knitting stories, but this one is worth sharing! 

I had decided to knit a pair of socks in Seahawks team colors for a good friend. Because it was for his birthday, and I was crunched for time, I was spending virtually all my spare time trying to finish them.  Well, apparently this had my 8 month old puppy feeling neglected, and she had noticed that the socks were taking all my attention...  I came home from work one day to find that she had ransacked my knitting bag, pulled out the socks, and thoroughly destroyed the bamboo knitting needles that the socks 'had' been cast on!  What remained of the socks was such a jumble - she had even severed the yarn in several places.  It took me a really long time to get it all sorted out! 

I wish I had taken a picture of the mess she made - as well as the guilty look on her face when I found her! But I'm attaching the finished socks - you would never know the adventures they have seen!





I purchased a skein a self-striping watermelon sock yarn on Etsy that I absolutely fell in love with to make myself my first pair of socks. I picked a basic pattern and begin knitting. After getting the ribbing and a few rows done, I found myself thinking it would look really cool with a solid green rib, toe and heel. Since it was going along rather well, though, I decided to squash that idea.

When I got past the heel, however, I realized I had not cast on enough stitches for my rather large feet and was going to have to start over. I looked around for a matching green in commercial sock yarns and could not find one. The seller I purchased the watermelon yarn from began offering solid colors to match and I ordered one, only to be disappointed when it arrived and was not even remotely close to the same color. Having recently been taught to dye by a friend of mine and having an understanding of color theory from my graphic design background, I decided to dye my own.

With much tinkering and multiple dye baths, I finally got a hue that I think would look pretty good once it's knit up. Despite my best efforts to keep the hank from tangling with all the handling, I ended up with a snarled mess. With the cooler weather upon us, I'm hoping for a snowy day where I can curl up with a cup of hot cocoa and a good movie to tame this blob of yarn and finally get back to knitting. I'd really like to have my first socks under my belt!



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