Two Sticks And Some String !

This is me, an opinionated, politically progressive Canadian Lace Knitter who's lived and worked in western Canada, and on the east coast of the USA; a multi-skilled person who's been recently re-elected to public office, has a Class One driver's license, a human services professional in direct service, middle and senior management positions, and a MOM!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Skein Sadists

Fifty-three grams of handspun silk have converted me to a die-hard skein-hater.

I, in my infinite wisdom and experience, have decided that anyone who sells yarn and thread in skeins really hates the knitters who will be using the stuff.

Oh, by the way, the correct pronunciation of skein is "sk - ay - n". I've attended a Friday-night knitting group where it's called "skeen", and folks, that simply isn't correct!

I am currently doing a stash inventory, and have spent WAY too much time untangling skeins of matted silk and wool. Substantial amounts of expletives have helped relieve the stress and tension of the

Now there are the purists who may claim that there is actually a good reason for selling thread/yarn in skeins, and if any of you
think you have one of those good reasons, please leave a comment so I can trash those reasons publicly.


Addendum: Ahhh ... the skeins make it "nice for selling". Skeins suck for knitting. No matter how wonderful the stuff looks when skeined, ya can't knit from the buggers, so give me a centre-pull ball! Sellers who INSIST on selling their wares in skeins can advertise it skeined, but SELL it in centre-pull balls!

Heck, I'd even pay a buck a ball more to have it already wound!

The customer is always right. ;-)


Non-Knitting Content ;-)

Why do I have a picture of Robert Picardo here? Last month, while in Vancouver, I was making a right-hand turn off West Georgia onto Howe Street, and who was walking down the sidewalk but the (nameless) doctor from Star Trek Voyager. If you go to his website, you'll see that he is a person of conscience, and involved in many good things, including Habitat for Humanity.

And this handsome young man is my son. This picture was taken on the Caribbean Island of St. Thomas. My mother and her partner were vacationing on St. .Thomas, and the Princess Cruiselines ship on which my son was working, stopped at St. Thomas every Thursday. So Eric found his way to my mother's villa, they were overjoyed to see each other (Eric having a touch of homesickness, as he was posted on the Caribbean Princess for six months, and seeing my mother was about the fourth month into his stint), and she made him "just about the best sandwich I've ever had". Apparently, the food prepared for the crew on the cruiselines leaves much to be desired, so the sandwich was a big hit with Eric.

And this is the same handsome young man who will be marrying his high school sweetheart this summer. The entire family is very happy, and, as my future daughter-in-law's mother toasted on Christmas Day, "Here's to new family traditions".

This is their engagement picture. What a beautiful couple they make!

Ok, back to untangling those skeins (SKAYNS) of thread.

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  • At Mon. Apr. 14, 05:49:00 p.m. PDT, Blogger Ursa said…

    i am one who makes Skeins for my selling. while i do agree they can be a pain, they look nice for selling. i am guessing this is why much yarn is sold this way. having a swift and ball winder is very handy for taking care of this problem (did you know i have them now?)

    the niece

  • At Mon. Apr. 14, 06:14:00 p.m. PDT, Blogger Rosemarie Buchanan said…

    Darling Niece! It matters not how great they look for selling when the buyer has to deal with winding the damned things!

    I, too, have a swift and a winder, but knitting life would be so much better if ALL knitting yarns were neatly wound into centre-pull balls!


  • At Mon. Apr. 14, 07:30:00 p.m. PDT, Blogger Ursa said…

    sadly i don't think you'll be able to convince many yarn sellers about your preference... :-)

  • At Tue. May 06, 04:17:00 p.m. PDT, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Thanks for clarifying the pronunciation of skein! I suspected all along it was sk-ay-ne, since the old spelling addage goes "I before e, except after c, or if used as a long a" Thus Sk-ay-ne! I got confused when Friday people kept saying skeen, and I thought maybe I was wrong!
    I hate the skeins too, although they do look nice, winding is so inconvenient. Maybe it helps lower manufacturing costs for the producer to not wind it into center pulls? Anyways, I am pretty sure you can request your skeins are wound at the shop you buy them at after purchase(this way if knotty disaster strikes it's their fault & not yours!)

  • At Wed. Jul. 30, 06:55:00 a.m. PDT, Blogger Karen said…

    Hi! Just stumbled across your blog. I have been spending considerable time winding skeins lately. I have to say that on the whole I agree with you. The only reason I can see for leaving the yarn in a hank is that if the yarn is variegated/hand dyed it can be hard to really get an idea of what the yarn is like once it is wound into a center pull "cake" on a ball winder. If you have seen any of the long color repeat yarns, such as Kauni or Noro, wound into balls, sometimes they look like entirely different colourways, depending on which color landed on the outside.

    I have to admit, however, that I think I only wound one hank of laceweight by hand before I found a way to get myself a swift and a ball winder!


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