Unwrapping a Treasure

When preparing to wind one of the new skeins into a ball, I encountered something I’ve never seen before.

Manufacturers have various ways of tying the loops of skeined yarn together. Sometimes they use thread or fine yarn. Often they use the yarn ends from the skein itself. This does double duty, keeping the skein together and securing the ends.

But there is always a knot. Sometimes they’re nice enough to make a slip knot, but most just tie a generic knot tightly, which is very hard, sometimes impossible, to untie. I usually spend the effort to untie the knot, sometimes spending ten minutes prying it loose. But I have been defeated occasionally, and had to resort to cutting especially recalcitrant knots.

When I opened the skein of Quebecoise from Schoolhouse Press, I found this:

Unique skein-tying

Unique skein-tying

It is self-tied, using the ends of the yarn and not any added-on string, but THERE IS NO KNOT! It’s wrapped in an extremely clever way so that the loose end is held by the wrapping. It is every bit as secure as an ordinary wrap-with-knot. But all I had to do was find the end, work it loose, and pull. Genius! I wish they would all do this!


“That’s More Like It!” Goes Here

Today, July 12, 2016, I published That’s More Like It!, a post I wrote in May, and saved in draft form in June, but couldn’t publish because I needed to catch up on my postings of the various cable swatches I’ve been doing. As I’ve mentioned before, I am horribly behind in publishing my posts. Every chance I get, I try to catch up, but something always seems to happen to drop another roadblock in my path, like last week, when we lost our internet service for two days, then electric power for another two days.

I don’t knit every day, and even when I am knitting a lot, it often takes several days to finish one cable sampler. But if I posted in real time, I’d never get caught up, so I’ve been trying to publish one post a day. Those swatches have been popping out at a very impressive speed! — When I can keep up with the publishing schedule, that is.

Part of how I’ve been trying to keep up with the schedule is to pre-load some posts as drafts. I’ll spend an afternoon uploading the posts, attaching their photos and links, fixing their formatting, and so on. Then, on the appropriate day, I just hit the <Publish> button and off it goes.

That worked okay until I published the four Cable Swatch posts. Today, I decided I could finally post That’s More Like It!, then in the next few days I can publish two more posts which follow up on That’s More Like It!, and then finish posting the rest of the cable swatches. After that, I should be all caught up on the old posts, and can go back to my once-a-week-or-thereabouts publishing schedule.

But when I hit <Publish> today on That’s More Like It!, WordPress put it in dated June 27. Perhaps that was the day I uploaded & saved the draft, I don’t know. In any case, WP has screwed up the dates of several of my posts. First I had to stop using their Scheduling feature, and now I have to stop using their Drafts feature. Grrr.

So, That’s More Like It! goes here, after the four Cable Swatches. To see more of my tribulations with WordPress, see Curiouser and Curiouser; I wrote (and published!) it on June 28, and then added today’s rant at the bottom of it.

Fourth Cable Swatch

Another swatch of three slightly-more-complex cables. These too were from Lesley Stanfield’s The New Knitting Stitch Library. See previous post (Third Cable Swatch) for my notes on the link for this book.

159-104-101 Stanfield

Three more Stanfield cables





Again, the picture is upside-down, with the cast-off toward the bottom of the picture instead of the top. I didn’t state that in the previous post, but it’s true for that one, too.  This works out for me when I’m designing a top-down garment, but could be strange for people who might want to see what something looks like from the bottom up. (Right-side-up, or the way the swatch was knitted.)


That middle cable, #104, was a strange one. When you look at the chart, you wonder how what you’re seeing will turn into any kind of a cable. Maybe it’s a misprint. But then you knit it, and it does work out. The wonders of knitting never cease.




Third Cable Swatch

Another swatch of three cables, a bit more complex than the previous two. These are from Lesley Stanfield’s The New Knitting Stitch Library (Lark Books, 1992).*


swatch of three cables - Stanfield

Swatch of three cables





*It’s difficult to find a good link to this, since Lark Books was moved from Asheville, NC to NYC by its parent, Sterling Publishing Co., in 2014, effectively killing it.

Since Barnes & Noble is the umbrella owner of Sterling, I tried to find a link through them; but, just like Amazon’s link, it’s a brief description of the book and no copies are available. (FWIW, the picture of the book’s cover on the Amazon page – today, at least – is the one I have.)

The best link I found was to AbeBooks, where there are several used copies available from independent booksellers, at a variety of prices. I like shopping at Abe. YMMV.


Wheels of Glory

I have now swatched two of the skeins I got from Schoolhouse Press.

Wheels of Glory

Wheels of Glory — yarn is wound and ready to knit

They are strong and tough, just what I’d envisioned. But somewhere in the middle of my swatching, I came to my senses a bit.

I’ve already bought two full sweaters’-worth of yarn. I really should stop this never-ending quest for The Perfect Yarn and just get on with it. If the Wool of the Andes sweater turns out too light, then I’ll have a nice indoor sweater. In the meantime, with all this dithering about yarn, I’m not making any progress, and will have to wear the craft-fair sweater again next year.

I’ll make the current sweater in WOTA, make my next one in Cestari Bulky, and then after that, I’ll make something nice with something from Schoolhouse Press. And maybe I’ll finally get around to making things with my odd-lot stash, as well.

Schoolhouse Press swatches

Sheepswool 2-ply & 3-ply; same needle size on both

Cable Swatch

Just a small swatch of four small cables.

Small swatch

Small swatch


Cables are from Barbara G. Walker’s A Treasury of Knitting Patterns.


Four-Stitch Cable Crossed Every Fourth Row (p. 241)

Simple Slipped Cable, Left Twist (p. 108)

Simple Slipped Cable, Right Twist (p. 109)

Little Plait Cable (p. 245)

(Picture is upside-down.)