String Theory, Texas-style
So what made it into the suitcase?
Just before I left, I decided to change up the yarn for the Dahlia Shawl—I wasn't loving the way the color-change lace was playing out. So I rummaged through my stash and came up with some lovely pink Zephyr, a wool/silk blend. There was just one glitch: Long ago, I was working on a project with this yarn that called for doubling the yarn, so I wound two plies together into a big yarn muffin. Very efficient—at the time. But for the Dahlia, I need a single strand of the yarn. What to do?
Shove it in the suitcase and figure it out later.
On my second day in Texas, I headed to San Antonio to visit with Linda Permann. While at her LYS, Yarnivore, I pulled out my double-strand yarn muffin and said, "Hey, Linda, what do you think is the best way to turn this into two balls of yarn?" She eyeballed it warily. Then, even though it was her birthday, she agreed to help out.
In theory, the task seemed simple enough: turn one big double-stranded yarn ball into two single-strand balls.
In practice, we had to wrangle a whole lot of pent-up twist in the yarn. Our initial attempts were fumbly at best. I daresay that when we set out on the venture, neither of us figured that we would actually get to the end of the task that afternoon.
But then, it became something of a challenge. And eventually, we hit upon a method that worked.
We stirred up a complex cocktail of the laws of physics and mathematics, involving triangulation, angular velocity, tension calculation and a time-space-continuum warp. We employed two yarn bras to embrace the evolving balls of yarn while we released the twist in a method that looked something like the retro Clackers toy, except the balls wound around each other rather than smacking each other.
Call it our version of string theory.
Over the course of an hour, three LYS employees alternated winding a ball between teaching lessons, fetching yarns, and ringing up customers. Customers were alternately amused and bemused—hard to tell which emotion was stronger for the customers who had to do the limbo to get out of the store (did I mention that we had this whole enterprise set up right at the front of the store?)
And, finally, we had two balls of yarn.
I regret to say that there are no photos or videos.
I (heart) Yarnivore.
When you get a chance, stop by your own LYS to thank the folks there for the many ways they make it easier for you to get to the important business of crocheting.