Tag Archives: lys

The Incredibly Heartbreaking Story of How I Came By My First Skein of Malabrigo


Has there every been a time in your life that you really, truly wished there were hidden cameras recording the moment for posterity? Well on January 29th such a day happened to me at my new Local Yarn Store. I want to share with you the story as close to verbatim as I can, because the incredible oddness of it was blessedly unique.

~Setting the Stage~

I was sitting at a long table at the front of the shop. I had come in for a bar of Lo-lo to Go (which was 75% off) but remained lingering – throughly content to fondle the yarn and work on my pattern.

A woman comes in through the back entrance with a cake of (yummy) yarn in her hand. The weather is crummy, we are actually just a few hours from getting 10.5″ of more snow and she was obviously in a hurry. Here is the conversations that ensued. 

  • Woman: I would like to return this please. I don’t have the tags but I remember what it is and I should be in your system.
  • Clerk: I am so sorry but we cannot accept returns on yarn that has been caked.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk:  I wish that there was something I could do but there is no way to inventory it.
  • Woman: ….
  • Clerk: If you’d like I can suggest a pattern for you to…
  • Woman: I only buy one project worth of yarn at a time and I decided not to do a project with sock yarn. I am going to use worsted yarn, so I cannot use this.
  • Clerk: (makes desperate eye contact with yours truly) I am sure that we can modify the pattern you are doing so you can use sock yarn. Let me have a look, Rachel – what do you think.
  • Me: I love modifying things!

I walk over to the checkout counter and the strap on my purse breaks, spilling the contents of my purse all over the floor. I laugh but the woman is looking at me strangely, strangely enough that it actually makes  me nervous. The clerk is pulling up the pattern on Ravelry when the woman turns her full attention to me….

  • Woman: What’s your name?
  • Me: Rachel, what’s yo….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a stash?
  • Me: Um, yes I d…(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you knit with sock yarn?
  • Me: Yes. (I have temporarily given up on more than one word answers)
  • Woman: Do you like this yarn?
  • Me: Yes, it’s lovel….(cut off)
  • Woman: Do you have a project that could use this yarn to the best of it’s abilities?
  • Me: Um…
  • Woman: A pattern. Do you have one planned?
  • Me: Yes.
  • Woman: What is it?
  • Me: The Hogwarts Express Shawl
  • Woman: And who is it by?
  • Me: Susan Ashcroft.
  • Woman: When did you buy the pattern?
  • Me: I didn’t. It was a gift for my birthday from a very dear f….(cut off).
  • Woman: When was your birthday?
  • Me: December 27th…? (at this point I wasn’t sure)
  • Woman: Let me see your queue.

At this point the store clerk is staring at me with open mouth amazement. She hands me her iPad and I pull up my queue. There was the message from my gifter and the pattern.

  • Woman: Here you are. (She’s handing me the freaking cake)
  • Me: I cannot just take this, at least let me buy your worsted yarn (I didn’t have the money for this, but I was flummoxed and I did owe her one).
  • Woman: Do I look poor to you?
  • Me: Uhhh…No. (she didn’t – but then neither do I)
  • Woman: I can afford my own yarn thank you. Here are the specifications on the yarn (she pulls a scrap of paper out of her purse). Just do me a favor.
  • Me: Uhh….anything!
  • Woman: Let this be your next finished project. Go home and cast it on, and use it. I hate languishing yarn.
  • Me: Okay…

At this point she turns back to the befuddled store clerk and lists, which such precise clarity the yarn brand/weight/name/quantity that she needs. The clerk all but runs away to go get the items the woman asked for, leaving me alone with the woman. I was planning on thanking her again and giving her my Ravelry name so she could see the FO when she said….

  • Woman: My daughter was on Xanax.

I am confused, then I realize that when my purse spilled open my own anti-anxiety medication bottle fell out of my purse – she must have seen it.

  • Woman: She committed suicide several years ago when she quit taking her medicine. She lost her job and lost interest in everything she did – I didn’t notice.
  • Me: I am so sorry….
  • Woman: Can you do me one more favor?
  • Me: Anything.
  • Woman: Tell the people you love to pay attention if you cannot list, on the spot, something you are passionate about. To pay attention if you quit doing something you so obviously love. Tell them to pay attention.
  • Me: I promise.

Friends and neighbors, thank you for letting me share this story.

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Time to Start Fresh


Holy crap I almost blog-faded! I could make loads of excuses (and more than less likely will do just that :)) but as my dear Lottie from Lottie Knits would say “it’s time to get off my bum.” Oh! Also, it’s snowing – which greatly improves my mood!

Knitting Weather!

Knitting Weather!

So, for anyone that is still reading this languishing blog, here is what has been going on the past few weeks to contribute to my blog-neglect (see? excuses already!)

– The Excuses –

  • No Dragon Speak Software – My NaNoWriMo gal has been plugging along so well with her novel that I told her just to keep it till it goes on sale on Black Friday.
  • My Mom retired – Yea! 
  • I had an order for 43 ruffle scarves – this brings my year total to….wait for it….319.
  • I have gotten a boat load of questions from hospital workers since it snowed, and now have a nice little influx of non-ruffle knitting.
  • 4 baby showers.
  • 2 weddings.
  • My father-in-law has changed Alzheimer’s medication and is being treated for skin cancer 😦
  • My LYS asked me not to come in because they were afraid my hand would scare off new knitters.

– The LYS Experience –

Before I retell this story, if you follow me on Instagram you’ve already heard it, feel free to skip ahead (there’s a picture!). Also, I am going to keep this as short as possible – mainly because dredging it up makes me über cranky.

So back around the time I last posted my LYS owner called me to tell me knitting was canceled. No big deal. The week after that I called the shop to see if we were meeting that night and had the oddest reaction from a gal I’ve known for years. She told me _______ would call me back. About 20 minutes later ________ called me back and asked me not to come to knitting that night; they were having a meet-and-greet for new potential knitters (in a younger crowd than our knitting group (even though I am 28)) and she didn’t want my hand to scare them off.

My reaction was to go get on Instagram and connect with knitters who, in my mind, would be able to be objective because they’ve never seen my hand.

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I. Was. Heartbroken.

The support from knitter’s on Instagram was so overwhelmingly awesome that I should have just snapped out of it. So what? I don’t have an LYS anymore…..

Nope, not going to work.

Instead of feeling the love from the  99.9% of  knitter’s who are freaking amazing, I ran down the rabbit hole of knitting all the time to prove that I could do it. This is a fun mixture of stubbornness, OCD,  and my very own Panic Monster. I have been eating, sleeping and knitting….and not a whole lot else. I have kept all my social obligations and haven’t become a hermit yet but saying I got a little obsessive would be putting it….lightly.

– The Fresh Start –

So here I am friends and neighbors, ready to get back to what makes me happy. I love writing and I love reading your blogs. Both of these things have been severely neglected. So there will be some catching up to do (lots of catching up to do) so please be patient. I am slowly going to try to work the comments and questions that I’ve received – especially regarding patterns – but it may take a little longer than normal.

Also, I follow loads of you on Facebook – I haven’t “liked” or commented on your blogs because my Facebook account and my WordPress account aren’t linked – but I have been reading your work. Rob’s Surf Report and A Tangled Yarn are just two that I read every single time they post. The Knitterly Hook-er is one of my favs to follow on Instagram. If you want to follow me on either of these sites click → FACEBOOK LINK ← or → INSTAGRAM LINK ←. Both of these sites get updated daily because I can use one hand to upload and type.

– SPOILERS!! –

Stick with me and I promise I will try to give you something awesome to read or stare at – as awesome as I can make it! Here is a itty-bitty preview of what I’ve got up my sleeve:

This took three and a half hours to type friends and neighbors, every minute both cathartic and totally renewing. I can’t wait to catch up, happy Tuesday!

October 9th – 20th Yarn Photo a Day Contest


Let’s see if I can get back into the blogging groove, starting with loads of photos should help! Okay, here we go!

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So here we have day nine, socks! I finally casted on my second sock, um, almost four months later *sigh*. Spoiler Alert: there may be a post on this later this week. 😉

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Day 10 was themed around morning. I was at my Mom’s house, drinking blond coffee and staring lovingly at knitting that needed finished. Still healing that day so there was no knitting, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t look….longingly.

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Day 11 was circles, and boy howdy does this chart have circles in it! It is a small section of a chart I am working on right now (not all of it, I swear). I am still pretty intimidated by charts – this one is growing on me though.

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A was for Abundance! This is a snap of my LYS after they had actually stocked everything, seems my timing was impeccable. There is something so magical about a fully stocked yarn store – so wonderful, so fluffy, so full of yarny possibilities! Goofy? Yup, but I’m embracing it!

 

13

 

Day 13 led me to sharing my secret weapon – my yarn/needle chart. I carry a laminated copy of this (OCD has some perks) in my wallet and pull it out when I am second-guessing myself. It is a very handy little thing to keep with any knitter.

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Day 14 was a sign that my not-so-secret knitting needed a rest. This is the compression glove that I use on my arthritic hand. These are Thermoskin Arthritic Gloves and can be found on Amazon, which is pretty amazing because they are amazing! They keep my hands warm, pull the swelling out of my hands and have a nice grippy texture. Excellent little investment.

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Just so you know, I know my knitted pumpkin isn’t really edible…but it still looks delicious!

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So the knitted part of day sixteen’s key challenge was actually my keychain. It was bought off of Etsy – forgive me, I have no idea what Etsy store it was – for Christmas last year. I will try to find the seller of this amazing key chain because I am really rough on my keys and my keychain is still in pristine shape.

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For my imperfect photo I chose the hot mess that was me trying to use a ball winder without a swift or chair. The yarn danced merrily around my laundry room until the giant knot from Hades appeared. Four hours later I learned my lesson.

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These babies are of course my Addi-Click lace interchangeable needles. My thoughtful hubby got them for me and they have changed the way that I knit. They are AH-mazing!

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Day 20 featured the antique ball holder (gesh, why does all knitting terminology sound so dirty? ;)). It is made of iron and hangs proudly in my laundry/office/knitting Mecca room.

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That’s it for knitting pictures this week, I hope you enjoyed them as much as I loved taking them!

One more thing – I was wondering if any knitters/spinners/crocheters/readers have seen any events that are starting in NOVEMBER! I have had so much fun doing this little side challenge that I am chomping on the bit for something to do in DECEMBER!

Friends and neighbors, any suggestions are really appreciated!