Have you ever looked at those old-fashioned pictures of one person holding a skein of yarn and another winding a ball of wool and wondered "why?"
Or looked at those strange mechanical wool-winding apparatus for sale on EBay and wondered "who would buy this?"
Well I have now discovered the answers to these questions. I purchased the above skein of yarn, a glorious blend of merino wool and New Zealand possum fur (don't scream; in New Zealand possums are pests destroying the native flora and fauna, and have to be culled, so it is good to know their lovely coats are being put to a positive use rather than just rotting in the ground) off eBay. It came in one very long skein that simply had to be wound into a ball so I could use it.
"Shouldn't be too hard," I thought (first mistake) as I slipped the skein around my neck (second mistake) and began to wind a ball.
At first it was easy. Then the yarn began to tangle. I tugged it (third mistake) and nearly strangled myself.
I could just see the news headlines. "Woman strangled to death by own knitting. Trans-Tasman Trade Dispute. Australia blames New Zealand for exporting dangerous goods. New Zealand claims it cannot be responsible for Australian stupidity."
I took the yarn off my neck and tried to work the tangles free. But it was too late. The damage had been done. And a 15 minute job stretched to 3 hours last night as I painstakingly worked the yarn through every twist and tangle, determined not to cut it.
By 10pm I had a beautiful ball of yarn. And was too tired to start knitting.
But tomorrow is a brand new day. The yarn is destined to be a hat for my husband; a belated birthday present (yes, for the middle of Australia's summer).
It's too late to start knitting tonight. I've spent the whole evening looking at wool winders on EBay.
And as can be seen here, I actually started getting some knitting done today. This photo does not do this yarn justice; it's far less 'yellow' in real life.