String Theory, Texas-style

Apr 16, 2011

So what made it into the suitcase?

The Moth Wings Shrug, the Cool Wave Shawl, AND the Dahlia Shawl (the Sera Lace Top hopped in the suitcase as an FO).

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.



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Featured Products

Moth Wings Shrug Crochet Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50


Delicate motifs accentuate this simple shrug.


Cool Wave Shawl Crochet Pattern

Availability: In Stock
Price: $5.50


A tunisian lace crochet shawl


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+ Add a comment


on Apr 16, 2011 3:14 PM

Been there done that :)

KarenD@14 wrote
on Apr 16, 2011 5:15 PM

Karen, from NeedleArts in Georgetown trying to contact you but no luck with the hotel

KarenD@14 wrote
on Apr 16, 2011 5:20 PM

Karen, from NeedleArts of Georgetown, trying to contact you but no luck with the hotel staff....if you see this within the hour (it's 6:20 now) and are free, email me at or Indian tonight!

on Aug 25, 2011 10:56 AM

We here at Interweave Crochet are super pleased to announce that we have won the Flamie for Best Crochet

on Jul 9, 2012 1:02 PM

Marcy's crochet resolutions for 2012.