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This may get me kicked off Team Knitting.

And I'm sorry.

I've tried to stuff this part of me down inside for more than ten years, and I just... I just can't do it anymore.

I hate center pull balls.

Hate them.

Hate them a lot.

Really hate them.



A lot.

I have owned many winders over the years, from the cheapest plastic one to this number here, the Cadillac of ball winders.

If you love center pull balls, this is a good one to have. It is well constructed, runs smoothly, and will last a lifetime.

Actually, it will last me 12 lifetimes, because I never use it.

I never use it because I hate center pull balls.

They always, 100% of the time, end up tangled. Each and every time. Tangled. Always.

You know exactly what I'm talking about. You're knitting along, and then suddenly, your center pull ball throws up.

This never happens with outer pull balls of yarn.

The yarn around the edge never falls off the outside of the cake.

You never lose the little wick sticking out of the center, forcing you to fish around trying to find it, which probably contributes to the yarn vomit problem above.

What, pray tell, is so bad about this?

This kind of ball takes a few minutes more to create by hand. But guess what? So does whatever I'm knitting.

I'm not knitting because it's cheaper and easier. It's cheaper and easier to buy pre-assembled sweaters at Target.

Yes, these balls roll around a little. So I keep them in my knitting bag. Or I don't jerk them around with brute force.

I pull gently, and the yarn doesn't get motion sickness and throw up.

So. There's my confession.

I hate center pull yarn balls.

Can we still be friends?

P.S. They also stretch out your yarn. If you insist on using these abominations, wind them immediately before you begin your project, and don't store the yarn for long periods in the center pull ball. The tension the ball winder puts on the yarn can throw off your gauge.



Things I would tell my 12 year old self

1. You will not always have to take the city bus to knitting classes.

Someday you will have your very own minivan outfitted with many, many carseats and mostly empty expensive cups of take out coffee.

2. You will not always have to knit with dusty blue cotton rope.

Someday yarn will feel wonderful, and will make you happy just to look at it.

3. Just go with your love of turquoise, teal, emerald, aqua, spruce, and all other shades of blue-green.

You can't fight this feeling anymore.

Just to clarify, that is not a picture of me when I was 12.

THIS is me when I was 12.

Sporting a teal jumpsuit that fit me for precisely one day before I outgrew it.

4. Holes should only be on purpose.

No, you can't fix it once the sweater is all done.

5. Someday yarn will be your chosen profession.

On second thought, I would not share that particular fact.

Too much fun stuff happened before The Yarnista was born.

What things would you tell your 12 year old self?


the parka of ridiculousness

This post brought to you by the temperature -25F.

Make no mistake: this parka is ridiculous.

Every time I put it on, people laugh at me.

No lie.

Let us enumerate the ways in which its ridiculousness abounds.

1. The hood. I have never seen a more extraordinary -- and I do mean that in a bad way -- hood.

It's enormous. I could fit an entire conehead in it. 

It's shaped badly.

It has a strange Teletubby antenna on top.

2. The sleeves. They are too short. Not only do they look ridiculous, they leave my poor wrists exposed to the -25F temperatures.

3. The shape. It makes me look like a giant fuchsia Teletubby marshmallow. As if I'm not naturally smooshy enough.

4. The color. I normally love bright fuchsia, but as I say in my workshops, color is all about context.

In the context of a marshmallow-shaped, too-short-in-the-sleeves, extraordinarily-bad-hood parka, it adds to the level of ridiculousness.

Why didn't I return this, you ask?

I'll tell you. It was on clearance.

Why keep it around at all, you ask?

It's the warmest coat I've ever owned. Rated to -40. Filled with down.

I only bust this bad boy out when it's truly so freezing my life is in danger. Last year, that was not at all.

Today, school was closed because of the cold.

That almost never happens.

Darn you, Parka of Ridiculousness.

I hate you.

Why do you have to be so warm?


365 days of life

Have you ever done a 365 project, taking one or more pictures a day for a year?

I started one two weeks ago.

These are pics from a talk I gave at a local fiber guild meeting.

These are crazy ice fisherpeople out on Lake Superior.

This is Mrs. Baby at the new studio.

I'd love to have you check out my project. Leave a comment or two, and come back to say hello!

Yarnista's 365 project!


tote bags? tote bags?

It's tote bag time -- who's in?

Here's what they'll look like:

They have several important features: a slightly longer strap length so it fits over your shoulder. Several exterior pockets for water bottles, keys, and pens. And a zip top to keep dirt, pets, and kids out and the knitting in. I can't tell you how many tote bags I own without a zipper, and I find it quite annoying when my lovely yarn dumps out onto the dirty, wet car floor. Zippers are a must.

This is a pre-order for tote bags. If you order one, they'll be ready in about two weeks, and we'll send it out to you as soon as they arrive. We are only planning on ordering the quantity we need, so if you don't pre-order, chances are good we won't have leftovers.

Bags are $29 with free shipping inside the US and Canada, and $35 elsewhere in the world. They'll be available for preorder through January 13th.

Questions? Let us know!

Thanks, everyone! The tote bag sale has ended!

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