Yarn Barf or a Story in Patience and Appreciation

Usually what you find here on the HBHW website is very hands-on, practical advice. This post is going to be a little different. It’s a little more philosophical and personal, but I think you’re going to enjoy it.

I promised to share a little more about my passion for yarn, knitting and spinning with you and while there’ll be plenty of “how to” type posts on that in the future, I thought I’d start by sharing an experience with you that I had this past Sunday and how it has taught me to look differently at what I’m doing and what’s going on around me.

If you have ever worked with yarn in any shape or form, you know that yarn tangles easily. If you get a whole bunch of it tangled up, it’s referred to as “yarn barf”. I’ve dealt with my share of tangled yarn over the years, but this past Saturday I encountered the worst case yet. We were getting ready to watch College Football and I like to knit during the games. I had 10 minutes before kick-off and thought I’d wind up some yarn to start on my Christmas knitting.

The skein wouldn’t wind up and this happened:

Tangled Yarn

That’s 470 yards of tangled mess. I just had it sit it down and look at it for a minute to figure out what I would do. The yarn is too pretty and soft to just toss it out (but to be honest, I considered that for a split second). After taking a deep breath, it dawned on me that I had two choices. I could get mad and upset about this, blame it on the person who dyed and skeined this yarn, or at myself for not opening it up correctly and messing it up. To be honest, I don’t know if it was something I did or if the skein was doomed from the moment it got to my house.

So choice one was to be mad and upset about the whole thing. My other choice was to take it in stride and see this as an opportunity to play with this pretty yarn even longer. The ballgame was kicking off and I decided to just sit there and untangle yarn instead of knitting with it. And I chose to enjoy it. I payed attention to the color progressions and the feel of the yarn and worked through the mess and slowly but surely wound a pretty ball of yarn.

Yarn Getting Untangled

It took much longer than I expected to untangle. I thought I’d spend one half of the game sitting on the couch untangling yarn, and the second half knitting.  It took the whole game and then some. I didn’t get a chance to knit at all on Saturday, but that was ok.

My husband kept looking at me like I was crazy. And he couldn’t believe that I wasn’t getting upset, mad and just gave up. I was having a surprisingly good time. And it was all in my attitude and how I chose to react. It also gave me a lot of time to think about how I chose to react and feel impacts all sorts of other things in my life.

I’m not a fan of doing dishes and usually approach the chore with threat (no pun intended). But that’s my choice. Now I chose to look at it as part of the process of feeding my family. I focus on the fun of listening to some good music, or having a conversation with my daughter while she’s drying the dishes. There is something enjoyable to be found in just about anything we do. My day spent untangling yarn was a great exercise in focusing in on that.

As an added bonus, I got to start my Sunday morning knitting with the pretty yarn and of course coffee.

Knitting with The Pretty Yarn

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