Vacation. Knitting. Vacation knitting?

I went on a little getaway last weekend. I’m at the point in my design projects where I can’t take them anywhere because they involve a lot of swatching and note taking, as well as ripping and re-knitting. Not a good travel companion. I was trapped in a “what to knit” conundrum. I finally decided it would be easier to knit someone else’s design so I wouldn’t have to think, and I’d be able to converse with my friends. I chose Annis, and the lovely red Luxe B silk/merino yarn from Alpha B. But after five days away, here’s what I have to show for it.


Not much, huh? I guess that means I had a good time. I’ll tell you all about it in the next post. My question here is, why does the top of my yarn cake look like this instead of the nice criss-crossy way it looks near the bottom? I’m still new to this ball-winder thing, but it’s got me puzzled. It still pulls from the center, but it’s not aesthetically perfect.


I misread the pattern, and thought there were 18 repeats of the lace, so I brought 20 stitch markers. These don’t actually exist; they were a prototype but Lantern Moon doesn’t carry them. I just got lucky one day in the office. But there are 29 repeats of the 18 stitch lace pattern, so I had to resort to this.


Cut up bits of a straw that should have been in a mai tai! They work pretty well, except that the straw was black, and so are my ebony knitting needles. I’m home again, so I’m back to blue. And here’s my dilemma: Vacation is over, and I have design work that needs to get done. Do I even believe that I’ll get back to Annis anytime soon? Should I leave it on the needles, or let the lovely yarn go back to dreaming in its yarn ball state, in case it wants to be something else by the time I get back to it? What would you do?

12 responses to “Vacation. Knitting. Vacation knitting?

  1. What I would do is tuck it in a drawer and forget about it….or perhaps on the shelf above my desk. But what should YOU do?

  2. There are going to be times that you just want to knit and don’t want to think, which is what you have to do when designing! Keep it on the needles and pick it up every so often. It’s a lovely little shawl. I recently knit it with MadTosh Light and I LOVE it!

  3. That color is gorgeous! I love the idea of using a cut up mai tai straw for a stitch marker – genius 🙂

  4. I agree with Beverly. Even at home, you must have the occasional time when you want to knit but don’t want to have to think too hard about it.

  5. I’d let it stay for a little while. You might need some “mindless” knitting when out with friends.

    I’ve done the straw thing — works pretty well in a pinch.

    As for the yarncake … I don’t know. Mine does the same thing. So frustrating. I want to pull from a PRETTY yarn cake.

  6. With the ball winder, I put my finger lightly under the yarn just before the guide/keyhole where the yarn thread through…its job is to insure there is just the right amount of tension while winding. Make sure the ball winder is level to the yarn on your swift (you are using a swift, right?) or whatever you are placing the hank of yarn on.

    As for Annis, it will be handy when you go to your group knitting…when you have some mindless TV watching, audio book reading, a break from designing…free time you didn’t plan to have. My mantra: Just one row at a time…one more row…soon you’ll have a gorgeous Red Annis…it would be so festive to wrap on your neck/shoulder during the holiday months, wouldn’t it?

  7. You don’t have any WIPs hanging around for certain occasions? I have knitting group knitting, TV knitting, church knitting, track meet knitting, and quiet time before bed knitting. And real knitting knitting. Hey – this would make a good blog post…

  8. Lovely red, but I’m all about the reds lately. What a lovely wrap for the holidays. 😉

    Like Handstitch said, its about the tension from the swift to the ball winder. You’ll get a slightly wonky looking ball if its not getting enough tension or if its an erratic amount of tension.

  9. I’m going to be the sole dissenting vote here and say frog it. I’m all for having a WIP or two on hand, but when you have barely begun a project and already considering frogging it then I believe the writing is on the wall. I would put it back into the stash and wait for inspiration.

  10. My cakes usually do that too. They come off the winder criss-cross pretty all the way up, but then settle in that way after a bit of use and travel.

    On an unrelated note — saw your picture & pattern featured in the new Knit Picks catalog today. Very cool, congratulations!

  11. Love the color of that yarn! Vacation knitting is a double edged sword – if you’ve done a lot, it seems you didn’t have a great vacation. If you’ve done a little you have no knitting done! I usually think I’m going to knit a pair of socks per week and only do one sock in two weeks.

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