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Monday, June 20, 2011

A Good Yarn Winners Announced!

Everyone who works with yarn has a story and some area stitchers shared theirs in the annual Stitch 'n Bitch contest.

Winners of the 2011

Good Yarn Competition

First Place Winning "Yarn"

by Joyce Truitt

It was during World War II. I was in high school. Yarn was scarce. My piano teacher taught me how to knit using cotton cord. I knit 4"x18" strips that were used for bandages of casualties.

Many years later, I belonged to the Spinners and Weavers Guild in Texas. There, because of the summer heat, we did most of our past time in air conditioning.

Most memorable was a demonstration we did at a folk fair called "Sheep to Shawl". A line of angora sheep were sheared. The wool was combed, rolled into thick cords called rolags, spun, and woven.

My grandsons had a dog, Max, whose coat was long and white. He was sheared in the summer. I was able to spin it into yarn making it into scarves. I could imagine, on a cold day, they might pull the scarves up around their necks remembering the snuggling they used to do with their pal, Max.

I think I've done it all: spin, weave, knit, crochet and sewing. I've enjoyed creating and designing of afghans, stoles, argyle socks, and sweaters using many different sizes, yarns, and needles.

Currently I am knitting stocking caps for the newborn.

Second Place Winning "Yarn"

Paula Holz

My tale begins at the Janesville Farmer’s Market one fine October morning. A woman approached our SnB booth seeking help with a crocheted afghan she was trying to make for a gift. She was having problems with dropping stitches and was so frustrated that she stated that she would pay someone $50.00 to make it for her. I told her that I wouldn’t do it for $50.00, but would do it for $100.00. She agreed, so I took on the job. After dealing with some problems about getting all the yarn from her, I began working on the project. Immediately I ran into problems with dropping stitches. I tore out row after row, trying find the problem with the count. I looked for an errata for the pattern, and worked out the math for each row trying to locate the problem. Finding no solution, I decided that I would simply have to count every row. I don’t think I will ever forget that count—231 stitches. Things were finally moving along nicely until I counted the skeins of yarn I had left. It was apparent that I was short by 4-5 skeins. I called the woman to tell her and suggested that we go to a local store that carried the yarn to get more. When we got there, they were out of that color. We decided to put in solid colored stripes and picked out some yarn. Before we left, I happened to find a clerk and asked about the color we had needed. She said that it was one of their most popular colors and usually sold out as soon as they got a shipment in. They were expecting a shipment the next day, so she wrote down my phone number and the amount of yarn I needed. She would be working the next day and promised to put the needed yarn aside for me, and to call me as soon as she had it unpacked the shipment. I waited most of the next day for a call from the store. At 4:45pm, I decided to call the store, in hopes of finding out about the yarn. When I called, I was connected to the same clerk. She was overjoyed that I had called. She had put the yarn aside for me and but had lost the slip with my phone number. After picking up the yarn (which was already almost completely sold out), I continued to work on the afghan. It was now mid-November and it needed to be done for Christmas. It was the only project I was working on, so I didn’t see any problem with getting it done on time until the woman called and asked if I could possibly have it done by the first week of December. She was leaving for Texas on the 4th and wanted to take it with her. As it was cutting 3 weeks off of my work time, I told her it would not be done until closer to Christmas. She agreed to pay for shipping, but insisted that it could only be shipped by UPS from a downtown hardware store. I continued to work like a maniac on the afghan (231 stitches over and over and…) and had finally reached the border when I got a call from the woman. She was leaving the week before Christmas to another city in Texas and needed the afghan to arrive before she left. This cut my time a bit short but I was sure I could finish and get it shipped to her. I worked 12-15 hours a day to finish it. As there were smokers in our apartment, I needed to wash the afghan before I shipped it. My roommate and I took it to the laundry mat and I carefully washed and dried it according to the washing instructions on the yarn label. As we were folding the afghan, I noticed a stray strand of yarn and mentioned that I’d need to trim it. My roommate looked at the afghan and then said “WHAT ABOUT THAT BIG HOLE?” To my horror, I saw a 2” wide hole in the center of the afghan. I had a serious emotional meltdown in the laundry mat, carefully folded the afghan and went home, trying to figure out how I was going to repair the hole. I had a sleepless night, filled with tears and prayers to the Gods for help. In the morning, I carefully laid out the afghan to assess the damage. Apparently, the yarn had a weak spot and had simply broken. I said a few prayers and started to repair the damage. By the time I was finished, the repair was so invisible that I couldn’t find. I said my thank you’s to deity and boxed it up for shipment. I wanted to make sure that the package would arrive on time, so I called the hardware store. They told me that it would not arrive until after the holidays. I decided to try the post office. They were the same price as UPS and they said they couldn’t guarantee that it would get to Texas in 3 days. It was the only shot I had of getting it there in any sort of timely manner, so off it went to the USPS. I breathed a sigh of relief and went home to call the woman and let her know that her package was on it’s way. She called after the holidays to thank me. It had arrived in time and she was thrilled with it, as was the recipient of the gift. I’ll NEVER do this again!!!!!!


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