Sunday, June 7, 2009

...the race is not to the swift...

I would have to say that time and chance verily played their role in my recent acquisition of a yarn swift (viz. also, while we're in quote mode,  L. Pasteur, below). It was scarcely ten days ago that an email from drifted into the Inbox, advertising a wooden umbrella-style swift at a surprisingly reasonable price (plus free shipping, the clincher) and I knew the moment had arrived.  

I had wanted one of these babies for years, not just because they alleviate the tedium and messy frustration of hand-winding a skein into a ball, but because the yarn swift fulfills several other requirements essential to the smooth delivery of knitting joy--notably, its ancient lineage (the design hasn't changed since the 17th century, perhaps earlier), its goofily practical mechanics, and by extension, the sense of play it brings to a necessary task.  

It was a long time coming, insofar as yarn swifts are usually big-ticket items, and for years I could never quite bring myself to justify the expenditure when a chair-back or someone's (he knows who he is) outstretched hands could be requisitioned. But finally the time and price were right.  Is my life better now that I've finally acquired this nifty toy?


Because...I was able to assemble the thing on my own (it doesn't come with instructions, implying that what you need to do is obvious, except of course for mechanically-impaired people comme moi.  In the end I had to call Knitpicks, and the voice at the other end said there was a how-to video on the website.  That was the key to my success.); and especially because it winds the skeins into beautiful firm balls of yarn, far nicer than the hand-rolled kind.  (I want to make a bunch and display them in a basket, they're so lovely!)  And in the act of winding, one paradoxically unwinds; the process unfolds at a meditative pace, conducive to serenity.

I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.  Ecclesiastes 9:11.

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