With a little help

Today I kicked off my day with one of my favourite morning activities; breakfast. About every two weeks or so my friend and I make sure to schedule this time together. These dates tend to become little informal therapy sessions and on more than one occasion has helped me to work through everything from personal to professional issues. (A little bacon and banter can be good for the soul.)

I mean life can get hard, and it can feel like an overstimulation of the senses with moments of worry, self-doubt, anxiety or situations when you may feel like you have no control. (I don’t know about you but this can leave me in such a daze that it’s hard to find the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.) Today, as we conversed, I couldn’t help but think about how important it is to have space where one can make mistakes (not be judged too harshly for them) and have someone to remind them that in the end, it’ll be alright. (Particularly in those moments when things don’t work out, or we fuck up. (pardon my French)) I’d like to share a situation that happened, not too long ago, at my local yarn store that helped to remind me of this.

When I buy yarn, that is just too lovely for words; I tend to get a little attached and recently, I bought two skeins of the most beautiful Manos del Uruguay yarn I’d ever seen in my life. (It reminds of sunsets and cotton candy.) Sadly, I don’t have a ball winder or a yarn swift at home, and I’ve spent more than my fair share of time winding yarn by hand. (This can sometimes get frustrating because the skein gets tangled and you’re spending hours undoing knots.) I wasn’t in the mood to revisit another night of frustration (and swearing), so I asked Trish (owner of Yarns on York) if I could come in one day and use her ball winder and she agreed. Finally, I was going to see that beautiful sunset/cotton candy yarn in its cake form. (I should mention that I had limited exposure to the ball winder/yarn swift method before that day.)

Trish was kind enough to help me get the skein on the swift, and I began snipping the knots that bind the skein together. What I didn’t know was that Manos del Uruguay has a history of binding the skeins in weird places and they don’t use a contrasting yarn colour to hold it together.

There I was winding in such glee (ignorance is bliss) which immediately turned into outright confusion as I watched the yarn glide smoothly off the yarn swift and onto the ball winder. (Now you might be saying to yourself, “but that’s what it’s supposed to do.” And you’d be right. Except when I looked up there was a still significant amount of yarn still on the swift itself.) After approaching it hesitantly, I inspected the yarn and realised that I had been a little too eager with my snipping and had snipped right through some of the skein itself. (I almost started crying.) Trish, luckily, saw me and came over to see what was going on.

In hindsight, that day seems so comical, but at the moment I was beyond devastated. I felt so out of control, frustrated (and emotional) and there she was calm as ever. While her demeanor helped to calm me (somewhat) I still couldn’t help feeling like a gigantic idiot. (Mentally, I was very rough on myself.) She, however, informed me that I was not the first person to ever do this, everyone has been there at some point in time, and that it was going to be alright. Now to me, she’s a Jedi master, and I am just a mere padawan, so when she told me not to worry and that it might be salvageable, I started letting myself believe that it might be okay. (And it was! It also made it a little easier to process when I realised I’d just gone through a right of passage on my knitting journey.)

Now I could have easily let myself wallow in my negative feelings, but at that moment her words reminded me that, in life, it’s important (and okay) to permit yourself to make mistakes. And in those moments when you’re feeling like it’s all caving in (and that you may have messed up monstrously) having someone there to tell you it’s all going to be okay can be just the thing you need to pull you out. (Though you still have to be willing to accept the helping hand.)

Yes, I know, I just connected the life experience of feeling overwhelmed by your blunders to winding yarn but hopefully, this story might help you see your situation in a much different light.

As Kendrick Lamar said, “One day at a time, sun gon’ shine.”

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  1. Oh no! I can just imagine your pain!! I am glad Trish was there to help you out and make everything all right again.
    Very stressful when it’s so expensive…but…at the end of the day, it’s only a ball of yarn.


    1. Thanks Barb! I couldn’t believe it actually happened but luckily I had an expert nearby to help me out. I was able to get two cakes out of it and I didn’t lose much yardage so it all worked out 🙂

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