They say neccessity is the mother of invention. Allow me to introduce you to my magical mystery un-plying machine:
You can build your own! All you'll need is:
- one microphone stand
- one long cardboard tube
- one able-bodied set of hands
- the patience of a saint
Allow me to explain the need for such a contraption:
I recently got a great deal on some cashmere yarn at School Products. I had been looking for a yarn to substitute for the mohair used in this pattern from Vogue (Fall 2006):
I love the look of mohair, but considering my skin is so sensitive even band-aids give me a rash - the thought of an itchy mohair sweater was far from appealing. While in the yarn store, I casually asked if they had a yarn that looked like mohair, but wasn't mohair (much to the amusement of the staff - I think they thought I was trying to tell a riddle). They steered me to a big 'ole ball of fuzzy stuff that indeed looked like mohair, but ooh! Wait! It was brushed cashmere! Bulk, discounted cashmere. Check and mate!
I had originally thought to knit the sweater in a totally different colour. (Orange? I can't wear orange! Red-heads don't DO orange!) But the model was rocking the orange and she was red-headed and pasty just like me. (Please refrain from reminding me that she is a Vogue model, and therefore capable of pulling off just about anything). So orange it is. Besides, I've decided it's not actually orange per se. It's rust. Copper. Ummm...yam.
I just had one problem. Though the yarn was a perfect weight to substitute for mohair, the store had wound it triple to sell as a worsted weight. I guess they thought no one would want something so fine and fuzzy . (They obviously had not taken into account me and my needs). I had three options: 1) Leave the discount cashmere at the store (Yeah, right!) 2) Buy 3 times the yarn and fiddle with the guage, (Not only would that involve one of my least favourite pastimes; solving mathematical equations, but this was the only ball the store hand) or 3) Separate the plys.
I did a little research and asked some opinions. The general concensus? I was bat-shit crazy to consider un-plying over 400 yards of yarn! Not only that, but there didn't seem to be any easy way to do it other than getting 3 pairs of hands winding away at the same time. Sarah kindly offered to help me unwind it at our S 'n' B, but I conveniently forgot to bring it with me. (Sure, I could have waited until the next one, but enh? That would have been sensible!) I only live with one other person, and the last time he tried to "help" me with something yarn related it ended in near disaster (I secretly think he sabotaged the operation to avoid becoming my human ball-winder). I was short a set of hands and though the cats expressed interest, eight paws does not a hand make.
Thus, the birth of my 'un-plying' machine. It was awkward, temperamental, and slow, but now I have this:
1411 yards of Italian Cashmere. For $27.36. Wheee!