I have a skein of very recalcitrant yarn. It's so bad I've decided it really does not want to be made into anything. In a way, that's fine - the colours are beautiful those of a beautiful sunrise in summer. I'd gladly sit and look at it if I had somewhere to display it.
I've had this yarn for some years. The ball band was discarded on my first attempt to wind it. All I can tell from the wraps per inch test is that it's fingering, which I had guessed anyway.
Some years ago I set out to wind it and was thwarted by the tangle it was in. So I put it aside. A week ago I found it again and thought it would be just right for a cowl I had in mind. So I started to wind it. What a mess, tangles, knots and even knots in the length of the yarn itself. Not cut ends and joins, just knots which had to be prised apart and loosened before I could continue with the main tangle. Not only was it tangled, but it was sticky yarn to undo, catching on other threads like mohair.
I spent some hours on it before setting it aside in disgust. The next day I was called up the coast to mind grandchildren while my son was in hospital in the emergency room. He's better now, although real cause was just a guess, backed up by good reaction to drugs prescribed. I took the yarn, thinking I might finish it. Miss Ten saw it and really wanted to try. She's very bright and intelligent but has a short attention span, so I let her have a go. I thought she would not last long at it. She persevered for an hour and it was finally done.
Through the week I cast on for the cowl. It's a very simple pattern from a stitch dictionary. Six rows with inverted "Vs" every few stitches. Then another six with the next lot of eyelets offset to the first. I could do it with my eyes shut. Wrong. Even with eyes open, I managed to make a mistake somehow and one set of eyelets was in the wrong place all across the row. This was halfway up the cowl.
I ripped back to before the mistake. The yarn was sticky and didn't want to be ripped back. It was quite difficult to see just where to pick things up so I did not make the same mistake again. I finally frogged the lot. The yarn has been returned to the stash although I loved the colours and the combination of that and the pattern I had chosen.
On a more positive note... I'm meeting a fellow Raveller from Sydney today. She needs another skein of Ailsa's (Knitabulous) Tokyo Rose yarn to complete a project. From photos, mine looks like a match for her yarn. So we are meeting in a very dangerous place, Morris & Sons. Fortunately I'm not in dire need of anything so hope to resist temptation. If my yarn is good for her, we'll do a trade. It's very hard to tell from photos. Red is hard to capture the right colour and monitors make a difference too.