This year I decided to make something. The girl whose name I had picked out of the bag as my giftee is a seamstress and always produces fabulous Secret Santa gifts, so the pressure was on. I've been playing around with a technique for making 'contoured' colour changes with intarsia, by using increases and decreases either side of a colour change. I decided to make a cowl, and my design for the Secret Santa gift uses this 'contoured' intarsia technique, involves 18 small skeins of yarn, and the intarsia is done in the round, so I always knew it would be a challenge. I ploughed ahead anyway, approximated how much yarn I would need for each colour block, and ended up knitting with this distressing tangle:
I know you can get 'yarn holders', but I didn't have any, and not being keen on buying eighteen of them I searched the kitchen for things that I could use instead. I decided on cups, as they are reasonably heavy so will stay in place, plus I have plenty of them, so there would be no need to empty a mug of yarn just to get my morning cuppa. My intarsia tray ended up looking like this:
Even with nearly-zero levels of yarn tangling, I still have to make a positive effort to relax into an intarsia mindset, and accept that it's a messy business until it's all over and the ends are sewn in. Maybe there's a metaphor for life in there somewhere - it's muddy and a bit out of control, but learn to live with the chaos and it's all worthwhile in the end.