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On Finding the Zen in Untangling Yarn

Updated: Aug 12, 2022

Would you believe me if I told you that untangling yarn could be meditative?

No? Yeah, I wouldn't believe me either.

But bear with me a minute here.

When I was teaching crochet classes at Yarn Matters in Williamsburg, VA, I found myself untangling students' yarn occasionally while they worked and we talked, pausing to help them as needed. I discovered something then. Untangling my own yarn? Infuriating and a waste of time. Untangling my student's yarn? A helpful service! And remarkably less stressful.

I recently came home from a weekend away with the fam to find that my cat got bored while we were away for a whole 48 hours and decided to entertain himself with some of my yarn, which included tangling it up around the base of a chair so that I was forced to sit in the dining room floor for far longer than my back cared anything at all about until I managed to untangle it enough to unloop it from around the chair.

I considered cutting my losses and tossing the whole mess, but, stubbornly, I persisted.

Barely more than a week later, I came home from walking to the school bus stop to find that the beast had dug out a hidden cake of yarn from under a bag on my nightstand that had literally been hiding there for months and he just happened to decide, for whatever reason, that that day was the day to F*** with me.

I've been pretty busy lately. Planning lots of new things. Starting a new Facebook group to help grow and nurture the sort of community that I've been missing so much lately. (Thanks Army for making us move so much. And yes, thanks, COVID, too.) Working on magazine submissions and new designs and online classes and still trying to make time to paint and keep up with the housework (more or less) and oh, you know, keep my family fed and other such mundanities.

Maybe it's the Universe telling me to slow the F down. Maybe it's the Big Snooze lumbering in and trying to tell me I'm too big for my britches. Maybe it's my inner critic self-sabotaging my real life in the middle of a time when I don't really have the extra time for spending hours untangling yarn on the floor because I agreed to take on more responsibility and make commitments that I had no business doing.

Hogwash. Well, maybe not the Universe telling me to slow down. That one I believe. Because the truth is I was getting caught up in the rush of things and I needed to sit down in the floor and just breathe for a few moments.

Okay, so it took more like an hour to untangle that second mess of yarn. And I may or may not have still not finished untangling the first one from after the trip out of town...

But this time? This time I gave my cat a good cursing. Took a deep breath. And then I sat down and got to work.

My advice?

Take that big deep breath. Being stressed will only make it harder. It takes a ge