I bought a beautiful skein of natural gray 100% Jacob yarn from the A Verb For Keeping Warm booth at Stitches this weekend, and went to wind it today. I undid what seemed like a multitude of little ties holding the skein together, and then...nothing. I couldn't find the ends. I ran the skein through my hands, teasing apart the sheepy strands, but the ends eluded me completely. Finally, I decided that I would have to bite the bullet, so I put the skein on the swift and snipped a strand at random. As I tugged at the strand to pull it through the bobbin of the ball winder, I noticed a little knot about 18 inches further up the strand.
Hm. So...had the person who skeined this yarn tied the ends together? And had I, by merest chance, happened to cut an end of my own within spitting distance of the real end? Or was this just a knotty skein? I'd have to wind it to be sure.
So I wound, and wound, and wound. No other ends. No other knots. I finally gave the last turn to the ballwinder and watched the swift slowly dance to a halt. By dumb luck, I managed to cut the yarn right next to the end I'd been searching for. It's a very small miracle; miniscule, in the scheme of things. But I'll take it.