1. I read a book when I was in junior high or so, called The Endless Steppe. It's an autobiographical story taking place in WWII-era Russia, and among other things to help her family get by, the girl in the book learns to knit. She finds discarded items of clothing, unravels them, and makes sweaters and things to order from the yarn thus acquired. I don't think I'd thought of that book since I learned to knit, but I now have a whole new admiration for her.
2, Is yarn like photocopy paper? You know how it has a right side up and a wrong side up for when you put it in the drawer, but the naked eye can't tell the two apart, and if you take the paper out of the wrapper with the arrows without paying attention, you're toast? One of my little red mice was way twistier and more obnoxious than the others, and I wonder if somehow I wound (and therefore, used) that one wrong end first. Is such a thing possible?