Thursday, July 24, 2008

Reuse, Recycle, Reclaim

Look at me, blogging 3 days this week. This post is brought to you by Sonic and the Secret Rings--the new Wii game that is keeping my boys totally and utterly captivated this morning, thus enabling me to complete a coherent thought.

I learned a new trick this week--reclaiming yarn. A few years ago I knit a couple of sweaters. One for me and one for Mike. Neither sweater fit. At all. On mine, the sleeves were too short and the bottom flared out in this weird way. I wore it a couple of times and then decided that it was just a little too handmade for me. On Mike's, it was just bad. Bad. He was so happy to wear it, but I couldn't take it. It was painful to see him wear it and watch how the back was noticeably shorter than the front and how the entire thing was too short for his body. I forced him to give it back to me and I ripped the whole thing out.

I began a different sweater, with the same yarn, for Mike and then it all got shoved aside for a long long time. This week I somehow got it in my head to wind all my yarn that needs winding, put everything neatly in ziplocks, and take apart my unwearable sweater. I'm not sure why I thought I had hours and hours to devote to this, but that is indeed what I did. I painstakingly ripped the whole thing out, wound each pile of yarn around a chair back, tied it all up, and washed it to get all the crinkles out. I love Google.

It totally worked. I soaked the yarn in cool water for about 45 minutes and it fluffed back up. It is now hanging all over my laundry room and as soon as it's good and dry I will wind it and bag it while I look for the perfect pattern for it. Naturally I have no idea what the yarn is. I didn't save any ball bands and it's unlike anything we sell at the shop. It's at least an aran weight, has kind of an undefined fuzzy quality to it, and is a beautiful charcoal gray with little nubby flecks in it. I don't think I'll make another sweater, but I have my eye on a couple of vests that are pretty darn cute. I searched for aran weight vests in Ravelry and found pages and pages of possibilities.

After taking that sweater class at the shop I'd like to think I learned a thing or two about sweater construction and pattern reading. As in, the worsted weight Cascade 220 that I have for Mike's 2nd go-around is not going to work for the DK weight pattern I chose for it years ago. So, back to the drawing board for the 3rd time. But again I turned to Ravelry, searched for Cascade 220 pullovers and found some of the most beautiful aran style sweaters... I now have Alice Starmore's book on hold at the library.

I'm feel quite smug about my new knowledge and the bags of usable, beautiful yarn I have just waiting for me. Mike walked in the door last night, found me draped in yarn in the living room, found tubs of yarn soaking in the kitchen, and sighed and shook his head as he walked into the office. After a while he finally found the words to ask "why? why are you doing this?" My answer? "Because I can".

1 comment:

Wilde Thyme Knits said...

Good for you! I'm totally impressed by resourcefulness and you're so right to say that you do it....because you can!!! Well done!