She seeketh wool and flax and worketh willingly with her hands. --Proverbs 31:13


Recycling sweaters...

If you check the inside of a sweater, you can tell if it has been cut from a big peice of knitted material and the edges serged to keep it from unraveling, or if it was first knit as peices and then sewn together. If it was knit as peices, it is a candidate for unraveling. My other requirement is that it be made from natural fibers, although I probably wouldn't unravel a cotton sweater. I just don't like knitting with cotton that much.

So, I found four sweaters: the one I felted and three others...

The "picture" sweater was knit from two strands of shetland wool yarn held together. You can't see it in this picture, but it has blue and red and other fibers blended together in the dark yarn. So far, I have unraveled both sleeves. Just from the sleeves I got 80 yards of double stranded white, and 240 yards of the dark. This sweater is very slow going because before it can be unraveled, you have to pick out all the embroidery that was done on top of the knitting. I probably will not be unraveling the front, which has so much embroidery I would probably lose my mind trying to get it all off. Plans right now are to cut it into a square, back it with blue jean material, and make a holiday pillow out of the front and to unravel the back.

The cream colored yarn on the right is a combination of 55% silk, 33% nylon, 10%angora and 3% lambswool. It is absolutely the softest yarn! It has a lovely nubbly texture, the angora halo, and I am pretty sure if I decide to dye it, it will take dye beautifully. I have no idea how many yards I have, but I got over 200 yards on the first sleeve alone. I think this is what I am going to knit that smoke ring that I have been wanting to knit out of.

The red yarn has no sweater with it because I completely unraveled it on Wednesday night. It was just a plain knit pullover sweater, made from lambswool and angora. I got roughly 110 yards from each sleeve, and I forget how much from the back and front, I'll have to check later. This is probably going to be over dyed, the red is a little much for me. All in all, a good haul for sweaters that cost me 2 dollars each. It was really a lot of fun to "unknit" something for a change.

In other news, I finished the fronts for the aran cardigan last night!! Yeah! Then, after laying out the fronts, I discovered that I had made a huge mistake. I shaped the wrong sides of the fronts, so the cables were not going to meet up at the shoulders. For a moment, I debated cutting up the whole sweater into teeny tiny peices of fluff. Then I decided that instead, I will just knit saddles for the top of each arm, and hopefully the break at the top of the arm will trick the eye into not noticing the mistake. I am just too sick of this sweater to consider ripping the fronts back and starting again. Besides, I've always wanted to knit a sweater with saddles at the top of the shoulder, it'll be fun, right?

After receiving the latest issure of SpinOff in the mail, I had to drag out the knitting machine and try my hand at knitting up blanks and dyeing them. Let me tell you, it is much easier to dye a knitted blank than to wind yarn into a huge skein and then dye it for self striping yarn. I was really pleased with the colors in this, but I need a much bigger workspace to really get into this. A large peice of foam insulation would be great, I think. Anyway, I am planning on doing more of this in the future, in better colors, and hope to have some for sale, as soon as the programmer extroidenaire finishes her website or I figure out Etsy, whichever comes first, LOL.


Shelley said...

I've never done the "unravel sweaters" for the yarn at the bottom of the page, I love those colours!

Wool Winder said...

I need to visit my thrift shop, though I won't hold my breath at finding anything to unravel. Wool is not a popular fiber in our warm climate. It's a great way to get some nice yarn for a good price though.