I .:heart:. Recycled Sweaters

**This was originally a post to the Crochet Partners list**

I have read the great tutorial on recycling sweater yarn posted a while back (; I have unravelled more than a few yards of yarn in countless types of projects. But I still didn't think it completely through before I started my quest for recycled yarn.

Here are a few tips for anyone else that has in the back of their head to look for sweaters to "recycle", in addition to the tips on that site, and others like it:

(1) Look at the pattern. The simpler the better. Those "Bill Cosby"-esq sweaters jump out because they have great colors in combinations you might not have put together, and you can easily see what an awesome felted purse they could become. But beware the headache they will add to unravelling. You could just snip the color flecks and pull them out, or unravel them for a little (little!) bit of accent color. Either way, much more fuss than the plain colored parts of a sweater.

(2) Don't wear clothes (or sit on couches) that are highly lint receptive. You're going to get fuzzies. And if you are unravelling a fuchsia sweater, they will be fuchsia fuzzies. And if your pants (or couch) aren't fuchsia, they soon will be. Have a working lint brush at arm's reach, too.

(3) This is no place for (small) children. You may be able to crochet while watching your 14 month old (or cat) frolic and play, but the temptation of freshly unravelled yarn is too much for the little ones, and you might as well knot the yarn yourself with all of the resulting tangles. Pattern flecks have nothing on this knewe-high headache of unravelling.

(4) Unravelling is unravelling. You know how "not fun" (or near impossible) it is to frog an eyelash scarf or chenille square? Boucle and chenille sweaters are hard, too. And you should definitely look back at hint #2, because you think you knew shedding before???

(5) Seam rippers are good for ripping seams. Ok, Ok, I know it seemsobvious, but every site I looked at had people cutting seams with scissors. A 97 cent seam ripper is a pick and a concentrated cutter all in one. It is your friend.

(6) Pilling is bad on your new afghan, but spells doom on unravelling. Especially when there are color changes, this works just like cement to hold that sweater together despiteall your best unravelling.

That being said, I now have hundreds of yards of beautiful wool/acrylic blend freshly unraveled, awaiting an unkinking wash and to be made into a beautiful felted purse (and who knows what else). Hopefully I can get a picture of my "new" stash.

posted by Unknown on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 @ 6:16 PM


A Dilemma

So back in... September? October? ... I entered my first "speedy crochet" contest at the State Fair of Virginia. They call it the Nimble Fingers contest. And I won! It was a very exhilarating time.
That's me in the middle... check out the honkin' ribbon! -->

At this point I do want to put in a plug for Kathy's yarn shop - Holly Spring Homespun. Beautiful, gorgeous yarns from all ranges; natural fiber and supplies for spinning; a must stop for serious fiber artists going through Powhatan, Virginia. And if not, you can still look online, drool, and even order.
(Disclaimer: prior to the contest, I had never even heard of this shop. I get no kickback. Seriously.)

They were the sponsor of the Nimble Fingers Crochet and Knitting contests. As such, my prize as winner was (in addition to the blue ribbon that dwarfs all of my other ribbons) a $25 gift certificate to the store (in the State Fair world of premiums where $4 is a top prize, that's big. Huge.)

Here's my dilemma... what do I buy? My husband suggested a pattern book, which I could write in the cover how I won the contest to buy it, which is a great idea, but... she doesn't really carry my style of crochet pattern books. If you want a knitting pattern, I believe it's there, but crochet, not so much.
One of the delicious yarns I'm eyeing from Holly Spring Homespun -->

That doesn't mean this shop is any less than 100% hospitable to, appreciative to or otherwise amenable to crocheters. Quite frankly, I fully understand why a LYS wouldn't want to carry national books. This is an LYS, not Micheal's.
But what to do with my prize? I'm just starting garment crochet. As in... I started a raglan sweater last night for my daughter. I would love to make a delicious shrug or sumptuous wrap, but I don't have a pattern or the means to buy more than my $25 prize worth of yarn (but hopefully I will before too long... check out Trading Addictions, where crocheters are using crochet as a means and a reward for weight loss (or cessation of smoking)).
<--Another yarn I'm considering.

So what would you do? What should I do? Wait and see if I can win another gift certificate in this year's contest? Or lose 30 lbs. and get another 30 ounces?

posted by Unknown on Monday, January 09, 2006 @ 1:42 PM


My First Dishcloth

My first dishcloth is finished! I joined the Dishcloth Exchange at Crochet, and worked this up for my first assignment and first ever dishcloth.

I used Peaches N' Cream 100% worsted weight cotton (about 1-1/2 ounces) and an H-hook.

This pattern, called Frilly Dishcloth (though it lays mostly flat), was submitted to the Crochet Partners email list, and I thought it quite lovely.

I've got a few other things off the hook I want to share, but they won't fit on my scanner bed! The dishcloth doesn't really, but almost does.


posted by Unknown on Friday, January 06, 2006 @ 6:23 PM