Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Adventures in reclaiming yarn

So, it's spring break which means I don't have to rush home after work to go get the boys from school. I decided to use that "leisure time" to go to a thrift store and look for sweaters to unravel for yarn.

I hit a great deal - 3 sweaters for $1. So I bought 6. I bought another one at the other thrift store for $2.50. Beautiful yarn, not so beautiful sweaters.

I came home and threw them in the washer. Now Mr. Gaia swore to me that there was no hot water hooked to the washer, so maybe I wasn't as careful as I should have been (okay, I wasn't at all). I threw all the sweaters in together along with some kitchen towels. I pushed the button to make it a cold cycle. Then I decided "you know what, these sweaters have been in thrift stores and who knows where else, why don't I use this stain cycle?" and then didn't notice that that changed the temp setting from cold to hot. Sigh. And one sweater was red. Yeah, the white cashmere and cotton sweaters? Are now pink. The kitchen towels? Also pink. No hot water hooked up my ass. Oh well, the kitchen towels actually look better pink (hides the stains) and now I have an excuse to dye the other sweaters and the pink is actually kind of a nice color (if I decide not to dye).

So then I decide to take a sweater apart and frog it. I bought it because it was only 33 cents (I wanted an even 6 to make the math easier and had found 4 I really liked) and it is 70% silk, 14% rayon, 11% alpaca and 5% cashmere. I didn't pay attention to the fact that it was something like 40 stitches to the inch (that may be an exaggeration, but it's tiny). Yeah, I start getting it apart and this isn't even thread weight yarn. And it breaks every few yards. But it is gorgeous. I guess this will be my excuse to learn to ply on a drop spindle.

The good thing I did, though, was I figured out that my barstools make a perfect swift when turned upside down. The legs are straight and I can just spin it around to wrap the yarn. Of course, at the rate I'm going, it will take about 3 weeks just to frog this sweater.

Otherwise, I'm plowing away at studying for my certified arborist exam. I applied for my test date on April 18. The application scared me a little, my experience is so old and they didn't give enough room to list both colleges I attended, so I could only show 2 years of school.


Tanya Brown said...

This is cool - sounds like you're doing great stuff.

I recycled some velvet dresses found at a thrift store into a crazy quilt, but reclaiming the yarn is a good idea. Your use of the bar stool is especially clever.

KCB said...

I salute your ingenuity! The barstool idea is great.

My own adventures in yarn recycling were tangly, I hoe you have better luck with yours!