Sunday, July 26, 2009

The yarn bug...I has it.

I was clicking through the Internets a few days ago, as I usually do when there's things that need to be cleaned, cooked, crocheted and knitted, and found a post on Craftster of littlemissmuffet showing off and selling yarn she had unraveled from a sweater. (HERE) I read her blog post, and messaged her with some questions I have, because everyone may know about my excessive stash, but no one knows about the other stashes I have. OK, maybe Momma mochaxlight...and Mr. mochaxlight...but that's not the point. (Like the zipper stash? I think I have over 100!) I have...had, rather, an enormous sweater and a few little balls thrown in a plastic bag in my craft closet. I bought this a long time ago, over a year, with all the plans to unravel it. I was stuck, however, on the proper way to unzip the seams and was stuck with three little balls, and a sleeve that was taken off. Littlemissmuffet sent me to My Virtual Sanity's exquisite tutorial on upcycling sweaters for yarn. That was Tuesday, and here it is Sunday and my yarn...all 31 hanks of it (gasp! I know.) are drying on a rack. This was one of the most arduous projects I have encountered. First, the sweater was HUGE. The tag says a size 22/24. I'm not sure if that's a European size (you know in Europe, my size 7 feet are like 34? Yeah.) or what, but it took a long time to unravel because (a) I had a set of cluster migraines and it hurt to open my eyes, (b) I needed to know the yardage (I'll come back to that later), (c) because of my passion for scissors and just cutting, I would rip out a row or two and that would be it and (d) I have problems with yarn tangling. Thank God for Momma mochaxlight's expertise with the unknotting and my cat's playing with the yarn. (As I pull it, they'd have their paws pressing on the yarn, so I'd have to tug and somehow that made the knots come out. Not sure how. What clever kitties!)

The toughest part was cutting the seams and figuring out the yardage. The seams were crocheted (good seams!) but the front of the sweater had this weird ribbing and there were two rows of ribbing around the entire sweater. After I read and re-read My Virtual Sanity's blog post, I was okay. I could kick myself for not discovering it and the Ravelry group Thrifty Knitters when I first began, because now I have 31 skeins, instead of maybe four. But next time (and there will SO TOTALLY be a next time) I'll know better.

I'm also a tad OCD. (if you're my friend on Facebook, you'll see I took a quiz and am 100% OCD. Just because I always color coordinate my M&Ms, am a tad bit of a perfectionist and hate when my food touches doesn't mean I'm OCD.) I wanted to know the exact yardage. My Virtual Sanity's tip is to measure the circumference (diameter? Pah.) of your yarn swift (like, measure how many inches around it is), then count the number of wraps. Well, I don't have a yarn swift... yet *coughELOCINNICOLE, I'm looking at you!cough* I found another site that said to position two chairs two yards apart, and then count the wraps and multiply by two, but I didn't feel like messing with that, so I measured around my computer chair (it's actually a dining room chair) and it's 29 inches. I multiplied the number of wraps (the most was 252!) multiplied by 29 and used my handy 9 Toolbox app on my phone to figure out the yardage. My total? 1,303.44 yards! (Give or take a few.)

Yarn details:
Name: Pink Midnight
: 1,303 yards
Source: Um...recycled sweater from Yesterday's Rose in Fairfax.
Fiber Content: 60% cotton, 40% acrylic
Weight: 13 wpi (wraps per inch. That's in-between worsted and DK, but it's definitely lighter than worsted, so we'll go with DK.)

Enough talking! Pictures:

The yarn is beautiful! Plyed with a strand of pink, red and black, it makes for a nice variegated.

All the yarn in my mom's Jacuzzi. She doesn't use it, so why not use it for getting the kinks out of yarn! The great thing was, since it was cotton and acrylic, when I first got it, I could just throw it into the washing machine and dryer to get that thrift store smell out.

As for patterns? I'm not sure. I have more than enough to make a sweater, but it's kinda much, color wise, for a sweater. I had originally planned to make some Fetchings. I also found a pattern from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders for Scrunchie Hand Warmers. Or I could make a hat, scarf and mitten set. The possibilities are endless! Or maybe a wrap?

I can't wait to go back to the thrift store and start looking through the racks and racks to find wool and cashmere. Someone on Ravelry found a sweater made of camel hair she got for free at her church's yard sale! Delicious. Though, I need to wait until I get my swift, and I really need to work on depleting my stash some.

And just a few quick extras:

1. I've decided to join Crazy Mom Quilts (Amanda Jean) and her followers in the 9 Patch Quilt along. (Like I don't have a ton of other things to do, right?) It will use up some of the odd fabrics I got in the $10 trash bags of remnants they have at Hancock Fabrics, and it also will fit two of my tasks on my 101 and 1001 list: #38 Deplete my yarn and fabric stash and #39 Sew two quilts. One problem: my sewing machine isn't that big, so I'm not sure how I'm going to be able to quilt it, but that's the least of my worries. Right now, I should have 6 squares done, but I had migraines, so I'm going to start tomorrow (maybe today) and do one a day for the next 70 days, and just go a week extra. Or stop early. Whichever floats my boat.

2. Mr mochaxlight bought me some yarn from the thrift store! He's my enabler. But at least I have plans for this yarn. I got an awesome tweedy yarn that might go towards something for him (shh), some Red Heart Sport in Fawn Beige that's going to be the Catnip Kick Pillow from 101 One Skein Designer Wonders, and some TLC Ultra Soft in Claret, that's going to be an All Seasons Cap and maybe matching mitts, also from the same book.

Well, off I go to start winding 31 cakes of yarn! :D


elociNNicole said...

haha, heard your *cough* across the internets. I am just about done with your swift and will get it out to you this week. Might make a few adjustments to help you with your 'yardage OCDness'.

mochaxlight said...

Oooo, I need to get my butt working on your few extras and compile your book.

Hannah said...

Really gorgeous colorway... Makes me really want to pick up my needles again! It's been far too long...