Sunday, April 13, 2014

thrift store = knitting

 Once again I found some goodies at the thrift store. First was this lovely wooden leaf bowl for $4.99. I recently saw one very similar to this in a store for a lot more money.  Below is a picture of three sweaters that will soon be unraveled for yarn. The first one is actually acrylic but it was in excellent condition and only $4.99 in the perfect color. The second sweater is a ramie and cotton blend, again in a beautiful color and the third sweater is a wool, acrylic and alpaca.. very soft and a very neutral color.  I think I will have enough yarn from these three sweaters to keep me knitting all summer.

 What's in my knitting basket now? The cream lace sweater is almost finished with about one inch left to knit on the ribbing and then I just have to bind it off and sew up the back seam. The other project I just started on the bus the other day. This is recycled yarn and I couldn't wait to knit with this. First I love the color and second its so soft and is knitting up like butter... hehe. It took me awhile to decide which pattern I wanted to make. I finally decide on another lace shrug, the HiyaHiya Tulip shrug. (ravelry link).
 Almost finished....
 Is this snow? hehe no, it is little tiny flower petals from the trees at the transit center. There are so many flowering trees in this area. It really is pretty.

Monday, April 07, 2014

Unknitting and knitting

 So lately I have been thrift store shopping and looking for large sweaters made with good fibers to unravel and then recycle the yarn for a new sweater. This Eddie Bauer sweater is linen, cotton and polyester. It has a nice sheen and I love the feel of the linen. It was really well made.
As you can see, this purple sweater was unraveled. This is also a linen cotton blend and yielded a lot of yarn.
 There was an added bonus from the Eddie Bauer sweater... nice wooden buttons. The process of unraveling a sweater is a little tedious. So it is important to check fiber content and look at the way the sweater was made. I was unable to use the button bands because of the sewn button holes.
 This is the yarn from 3 sweaters. It doesn't look like much in the picture but there is a lot of yarn. The blue and the purple sweaters had over 1000 + yards each and the linen sweater if I guesstimate is somewhere between 800 - 900 yards. The sweaters with cables have lots of yardage. 

 A quick look at the process... remove the neck, then pick out all the seams and then find where the end is and start pulling. If you are lucky the seams are chain stitched together and if you find the end, one tug will let you just pull the yarn and the seam will unravel.
 Unfortunately this beautiful Irish knit was cut and sewn together. Not much of the yarn is usable. There is still enough for a small sweater , shrug or accessories. The yarn is beautiful wool tweed.
 And... my progress on my first sweater knit with recycled yarn. It's coming along and I should have it finished this week. This is 100% cotton probably Aran weight with lots of drape. It is also very soft. Just to let you know.. this is really fun to do. Hunting down sweaters and then making them into something new. I need to decide on sweater patterns for the light blue and purple yarn now.. I can't wait to knit with the yarn!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring is here!

 Spring has arrived in Washington state. This is a view of the street I live on. I woke up the other day and all the trees bloomed. The weather has warmed up a little and sometimes the sun peeks out hehe.
I have been thrift store shopping for large sweaters that I want to take apart for the yarn. I found these three the other day. The first was made in Ireland and is beautiful tweed wool. The pretty blue sweater is a Polo by Ralph Lauren sweater. I'm finding that Ralph Lauren makes very nice quality sweaters. (they are put together really well!) This sweater is wool, acrylic and rabbit hair, also a nice find. I love the color and was actually looking for this color yarn. The third sweater is 85% linen and 40% cotton. I love the color and it was only $4.99 for all that yarn! It will take me about two evenings to take it apart. I can't wait to knit something up with all the yarn. I have already taken apart the light blue sweater and wound it into skeins and washed it today. The yarn is very light and soft about a worsted weight. I have a few projects in mind for this yarn.
 More thrift store finds. Five balls of 100% cotton dk yarn. There is  about 700 yards of this. I'm looking at some shrug patterns for this. It will make a nice light cover up for work that I can use this summer. I also found 4 tiny beer glasses perfect for when we do our little beer tastings. The glasses were .69 cents each and the yarn was a total of $6. It was probably left overs from someones project.
 If you remember my last post, I took apart a large cotton Gap sweater. I'm in the process of knitting a cotton lace shrug with that yarn. I finished one side and now I have to knit another identical to that one. I memorized the pattern so this is my bus and work knitting project. This yarn has great drape and feels comfy.
 The undoing of a sweater.
 I picked it all apart, wound it into balls, then wound the balls into skeins and gave it all a bath. As this all dries I will be looking at pretty sweater patterns. I'm not sure of the yardage but there is a lot. I would guess at about 1000 yards. I guess this is my project this year... recycling thrift store sweaters that people no longer want and making them into something new and pretty!

Saturday, March 08, 2014

new projects...

 I know it has been a while.. I basically have been working on one project the last few weeks. I thought I was knitting faster than I really was... so much time has gone by since my last post. We are experiencing some spring like weather here in Washington state. I say spring LIKE.. hehe.
So I decided to try something that I have been wanting to do for a while and that is buy a very large mans sweater from the thrift store, take it apart and then knit something wonderful out of the yarn. This is what I found after a hunt and search with my son. The price was good , 100% cotton. Let me tell you, that sweater was made very well. I was able to get almost all of the yarn with very little waste. I now have enough beautiful cotton aran weight yarn to make a good size sweater. More on this project in the future.
 Here is a picture of my Halo cowl. All the knitting is finished and I just have to join the ends and wash it. I really like how this turned out. It is very light and airy with a little glitter. Perfect for spring.
 I had to throw in this picture of the comfy seats I sit in on the bus on the way home from work. They are so comfy that sometimes I fall asleep!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

A Sunday blog..

A recap of the last few weeks.
 We got snow...again.. but then it melted the next day and rained.
A tragic event.. my needle broke. I was knitting next to my son and got up for a second and my needle fell on the floor.. he moved his chair unfortunately right on my needle and it broke. I ran out to Joann's fabrics to see if the interchangeable needles they sell there would work on my cables and they do! I was so happy because this all happened on my day off.. the day I had planned to finish my sweater. I ran back home and was still able to get some knitting done. Eventually I will replace the broken harmony needle so that I have a complete set. 
 On the way home from work I lost my hat in the mall some where. I went back to trace my steps and asked in the two stores I walked in but no one had found it.. so the next day I whipped up this hat.
 Poor little snow man melted by the afternoon after the snow..
Another Sunday walk to Trader Joes. I love trees and greenery here. It smells so fresh.
 Finally I finished my Miette sweater! It fits perfect, I just haven't been able to get a good picture of it.
 Another walk to the bus on a beautiful Washington day. Cool, crisp and sunny.
 Yay... a new project. This is the Halo cowl by Grace Mcewen. This pattern can be found on ravelry. The yarn I'm using is Patons Lace with sequins. It is so pretty.
 The Sister hat.. My sister saw my hat and wants one just like it! Well she is lucky because I just lost my hat yesterday somewhere at work. I has to be in the building somewhere. No one could find it. I really do not feel like making the same hat again. I'm thinking I may just purchase a hat on sale. I saw some at JC Penny's. This way if I loose that one I wont mind as much.

Saturday, February 01, 2014

just knitting

For some reason I am working on one project right now... the Miette sweater. I love the simple design of this sweater. It reminds me of sweaters back in the 60's. I did a gauge swatch and for some reason I think I'm knitting a little tighter than I did for my swatch. The size small is 34" and I measure 32" in the bust. So hopefully all will be ok. I should be starting on the sleeves some time today or tomorrow.
I have started and early morning shift one day a week to work on shipping shoes from the store. I have to be at the bus stop at 7am. Here is a picture of the dark early morning.. hopefullly spring will bring some early morning sunshine.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Sunday... time to blog!

Lots of finished projects this past week.(Well two.. that's a lot) Above is the finished painting. This was painted from a photo I took of my sister in the Cayman Islands. I was afraid of ruining the painting because it was hard to paint that tiny little head with a face and not make it look like a blob. It's not perfect but its visually ok.
Below is my almost finished scarf neck sweater. At the neck edge I picked up the stitches and just kept knitting back and forth adding decreases on each end as needed to taper the scarf down to almost a point. . The original pattern is called Idlewood and can be found on Ravelry.
 Finally finished and I love it. I did a few mods besides the neck like the ribbing at the bottom and knitting the sleeves long and adding a thumb hole. This ended up being a warm cozy sweater.

 Yes... I started another sweater... and got some nice warm new boots on sale at work. These boot are so comfy and warm too!
 This little sweater is already coming along. This has been on my knitting queue for awhile and I really have been wanting to make it. I just didn't want to use this yarn. Things are tight this year so rather than not knit the sweater I bought Lion Brand wool-ease in a pleasing soft grey. Maybe some day in the near future I will knit another in some pretty cotton yarn. This pattern is called Miette and can also be found on Ravelry. What attracted me to this sweater are the darts and I already like the fit and I'm excited about the outcome. I guess this year will be the year of knitting sweaters!