Thursday, April 24, 2014

more sweater recycling..

 Bye Bye American Eagle outfitters sweater.. hello acrylic,wool. nylon, alpaca yarn.  Again there is a good amount of soft yarn from this sweater. I'm getting good at unraveling sweaters now. I also know what to look for. If you want to do this yourself the sweaters you want to stay away from are the ones that are cut and sewn by machine. That means that you will only get a lot of ends and nothing that you can use for knitting. I look for better fibers like linen, wool, cotton, alpaca, angora and cashmere. Also a lot of the commercial yarn is made up of lots of thinner threads that are not spun together. It is usable but you have to be careful when knitting. Check the seams to see if they are put together with the same yarn using a chain stitch. That usually means that the sweaters pieces will unravel and there will be very little wasted yarn. This sweater yielded lots of beautiful yarn.  
 Another trip to the thrift store and two more sweaters half price. The first one is a Gap sweater, viscose, lambs' wool, nylon, angora and cashmere. The navy sweater a sonoma sweater 56% cotton 44% acrylic. It has a really nice feel and a nice sheen. I already have a project for this and you will see this soon. My son was admiring this yarn. hehe

 All unraveled.
 Progress on my shrug. This yarn looks more blue in person and I love knitting with it. So far I have only been working on this going to work on the bus. The yarn is light and soft and cozy. I better get knitting so I can enjoy waring this soon.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Recycle that yarn!

 Knitting on the bus on the way home. I actually get quite a bit of knitting done on my trip to and from work. This is a large lace shrug that I'm knitting with yarn I recycled from a Ralph Lauren sweater. I love the yarn. It's really soft and light due to the little bit of angora in it.
 Spent time today unraveling more sweaters. This sweater had a Cherokee label inside. It's the first acrylic sweater I decided to recycle only because of the color and the condition of it. I'm glad I decided to buy it. I was able to unravel every bit of yarn from this sweater with the only wasted yarn being the yarn and tread that was used to sew it together. I think I can make one giant wrap sweater with this or two smaller sweaters. Great find at the thrift store.
 Up to date... all the yarn from the sweaters I have been unraveling. Yarn from one sweater is missing. Right now I have enough yarn to make 7 nice size sweaters. woo hoo!!
 My first finished recycled sweater. Finished this today. Has lovely drape and will be perfect in the summer here over a tee-shirt. Yay!!

Here is the yarn that was missing from the pile of yarn in the previous picture. This is a Bass sweater 55% Ramie and 45% cotton. I love the color of this one and I think I will make a short sleeve cardigan with this. The pattern is already on my ravelry queue. (^_^)

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.