Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Going Green, or Tweed, if You'd Prefer

I was talking to some knitting friends at McDonald's today, and they expressed great amazement to learn that I was knitting a cardigan with recycled yarn. It's funny, because since I'm such a yarn-aholic, I figured everyone else knew about this wonderful stash-enhancing technique, too.

This is a men's X-Large tweed sweater I picked up at Goodwill two weeks ago. There's nothing wrong with the sweater and it would fit Handyman great, but he's such a warm-blooded Midwestern male that he almost NEVER wears sweaters. (Not to mention that when he does wear the occasional sweater, it's the Blue Monster that I knitted for him last Christmas. Very politic of my hubby, I know. It always earns him brownie points, which translates into him actually getting brownies. He loves brownies. I think he'd wear a knitted clown costume if it got him brownies, but I digress . . .)

This time I decided to take apart the different sections with a razor blade rather than my regular sewing scissors. It worked fantastically, and I would estimate I got the entire thing dismembered in less than 10 minutes.

Unraveling always takes a wee bit longer, but getting the yarn wound into luscious fat-free yarn cakes is always worth the effort. Oh, if only chocolate cake were as low in calories!

Once the yarn is all wound, I put it into a plastic re-sealable bag with the sweater tag. If I ever do get around to using the yarn, I just re-sew the tag onto the back of the garment so the recipient knows 1) how thrifty I am (i.e. I didn't want to spend money on real yarn for them) and 2) how not to completely ruin my hard work.

If you've never recycled a sweater before, you should try it! It's lots of fun, and gives one a feeling of smug satisfaction if it actually works, ha ha! Here's a link for more recycling details, if you're interested.

While I'm on my yarn kick, I just had to share my latest guilty purchase - more, yes, more yarn from Webs. I really need to send their email flyers to my junk box, because I'm not very good at resisting their sales. *Sigh*. Okay, enough with the guilt. On to better things!

This is my favorite yarn from this box of purchases, Cascade 220 Heathers in a gorgeous shade of olive green. I've never felt it before, but I've heard enough knitters rave over it to feel fairly safe buying this stuff. Wow, were they ever right! It's 100% Merino wool, a pleasant surprise, since I had thought it was regular scratchy wool! Now I won't have any trouble wearing it right next to my skin. As with the rest of my yarn purchases, I'm envisioning some sort of cabled sweater or cardigan with this stuff.

I'm really trying to widen my color spectrum, so I got some lovely dark red yarns to off-set all the blue and green stuff in my stash. (My next ambition is to get something yellow. So far I haven't been brave enough). This is Berocco Comfort Worsted, and is a nice squishy yarn, perfect for cables. Perhaps I'll use it to knit the Something Red Cardigan for me.

I just love heathers, so I couldn't resist the Plymouth Encore yarn in this gorgeous Beet red shade. This yarn is nice because it's machine washable and holds up really well. (I knit a sweater for my brother with this stuff, so I know).

Okay, I now have enough yarn in my stash to clothe my family for the next 10 years. Speaking of which, I think I'm going to start labeling my yarn bins in the attic "Clothes" so Handyman doesn't get suspicious.

After all, that's what they're going to be, clothes.

That's not the point.

(It occurs to me that all this yarn purchasing is because I'm feeling truly miserable in this last stage of pregnancy, and is my feeble attempt to cheer myself up. This baby had better come soon or we'll have to take out a second mortgage . . . )