Saturday, February 03, 2007

A trip to the thrift store...

There exist, on the Internet, a couple of very good tutorials on unraveling sweaters for the yarn. It's a good way to get some way cheap and sometimes interesting yarn that you wouldn't necessarily come across in the store. I recommend either of the linked tutorials if you want to try this yourself, but I'm especially fond of the first one because it has more pictures. The only thing out of either tutorial I don't like is this one sentence from the second:

I would not recommend this as something fun to do (especially if you have more money than time) but if your yarn budget is meager this is an affordable way to get your hands on a sweater's amount of quality wool.

Screw you! You can't tell me how to have fun! I actually find unraveling sweaters to be a total blast. I think it appeals to my destructive urges that everybody has. (Everybody has those, right?)

You know I'm an expert in this because I've frogged a whole TWO shirts in my day. One was an old, ratty, kind of greenish knit tank top that I had hiding in my closet. It had good seams and seemed like a good choice to sort of try out my skills on. The other was this peach-colored old lady cardigan (it had embroidered flowers and everything on it) that I bought at a garage sale. Here's a couple of samples of the yarn I got:

I know the green yarn looks gray. It looks gray in real life, too. I don't know why, since the top it came from was definitely green. As you might expect, the old ratty-looking top yielded old ratty-looking yarn. It was my first time, though, so I felt good about it. I made an old ratty-looking washcloth from some of the yarn. It would be pictured here, but I can't find it. That's just as well.

The rather thick-looking yarn from the old lady cardigan turned out to be three strands of thin yarn. That's ok, though, I just rolled it into the ball that way and when I crochet it I crochet the three strands together. I have used this yarn to make myself a pair of fingerless gloves, which were ugly (peach is not my favorite color), but which I liked anyway. I'd show you a picture of them, but I can't. The dog ate one and then the next day went back for the other one. I was really unhappy about that. Maybe one day I'll remake them, but so far I've had other projects to look at.

Anyway, on to the point. Today I went to a local thrift store and picked myself up five new sweaters that could have warmed my community's poor to unravel. Well, not new, but new to me. They all have the advantage of having good seams and while the yarn may not have been huge in all of them, it wasn't tiny either.

When I got home I washed them all (yes, together) in the hopes of eliminating that (just wonderful) thrift store smell. I was banking on the red shirt (actually more rust colored than red, but the camera makes it look red) being old enough and having been washed enough that it wouldn't turn the off white sweater pink. (This was a real concern, since the red sweater has enough suspicious stains on it that it's possible it's never been washed.) The off white sweater isn't pink now, but it does have lots of red lint on it. Yay!

Tomorrow I'll pick a sweater and begin the frogging process. I will, of course, take some pics and include a blog entry on my progress. Fun!!!

1 comment:

wurwolf said...

Actually, deconstructing sweaters sounds like a lot of fun. Once you get started I would imagine it's just a matter of pulling the sweater apart and winding it up into a yarn ball. It's not like trying to take apart a cross-stitch project, in that it would be tedious and time-consuming. I think it would be fun to sit on the couch after working all day and unravel a sweater -- much like popping a sheet of bubble wrap.