Tuesday, June 8, 2010

jumpers to recycle


At a guess... I would have to say that I've unravelled between 70 and 80 jumpers.

Maybe more, but definitely not less.

It would be interesting to know the exact figure... but somewhere along the way I stopped counting.

At first I planned to keep quite detailed records. I was going to take photos of the original garment, to make note of the fibre types and quantities, and photos of what I made from the reclaimed yarn.

But then I got way more interested in playing with the yarn... and forgot to take details. Not that it really matters, I'm just curious - and it would be fun to look back over my adventures.

Never mind - I guess that's what my blog is for!


Often when I search for suitable garments to recycle, I come home empty-handed. And then there's days like this...

Six perfect pieces.

"Someone's going to be warm this winter" comments the lady behind the counter.

I just smile and nod in agreeance. I used to excitedly explain my plans for reclaiming the yarn... but most people just look at me as though I am entirely mad, or creating the greatest sin to mankind by unravelling another crafter's hard work.

So I keep my mouth closed... and skip home to tell you guys all about it!








Kyliie said...

Wow! Those look like fun! I went to the op shop today with no luck :( No sweaters or anything else just waiting to be unraveled. When I told mom why she was driving me there she looked at me like I was a complete weirdo. Here is how the convo went....

Mom: so why are we going here?
Me: Because I want to get a bunch of sweaters to unravel!
Mom: Let me guess who you got that idea from....Laughing Purple Goldfish?
Me: Yep!!

Lol. So My family knows that I am addicted to your blog :)

bec said...

Stop! Don't unpick the pink and white one, it's awesome! What size is it? Can I buy it off you? It reminds me of something my grandma would have knitted me. A real 80's pattern I would wear with pride! Please consider it?

vjesticica said...

oh, nice! :-)
the white one could actually be worn (at least; I would consider wearing it, if the size fits)
I unraveled some sweaters a while ago, from a purchase made in January, now they are in skeins, waiting to become nicely winded and stored away (waiting for too long, Mr Wizard would say, while moving them from one part of the sofa to another)
now it is summer here (finally!) and I think it is time to visit some second hand shops in search for some cotton, silk or linen things to unravel... maybe I'll find some lost wool pieces, who knows ;-)

Sharon Maher said...

kyliie... how disappointing about the op shop ... never mind, maybe next time???

and that's funny about your mum... thanks for sharing :)

Sharon Maher said...

bec... haven't touched it yet!

at a guess I would say maybe a size 12, but I'll take some measurements tomorrow and email you about it... I'm happy to send it as a thankyou for all the embroidery floss you sent me :)

Sharon Maher said...

vjesticica... happy hunting at the op shops... so much fun to be had there... being surrounded by so much potential

Caz from Never Knew said...

LOL! - The exact same thing happened to me recently when I bought my first jumper to recycle: The lady at the op shop commented on what a lovely colour it was, and how it would look nice on me, etc. And I cheerfully told her that, actually, it was going to be turned into the back half or a cushion cover for some crochet I'd done. She looked MORTIFIED! LOL I realise now best to just smile and nod, like you do! :-)

Caz from Never Knew

Caz from Never Knew said...

Sharon, you don't find the yarn from jumpers like these too fine? I've seen jumpers like these in op shops but have left them in the store because I thought the yarn would need to be chunkier to make it worthwhile unravelling them. How do they turn out? I can't wait to see - please share when you unravel them!
Caz :)

Kelli Woodall said...

I would love to see some detailed pics of how you unravel the sweaters. I wouldn't have a clue where to begin but I do like to try new things.

Big Mamma Frog said...

I've unravelled quite a few jumpers, but I have problems with the 100% cotton ones (which is usually the yarn I need): I never can get the curls and kinks out, and the cotton always splits into several strands which makes it hard to knit with. Any tips?

vjesticica said...

@Big Mamma Frog
I put the skeins in boiling hot water, pushing them in, and pulling them out vertically, with a help from a wooden stick
this repeated action almost always straighten the cotton
if it doesn't, I iron the skeins after they are still slightly damp
put them over the ironing board, straightening the yarn by pulling the lower part of the skein, and iron those curls and kinks ;-)
if it is flattened beyond recognition, I left them in a bucket of water with some hair conditioner (yes, hair conditioner ;-) )
wick excess water, and hang to dry
I'm sorry I don't have a solution for splitting strands :-(

big mamma frog said...

thanks vjesticica will give it a go. For some reason cotton is much more stubborn than acrylic when it comes to dekinking!

Sharon Maher said...

caz... it's so hard not to say anything whn you're excited about your plans...

Sharon Maher said...

hey again caz!
I'm expecting the tarn from these to be fabulous - will definitely share lots of photos as I go

Sharon Maher said...

kelli - you might enjoy this tutorial here... but I will definitely share some photos of what I do with these jumpers, too

Sharon Maher said...

big mamma frog... I feel your pain with the cotton jumpers! If they have been machine knit, they are usually made with multiple strands worked together as one, rather than a plyed strand. I like to keep an eye out for handknit cotton tops, as the cotton isn't splitty in them... though I know we can't always be that fussy!

as for the curls, I hang the skein to dry from a coat hanger, and add a couple more coat hangers at the bottom of the skein to weight it a little, and stretch the kinks out - they don't completely disappear though

if you can be bothered, you can ply the cotton on a spinning wheel, then wash it to set the twist... it makes it easier to work with, and not so splitty

Sharon Maher said...

vjesticica... intersting tips! thanks for sharing!!

vjesticica said...

Sharon (and others) I'm always for sharing tips (if I have any) :-*
I come from a crafty family. Not crafty for fun and enjoyment, but crafty out of necessity. At least that goes for my late grandmothers and my crafty mom. I, on the other hand, can do that for fun.
But that survival skills that I have in my genes, won't let me pay for something I can make :grin:

I only hope that I'm not boring with my posts on your blog.
And, also, that my English is readable, and understandable :bookworm: :-)