Monday, March 14, 2011

Deconstruction

Many, MANY years ago I stole a sweater from my father, a sweater he'd owned for a million years before I nabbed it.

I think the tag illustrates just how old this sweater is.


I haven't worn it for about 15 years. Now, I am a strong adherent of the Toss It If You Haven't Worn It For a Year school of thought when it comes to cleaning out the closet. But I could never bring myself to take that sweater to Goodwill.

So this year, when I cleaned out my closet, I thought I'd actually DO something with that sweater. I spent crazy amounts of time unraveling it this weekend, after spending even crazier amounts of time undoing all the seams. And also: sweater dust is really unpleasant to breathe in. My weekend was filled with epic sneezing fits.

Here it is after a thousand hours of cutting seams.

I learned that there are two ways sweaters are made: (1) like they've been handknit, so that each piece will unravel in one nice long strand of yarn, or (2) knit across and then cut, knit across and then cut, etc. etc.

Naturally, this sweater was made using option 2. So after unraveling I had five huge balls of yarn that I'd painstakingly knotted together.That biggest one on the right is the back, which took a solid hour to unravel and tie together.



Then I wound them into hanks, washed, rinsed, hung to dry while weighted to get the kinks out, and wound them into five huge skeins.

A nice soak in hot water with a drop of dishwashing detergent (left), followed by a rinse in cold water (right). Appetizing!
Drying, West Virginia style.
The finished product.


Now comes the hard part: what do I do with this yarn? Ideally I'd like to make something for my father for his birthday. I could knit, crochet, or weave something, but it would have to take into account that I have thousands of individual pieces of yarn, each between 8 and 18 inches long. Any ideas would be most welcome!!!

4 comments:

alltheshinythings said...

If they are knotted in a sturdy way, you could cut them short-ish and just allow that to be part of the "design" of the yarn. Like little baubles on it.

As for what to make, I'd probably end up making a hat and scarf with them. Nice and cozy. But that depends on how soft the wool is. Or, since your weavings are so gorgeous (is that how you would say that? LOL!), maybe pair it with a softer wool and make a throw blanket?

I'm sure it'll be gorgeous!

Michelle said...

The yarn is definitely NOT soft. It's scratchy 60s wool.

I love the throw idea, actually, paired with a nicer yarn.

BTW, I just went over to your website and I just love your photos!

alltheshinythings said...

Thank you so much! I went to your site and it was a big part of what inspired me to do a new blog...

And your views of crochet vs knitting are so similar. LOL! It's just not relaxing at all compared to crochet for me as well. Heh!

she said...

M - I like the throw idea too. Maybe you could use the nubby, scratchy 60's yarn as accents designed to 'stick out' and do the rest in something like a softish blue or navy......maybe woven?