Wednesday, August 18, 2010

In which Mary goes unravelly

When I left you guys yesterday I had just finished taking apart a giant knit vest for the purpose of reclaiming its 3-ply fingering lambswool, yes? Instead of spinning or knitting or resting my eyes which I have to admit are still pretty sore, all of which is to say that this was totally illogical of me, but what else is new.

And to recap: this turn of events is mostly Trish's fault, but partly also Cosette Cornelius-Bates' fault because she has a whole section on reclaiming yarn in her book Knit One, Embellish Too which I bought last year and really liked then and still do and did I mention I started reading knitting books at bedtime so I wouldn't be still reading fiction at 3am? Which is evidently not as smart as it seems, because that tutorial stuck with me through the night after I read it, and seeded itself, so that ever since I got my swift in March I've been thinking

Huh! I could reclaim some yarn with this thing! and then telling myself to quit while I was ahead.

We're up to speed now, I think. So, after two or three hours of frogging and winding and reading the rest of The New Yorker and chatting with people as they wandered through the room - this is an unquestionable plus to the process, the ability to multitask - I had this:

All those small balls were from me snipping outside of the seams in the half-light on the porch in the evening yesterday, a mistake I will not be making again let me tell you. What I was able to salvage amounts to a little over 200g.

I will be knitting this stuff with the yarn held double because even then it will be thinner than my usual sock yarn, something I don't want to think about right now, so I figured I might as well get it onto the swift that way before washing it out.

Periodically, when one of the strands emptied out before the other was ready, I got a new one and kind of wound it around the end of the shorty, giving me a few inches of 3-ply. It's not an elegant solution but it is better than a knot and at least I know they're in there and can plan for them as I work. If it's a disaster rest assured you'll be hearing about it - but you knew that.

By a little after 4, just in time for me to start thinking about supper and deciding I'd rather unearth a patch of kitchen counter and put away four loads of laundry, I had this:

And by 5 it was all soaked and blotted and hanging up with weights, still kinky, waiting to dry enough to get rolled back into balls for knitting.

Tally: a whole day plus a whole evening for 200g of lambswool - worth it? I am thinking not so much, though if I found some really awesome brightly coloured worsted weight in a man's XL pullover sweater with no felting or moth holes I would be all over it.

(which is good for me to know, since I will be stopping in at three different thrift stores tomorrow.)


heklica said...

200g of fingering weight go a long way :) I'm sure it'll be worth it.

Kathleen Taylor said...

I'm surprised that it stayed kinky. Maybe it needs a longer soak in hot water (I say this without ever having reclaimed yarn, so I may well be all wet). I do know that knitting with kinky yarn isn't too hard- I used some sock blank yarn without washing it after winding it in a ball and it knitted up just fine.