Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mr GreenJeans!

I have started! I decided that I really need to get to work and start on this cardigan. I have been wanting to make it for some time now, and since I have that 100% Lambswool from a reclaimed sweater, I figured it will become my April project.

I have to have goals, or it seems that things just don't get done. I guess my knitting is that way, project oriented. Though I do feel I am a very texture type person and I love the feel of the yarn as I knit.

We had some company for the last few days, and last night, I had the bright idea to make chicken wings, buffalo style. Well, for three men and two ladies, do you know how long that takes? I started at 4:15, between cutting the legs up, coating them and frying them. It was nearly 6:30 by the time I had them all done and we were able to eat! I feel like I was in the kitchen all night and didn't get anything else done. But, they came out good and there were only 6 left over. So I can't complain, but I don't think I will be doing that again anytime soon.

My socks are in the finishing stretch, however, this is the first time I am going to be coming VERY close to running out of yarn. It's a good thing that they are for me and if I do run out, I will just use a complimentary Opal to finish off the toe.

Friday, March 28, 2008


I am knitting on my sock, desperately trying to get it done before the end of the month! But, at least I am knitting!

The yarn from the Lord and Taylor sweater is just so yummy. I am hoping to get it washed up today. I want to finish pulling apart another sweater so I can do the two at one time. I am not sure that I will get that done though, as it is raining outside and I have learned to ONLY pull a sweater apart outside so that my allergies don't rear their ugly head. However, I really NEED to get a ball winder. There is just no doubt in my mind that that would make things SO much easier to accomplish. The swift has helped to reduce my winding immensely and I am so grateful that my brother was able to get that done for me so quickly.

I have been thinking about purchasing two Dale of Norway booklets. They are on sale right now and I have seen some of their patterns before, but I do not know for sure what is included in these two booklets. It is one of the bad things about shopping online and not having a LYS to go to.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Can you really become obessed with something so quickly?

This happens to me quite often. I get so involved in something new, that I don't even think about the world around me. It fills my time and my day and I am happy.

Today is Wednesday and I left for the 9 am opening of the Salvation Army and I was there for nearly an hour and a half JUST looking through the sweaters!

First, I did find a few that I or R will wear now and next winter. I found her a lovely Lambswool zip up cardigan. I was so glad she liked it and that it fit her so nicely. Otherwise I would have taken it apart.

I did find a number of very good buys and they were all half off! So that was even better. I used some of my saved fun money and now I have several more sweaters to take apart for new things. I am so excited!

Yesterday I washed the "Mr Green Jeans" wool and also that Shetland that I got the first time I went "reclaiming". They both came out just wonderfully and I will work on getting Mr Green Jeans balled up tomorrow.

Today I worked on a GORGEOUS Lord and Taylor, 100% Lambswool sweater. It is such a fine yarn, 2 strands. If I use it I will have to double it. I will wash this and then leave it in a hank until I can get a ball winder, there is no way I am doing that one by hand!

I have to get to knitting though. I think I have only picked up my socks twice in a week. I need to make the time to get those done before the end of the month. I really would like to get one pair done a month for the year.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fiber Goodness

100% Wool from Ireland Cakes! Aren't these lovely?!! This is the total hall from the sweater that I reclaimed. I just love how cute they are like this.

This is my first Dish Cloth from the Ravelry list Weekly Dishcloths. I really like the pattern and hope to do more of them to have on hand for gifts.
Here is my next quest. It is a reclaimed sweater that I will make into Mr. Green Jeans, a cardigan that I have been wanting to make and trying to figure out how with having no real yarn budget anymore.

I am so lucky to have this swift that my brother made for me. It is really working out awsome for me.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Good Things!

First, I need to say thank you to Felicia and Bob for the wonderful offering of wood scraps for our wood burner. I met Felicia last week at my first Knit Night and she gladly offered the scraps to me if I were to come and pick them up. They have already helped me to get the "fire" going in the morning and to get us toasty warm again. It's a good thing!

Now, on to what I have been doing, among other things, these days.

I was able to find a pattern for a swift on line and I asked my brother, who is a wood worker, if he could make one for me without too much trouble.

Imagine my surprise when my father showed up with it this weekend! I was and still am so excited.

This was my first ball made with my new swift. Isn't it a good thing? I sure think so. This is going to help out my arms so much from the pain that winding around the backs of two large diningrom chairs does.

And here is the whole sweaters worth of Wool from Ireland that I bought at the thrift store this past week. Don't they look great?
WhileI don't really like to quote Martha, I sure think they are a good thing!

It will be even better for the next sweaters that I unwind, as then they will fit on the swift properly. Right now, I can only put three of the pegs in. BUT, those three pegs do measure out to 36 inches, so atleast I have approximate measurements now on the yarn. I am not sure it is very accurate, I have a feeling there is more yarn not less.

I am currently working on the blue wool/acrylic blend, that I hope to make Clapotis with. I am doing it outside as my allergies are still bothering me.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

No Knitting

Well, my allergies have reared their ugly head.

I guess I can knit with wool, but I can't rip back sweaters in the house, or without a mask for that matter. My nose ran all day yesterday, to the point where I couldn't do a thing without having a tissue near my face. I didn't sleep the night before, so I dragged my butt all day long. Finally took a two hour nap around 6 and then got up and went to bed! I did manage to sleep, and I did have the thought about an allergy pill in the afternoon and so far this morning, that seems to be working, but I look like death!

I go somethings done around the house yesterday, but today I will have to do my Friday running around to get ready for the holiday weekend.

SO there probably won't be any knitting today either.

I have decided to ONLY go to the Salvation Army to look for sweaters on Wednesdays, as that I have come to find out, is family day and they usually offer discounts on three to four different color tags..... I wish I had known that Tuesday. I went and picked out a few really nice ones, but I can't do anything with them for a few days and these allergies calm down.

OH! I ask my brother to make a swift for me. I found directions on the net and they use scrape wood. Well he called me yesterday to say he did it on his lunch break! I am so excited. He will send it with dad, so I will have it later today.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Before and After

Here are just a few of the sweaters that I purchased at the SA that I have begun to reclaim the yarn on. This first one is the "Northern Isles" 70% Shetland new wool, 30 Acrylic in a fingering weight, two strands held together. When I took it apart, I lost the V neck area of the front, but as you can see in a later photo, I have more than enough yarn from this one. It was a men's XL.
This is the one "Made in the Republic of Ireland" of Pure New Wool. And believe me, it looked like it was taken out of the gift box, put into a drawer and NEVER worn! I am not sure of the size of this one, I would say it was a Ladies Medium. A truly odd shape as the arms were way long. I didn't try it on, and at may have fit me as it was, but I want to make something more to my liking with it.

I was so hesitant to put this into HOT tap water, as the instructions said in the article on reclaiming yarn. So instead, I did tepid water, with a little liquid Ivory soap and it came out nearly free of any waviness. It just came out so yummy it makes me want to find MORE of it.

This is that Shetland Wool Sweater that I talked about yesterday. It is 100% Shetland Pure Wool in a Men's Large. I was able to reclaim ALL of the yarn from this. It is a fingering weight or perhaps even lace weight yarn, two strands held together and it was so soft and squooshy knit up. It was the first sweater I took apart and so far the easiest. I have saved the label, from this and all the others, simple because I believe this is probably a vintage sweater, that once again was probably given as a gift and never worn.

The back pile of skeins, in the next picture, is of the Woolrich, Men's XL sweater. This is also vintage, because when was the last time you saw a tag that said "Made in British Hong Kong"? It is 85% wool and 15% nylon. I will probably use this for hats, scarves and mittens that match for all of us, with enough left over to make something else.....
The skeins in the front of the picture are of the "J. Crew" Mens Large sweater in 100% wool. This is the one that I just loved how smooshy it was knit up. I am hoping that it will be as nice when I do it. This one must have sat in a very dusty corner, because as I was taking it apart, I decided to do it outside, you could just see all the dust flying out of it as I went along.
NOW, here are the pictures of the wool from Ireland and the wool/acrylic blend sweaters while drying in my bathroom. Perhaps you can see how nicely the Ireland wool has straightened. the other still has a bit of kink in it, but much less than it did have.

One of the nice things about doing this with yarn, is that you get very LONG skeins. Most of the fronts and backs are continuous pieces of yarn. HOWEVER, I have learned, rather well, how to felt two pieces of yarn together. It really isn't that hard, just takes some practice and is well worth learning how to do.

The one thing, or rather two things I am going to need are a swift and a ball winder though. Currently, I am making due with what I have, and that is, an embroidery stretcher that I am putting the yarn onto to skein it. I usually ball wind by hand and with this much yarn, my wrists and fingers will never make it. I will have to keep it in skeins until I can get one.

On a sad note, my coffee maker died this morning. It's a good thing it was after it perked the pot of coffee. I truly enjoy my coffee in the mornings.... so I will be having to buy one today.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Seam Rippers

If you ever decide to undertake learning how to reclaim yarn, be sure you have a SEAM RIPPER HANDY!

I do not know where my sewing basket is. Haven't seen it since we moved. I see it in my minds eye, but it is not anywhere in this house.

So I went and got one and life became much, much easier.

In my last post, I went on about my yarn diet. You know, it's like any diet, makes you feel like you're missing something. Like you've given something up....sigh....

I have seen several times mentioned on Ravelry about reclaiming the yarn in thrift store sweaters. I thought those people were crazy.

Well, welcome a new crazy person to the world!! ME! I went to the Salvation Army on Saturday and walked out with 7 sweaters to reclaim AND a Vintage Dale of Norway cardigan. I was going to put that one back, figuring that I couldn't take it apart because of the steeking of the sleeves, then I thought I could manage to copy the stitch pattern and learn from the steeking by taking it apart. I also thought I could salvage the body and arms of the yarn, but the front is probably steeked as well. It is too large for me, and it has a rip in the ribbing, BUT it has great puter closing that I could reuse some day which would cost me more than 4.00 to purchase new. So I bought it.

I got one black 100% Shetland wool sweater, upon taking it apart, it is either fingering weight or lace weight, two strands held together. It was a great first sweater to take apart. No real construction issues.

Next, was a natural, undyed 100% wool sweater from Ireland. There was some pattern work in it, so upon ripping it apart, it yielded alot of yarn. It looked as if the sweater was never worn at all. What a shame.

Then, another Shetland wool, fingering weight, 2 strands together, men's sweater. So I have TONS of that yarn, but did lose some, as I didn't think about the V neck portion. So I just cut across the chest. There was cabling in this sweater.

Then there was another men's sweater from Woolrich. It is a Wool/Nylon blend. An Extra Large, so tons more yarn. I figure this is what I will probably use for hat, scarf and mitten sets.

I found a nice brown, smooshy sweater, that I really liked, but was way too large for me. It is also a wool/nylon blend, worsted weight. Taking it apart I thought I was going to have trouble, as the inside seams, seemed to be felted, but they really weren't. It came apart easily, but was very dusty. Good thing I did that one outside.

I am currently working on an Acrylic/Wool blend. I know, why waste time on an acrylic, but it is a women's size 18/20 and it is a beautiful blue, and nice and soft. I am thinking the perfect yarn for a Mr. Greenjeans, plus probably a Clapotis.

This is the one thing about the yarn. I have no idea of how much there is. I just know, since I bought larger than my size sweaters, that I will have enough to complete projects my size.

I still have to wash the yarn. I have got it in hanks and I will wash and dry it, and then I'm thinking it will be put away in hanks and balled once I am ready to use it. My arms are killing me. I am going to have to find a swift and a ball winder now for sure if I really wish to continue on this journey.

My family must think I'm nuts, but they know how much I love to knit and make things. This is perfect for me as I love the hunt and the bargain. It is quite a bit of work though. But with a SEAM RIPPER the work is much, much easier.

I will try to post some pictures tomorrow.

Saturday, March 15, 2008


Well, I've been thinking. About my "Cozy"
( I hope I did that link right, not sure though)

Anyway, I have been thinking alot about it. I just love the pattern, and I love the yarn, but I have set it down and not picked it up in nearly a month. Why? I believe the reason is, I am definitely not liking knitting it. Why? Because even with a life line I have had to rip back too many times and I don't like that.

So, I've been thinking and reading others thoughts on the Ravelry group KAL for the Cozy. There are some having the same problem, and some who have decided to go with a worsted weight yarn and make it an item of more substance rather than lighter like a scarf.

Since I am on a definite yarn diet, I need to consider all projects that I want to make to use up the yarn that I do have, because I can't buy any yarn right now. So, I am seriously considering frogging the "Cozy" using that yarn for something else, because I LOVE IT, and making the "Cozy" at a later date out of another yarn.

I finished my last Dish Cloth for Jill, so now there are six. And I am going to try this weeks dish cloth pattern from the Weekly KAL group that I joined. I am going to do it in ecru and see how it comes out. Ecru and white are the only two solid colors of cotton kitchen yarn that I have left.

Well, I guess that is all for today. I am going to try hard to update this blog more frequently though I may not have pictures every time.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Sit and Knit!

Sit and Knit! I met two really nice knit friends last night. Michelle and Felicia, from our Ravelry group, Northeast PA Knitters. I really enjoyed the night, all the talking, and just being out with other knitters. I sure hope that more people will join us in the future. We are hoping to do it every Thursday night.

Here are the dish cloths I have been working on. I am making them for Jill for Christmas. I have one green one left to make and then I am going to try doing the one for this week, a bit late, on the Dishcloth Weekly KAL that I joined on Ravelry. I have also joined my first swap on that list. Michelle and Felicia talked about the swaps they have been in and it really seems like a fun way to meet people and to get a surprise in the mail.

I was able to get the toe decreases done last night while we talked. I didn't want to do the kirchner for the toe because I always like to try them on before I do that, and being in B&N I really didn't want to take off my shoe and sock to try it on.
On a life side note, I taught Rachel how to touch up dye my hair after school yesterday. She did a very nice job and I am happy with how it came out. Makes me feel much better to have my roots done!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008


Well, I am doing the mundane. I am knitting some dish cloths. I have several skeins of Lily Sugar and Cream Cotton, and since I can't buy any yarn right now, and just want some mindless knitting to do. I have decided to try doing some dish cloths.

I know in Wisconsin they were very popular. I had never seen them until we lived there. I haven't really seen them here, but then again, I haven't seen much here as I haven't gotten out to do anything here.

So I have decided on a few patterns to try and to make the whole lot for Christmas to give to Jill as her gift. She and Edward are trying to be very green so I figure these would be the perfect thing to give her. They will be in different colors and styles, so they could be used for dishes, body or even for cleaning.

Sunday, March 9, 2008


Aren't these just wonderful!?

They are from Rachel and she gave them to me last week after I got home. I love daisies, as I also love sunflowers, garbara (sp?) daisies, pansies, iris's..... just to name a few.

The color in these is just so vibrant and late 60's, aren't they? They really made me happy and a week later, I still have them on the table. I only removed the white daisies as they faded first.

These are the garter ribs, that were technically finished in February. The original is on the right, and the reknit one is on the left. It's amazing how 6 stitches can change the size of something so easily. I think that is why I have grown to love knitting so much. If you don't like it, change it.
I have still made no progress on my bottom up. I haven't picked it up again. I guess I am just in too much of a sock, instant gratification, type mood. Plus, life has a way of clogging your brain and I just need mindless knitting to keep me busy now.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A New Month

I have been bad about updating. I hope to do better now that things in life have calmed down some.

I don't have any pictures today, but I just wanted to give an update on my garter rib socks. I got both of the socks done and the feet were just too tight. I knew they wouldn't wear well. So, I ripped one out, and went in the gusset area to 62 stitches and worked 42 rows instead. They were too tight and just a tad too short. And I followed the toe decreasing instructions correctly. I don't know why that area always draws a blank for me and I screw it up. BUT, I have finally, after over a year, remember how to kirchner the toes with out the instructions.

So I did finish those socks in February, technically, but redid them and finished them in March.

I have not picked up my "Cozy" at all, for which I feel bad. It just takes so much concentration. I guess I won't be too good at lace knitting. I am glad I have tried this though, as I do like it and will finish it. I like the yarn also and hope to be able to make a garment with it someday.

I have stalled on my bottom up yolk top by EZ. I want to put some colorwork into the top, but I've never done it before and I can't decided what to put up top. Typical me, can't make a decision, so don't do anything till you can.

I did pick up the new IK. Some very lovely patterns in there for dreaming about.

With life being what it is right now, I can not purchase any yarn and will have to knit totally from stash until it changes. Which is okay. I have plenty of sock yarn and I have some projects worth of yarn already stashed, but it's hard to browse patterns and to not be able to try them right away.

I guess that is why I like Ravelry so much, you can save the project ideas that you like to come back to at a later date.

I have started another pair of socks with the same 6 ply Opal that I used for the garter rib. I was trying to do the "Laburnum" pattern from Sensational Socks and I just could NOT get the hang of doing a K3tog. It was just too difficult to do. I know it was only every third row, but it took me so long to get just a few of them done, I'd never be able to finish the socks. So instead I am just doing the P1, K3, P1 and repeating to make a ribbing pattern. I cast on 60 stitches and I have gotten to the heel so far. I may keep the foot at 62 stitches like the last pair though.

I have found, that since most of my socks are knit with only a crew to ankle length on them, I can usually get two pairs of socks out of each ball of yarn. Which is just fine by me, as it reduces the per pair cost and then I don't feel quite so bad about spending 15.00 + dollars on one skein of yarn. I know that Rachel would love another pair of socks, but I have a feeling that these will be for me also.