Friday, November 19, 2010

Fiber Arts Friday: Recycled Wool Project

Earlier this year, I embarked upon a Sweater Recycling Project.

I finished disassembling it months ago and ended up with a lot of short pieces of yarn.  I'm certain if I had taken more care in separating the panels of the sweater, I would have more longer pieces to work with.  But this was my first time, so live and learn.  Right?

The disassembling portion of this project took a lot longer than I expected, so I bagged up the yarn and put it in my stash until I felt ready to come back to it.

Finally in early October, I didn't have too many projects in work, so I decided it might be time to go back to my recycled wool project.

Initially, I was planning to make socks.  But since there are so many short pieces of yarn, I think I would have lots of knots in my socks.  Knotty socks would be uncomfortable and the wool is really too scratchy to have right next to the skin.  So instead, I have decided on this nightcap which I have wanted to make for a while.

Since the pattern has a lot of detail, I decided to knit it exactly as written.  I didn't want to take a chance of messing it up by making a different size.  However, since I do not own any US#0 needles, I knit a gauge swatch with US#2 needles.

Fortunately the gauge came out about right.

Initially I was challenged by the yarn over (YO). Making it is fine, but knitting the YO stitch on the next row was an issue.  I dropped several stitches.  Which means I started over a several times since I don't know how to make those corrections.

Finally, after a few tries and a few rows I got the hang of knitting the YOs and could read the stitches pretty well.

Anyway, I've been working on this nightcap when I want a break from the plumber sweater.  So there isn't much progress to show, but here you go...

Please be sure to head over to Wisdom Begins with Wonder because it's Fiber Arts Friday.


WonderWhyGal said...


I was intimidated by YO when I first started to knit them and it's funny because it seems like almost every project I pick now has them.

The pattern is beautiful and it will be beautiful in that yarn.

Inspiration Fibers said...

Wow! You've taken on a lot here: recycling a sweater, lots of little balls, a detailed pattern, YOs!
I'm always impressed with people that do the recycled sweater thing. I've done it once, it was neat, I went to my LYS. I think I just don't have the patience--good for you! And then to actually use the yarn; huge kudos there!
YOs look funny on the needles, don't they? My biggest challenge with using them when I write my own patterns is understanding where they show up, stitch count wise, in the fabric. Tricky little buggers.
Your knitting is beautiful and I can't wait to see more!

AllyB said...

I applaud your use of recycled yarn. I don't see myself doing that anytime soon. If you'd like to get lots of practice with YOs make a few pair of Cookie A's Summer Sox. They are quick to make and use lots of YOs. A great way to learn to recognize what they should look like going into both knit and purl stitches. Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Knot By Gran'ma said...

Hee hee... haven't had the issue with YO and knitting yet. Not that far along in my skills. I think the sweater recycling is great and can't wait to see the finished project!

Kristi aka Fiber Fool said...

Yay! If in the future you need to borrow a niddy noddy so you skein and wash your recycled wool to remove the kinks, just give a holler. I even have a bath-friendly one & a good steamer too if you want to go that route.

Lots of short ends doesn't need to mean knotty socks. Spit splice! :-) Sounds gross and is kind of, but it works well and is a good tool to have your back pocket for situations like that or really open lace where there is really no place to weave in ends.

Kathryn Ray said...

LOL Kristi! Only you would notice that I did not wash or steam the yarn. :-P

But I feel I must announce that the sweater was cleaned before I disassembled it. ;-)

I've only tried one other pattern with YO's. It is currently snoozing in the basement. I don't recall if any of them were the purl kind.

I've seen the spit splice in process and our own WonderWhyGal wrote about it recently, so I have thought about it, but I really wonder if it really works... as in holds up to wear and tear.

I have a couple of other well worn sweaters that I am considering recycling since it doesn't take long to go from a small hole in the elbow to a gaping crevasse.

Allison said...

You've inspired me to check out our local used clothing store where I have seen some lovely wool sweaters ripe for recycling.

YO's drove me crazy when I first learned them. The nightcap pattern is lovely. I look forward to seeing it finished.

Kathryn Ray said...

I forgot to mention that disassembling the sweater was really fun. As well as finding the right pattern to make with that old favorite.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone. :-)

Jaimie said...

I'm so glad to see you doing this. I tried to disassemble a sweater for the yarn once, and I even followed a tutorial online, and it was a disaster. My pieces were about a foot long. I'm excited to see how your project turns out.