Creamy Cotton

Started my re-claiming yarn adventure today. Yesterday I visited a thrift store for the first time since I left Idaho. Had to bring my boyfriend for moral support, thrift stores in south San Diego are a lot different than the DI in Logan, Utah, or so I thought. It wasn't too bad though, clean and organized.

My goal was to get a clean, whole, soft garment with more expensive fiber content, but easy to unravel for a first time. I found this soft cotton sweater.

It looks a bit grey in the picture, but it's a soft cream. It's 60% cotton and 40% acrylic. The only serged seams are on the top of the pockets, but the back, sleeves and collar are salvageable.

Got it home and washed it before unraveling, because it's cotton. If it was wool I'd unravel first to prevent felting.

You can see the seams below in the first picture, both pieces were knit individually and then connected together with what looks like a crochet chain. If the seams were serged as in the second picture, like the tops of the pockets, the yarn would simply be a series of small pieces, nothing you could knit with.

I started at the bottom of the first sleeve, and started looking for the magic thread, the thread that connects the two pieces. On my sweater, it looked like a crochet chain, like below.

From the first pic, you can see the way the chain is running. The fat part of the chain stitch points away from the way you should pull, the skinny part of the chain stitch points toward the way you should pull. With a sleeve, you usually start at the bottom of the sleeve and work your way up.

I snipped the chain stitch and started pulling. The thread ran the length of the sleeve and down to the hem of the sweater, it was a cinch to pull it out.

From there, I pulled apart all the separate parts. I ended with two sleeves, two front parts (marred by the pockets), a collar, two trim pieces, and a back.

Concentrating on the seams...

Here are the front piece and one of the sleeves, ready to be unraveled. The unraveling part was going to be the most difficult, I didn't have a yarn swift and I didn't want to wind it into balls since I wanted to relax the yarn before I knit with it.

I ended up winding the yarn around a computer chair that revolves. Each time the yarn is wound around the chair it is 45". The sleeves yielded 248 yards each and the back yielded 328 yards.

Here you can see the sleeve ready to be unraveled and the skein that came from the other sleeve.

I wet the first skein, pressed it in a towel to remove some of the water, and hung it in the bathroom to dry with a weight from the bottom. I'm waiting on the other two skeins to see how the first turns out.
So... 817 yards of cotton from just the back and sleeves. I still have the collar, trim and front pieces to unravel if I want another 200 or so yards. Not bad for a $4.99 sweater from Goodwill!

Back again

Two years later. Better late than never.

Trying to start this blog up again because I've gotten out of the habit of writing out my feeeeeeelings. Makes me feel stuffy and sort of packed in wool, just feeling the same way every day, looking back on my life and seeing just a reflection of that particular day. If it's a good day, it's been good for the last 3 years, if it's a tough one, the last 3 years have blown. Better to write it out and reflect. Right?

I want to remember more about what has happened to me, what I'm interested in at the moment and what I spend my time doing. Figure out how I've changed, if at all. I still don't feel like an adult and I'm 27 years old now. All around me my old friends are married, having kids, buying houses, I don't feel ready for half of that.

And looking back over the last 14 posts over the last 3 years, I can tell you one thing. I was a chipper little thing. Hopefully I've gotten over my use of exclamation points.

I've become an even greater dork than ever, my obsession with crocheting has expanded to include other crafts. Started attending plays and musicals, and my new "happy music" is the soundtrack from Mamma Mia. I need help! (Crap, can't help that exclamation point)

Tomorrow I start recycling/reclaiming yarn. I want a place to document it, and a place to publish knitting designs as I work out more complicated projects.

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