January 02, 2012

A future masterpiece

It's a new year, and I spent my New Year's Eve and part of my first evening of the new year recycling a sweater.  Or maybe "reclaiming" a sweater is a better term?  I went by the thrift store and picked up a few choice sweaters for the purpose of accomplishing the first thing on the list of "never done"s for the new year:  yarn recycling.  A few friends have said that they do this all of the time; but not having ever torn down an entire sweater and then knit it into something new, I thought I might try this for myself.

I spent $4.95 on a woman's medium v-neck sweater in a basic stockinette stitch that was a little felted, but not too badly.  I tore it down and ended up with 585 yards of bulky weight 80% wool/20% nylon tweed yarn.  That's plenty to remake into something a little trendier than what it was when I found it, don't you think?  I'm thinking about a 3/4 sleeve pull-over or a lengthy vest with a little cabling.  All it needs now is a bath.

 Along the way of deconstruction, I learned something nifty from the commercial sweater industry about raglan seaming.  I learned that the makers of this sweater reinforced the raglan stitches at the seams by sewing double-strength thread, just like you would see in any machine-stitched garment, through each of the loops and securing it tightly.  It was totally invisible from the outside of the sweater, and I didn't even see it until I had begun to unravel the stitches.  Pretty sneaky.  However, what a great idea!  The one thing I hate about raglan seaming is that it always seems to over-stretch along those M1s.  Next time I will have to try out this trick.

Happy New Year to you!


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