Monday, 29 August 2011

Preparing for Autumn ~ part IV

Coming back to my list of Autumnal projects, I am finally ready to get a shimmy on with my long-awaited Herringbone Cowl from the one and only Purlbee.  I'd made a start on unravelling the unwanted Maxmara cardi back in July, but like a lot of things, it had to be temporarily put on hold as I went on holiday/made various birthday presents/did some sewing for Self-Stitched-September '11 (still haven't made any trousers and only two days to go...).

the original unwanted Maxmara cardi

beginning to unravel before summer

It's been feeling already very Autumnal these days, and I haven't had the pleasure of feeling some delicious yarn slinking through my fingers in an uncharacteristic length of time, so I spent a recent rainy afternoon unravelling the rest - while watching Ice Age 3 for the millionth time - and gently soaking the skeins in my bathroom sink (warm water and Ecover Delicates handwash liquid) to get out the kinks.

washed, dried and ready to be balled up

This has been a really wonderful process.  As with most things, I like there to be several different parts to a project; different skills applied, different rhythms, a diverse and prolonged experience to keep things interesting.  This idea of unravelling an existing garment to re-knit into something new certainly adds a few more stages to the handknitting process, but also feels very cyclical, and lends a greater sense of purpose to the craft (rather like a more accessible version of shearing your sheep-dyeing the fleece-spinning the yarn-knitting warm jumpers for your family).  I think that knitting can definitely be seen as a dated craft; relevant to a Make-do-and-Mend philosophy.  Quite the opposite in fact, knitting is a very expensive hobby.  Unless you go down the squeaky acrylic yarn route, good quality, natural fibres don't come cheap.  Charity shop jumpers, on the other hand, will probably cost less than a measly 100g skein of good yarn.  This method of unravelling thrifted knitwear to re-knit could well be my answer.  Inexpensive, interesting and re-creative.  Just bear in mind these prerequisites when sourcing knitwear to unravel: the bulkier the yarn the better, the bigger the garment the better, and always go for quality.

And now, to cast on.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, I can't even knit let alone fathom unraveling a knit for its yarn! How clever and creative...can't wait to see what you make. I so want to learn to knit!


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