Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Jumper

A tale, unravelled... 

Do you ever walk past jumpers or cardigans in op shops and wonder what it would be like to pull them apart and knit them into something else?

It's a secret fantasy of mine to do this - sustainable fashion at it's best. I found just such a jumper the other day. I just had to bring it home.  I admit, the $6 price tag did help sway me.

That cosy torso warmer was wool..I'm thinking with maybe a touch of mohair? It had a hairy little halo happening (fuzz?) and being white I thought it could be transformed into any colour of the rainbow..oh the options!


I have to say  it was with some regret that I made the first cut, I loved the snowflake design and chunky cables but alas, just could not see myself wearing this jumper any time in my future (being two sizes to large may have also had something to do with this..).


Once the seams were clipped apart, the pieces unravelled fairy easily. It was calming in a way ..being able to see how the previous knitter had assembled the garment and what little tricks they had put into place. It was with great interest that I examined the weaving in of loose ends, it was extremely satisfying to see how someone else had done this!


The front, back and sleeves were skeined straight onto the niddy-noddy (funny looking wooden contraption above), and as I had a huge pot of dye leftover from another project, decided to use this for colouring the wool.


That very same afternoon, the skeins had all been dyed and were hung outside to dry. A bit patchy in places as there was a lot of yarn squeezed into that big but obviously not big enough pot!

That's ok though, I'm good at living with imperfection :)


The colour is kind of a washed out denim blue (which was the result of the first exhaust from a navy blue dye bath). 


I still cringe a little when I think of how much work went into the jumper the first time around and wonder who knitted it and if they are missing their snowflake sweater.

However, soft natural fibre yarn like this doesn't come by in the op shops all that often and I hope I can give the wool a whole new life. The yarn is about an 8 ply/DK thickness and quantity is 530 grams. Again, the options! At this stage, I'm leaning towards the Tappan Zee cardigan on ravelry, although this could change as easily as the weather!


Have you pulled apart a garment and knitted it into something else? Tell me, I'd love to hear!

28 comments:

  1. Brilliant job, Christine ~ I do love the colour. I recently bought a very large (men's) hand knitted wool sweater at the charity shop with the VERY same intention... to pull it apart and use the wool for something else :) You have given me the encouragement to give it a go, but it will have to wait until fall as it's now spring here. The garden work is never ending at the moment!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sound's great, Sherri! Would love to see it when you get around to it..in the meantime, enjoy that garden of yours. :)

      Delete
  2. Go for it girl, the colour is great and you're going to feel SO virtuous when you wear it! It's a pretty pattern you're considering too.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Wow, amazing! I love the colour, so beautiful.

    What dyes do you use Christine? The wool does look so soft.

    I have just popped over to Ravelry to have a look at that cardi, it would look wonderful in this wool. I have added it to my Library, I think I am going to knit it with sleeves, I will need to dye some wool first though:)

    I am still working on my Tea Leaves and have just finished spinning up a skein of camel silk for the Circumnavigate Cowl on Ravelry.

    Have a lovely week
    Linda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aw, thanks, garctott - you're comment made my day :D

      Hi Linda, this particular dye was leftover from ...would you believe dyeing some jeans? (Rit). Camel silk? Now I am in awe..this must be gorgeous to spin. I must go and check out this Circumnavigate Cowl you mention..always on the lookout for a new cowl pattern. Thanks! :)

      Delete
  4. Wow, great stuff! I love the denim colour. I just recently made myself a 'shalom' using the yarn from a sweater knitted for me by my grandmother, it was a beautiful cable sweater but was unfortunately too small. I enjoyed using the same yarn that my grandmother had once used.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I am in awe! I was envisioning a cute winter hat from it... no skills in this area on my part...

    ReplyDelete
  6. I would share your discomfort in pulling apart someone's work, but it's for a great reuse! Good on you! Can't wait to start playing with dyes but I'm still a fair way off. I'd better finish learning to spin and knit first!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think I saw your shalom mid-knit, Emma - it's incredibly comfy, isn't it? That is really sweet to have used yarn your grandmother used..a great connection indeed. x

      Please no awe, ecogrrl - it hasn't been made into anything yet! I'll be sure to update when it happens though.

      I felt very naughty pulling it apart, Linda. I kept expecting someone to shout "What are you DOING??"! You and that wheel of yours are made for each other..it's so great to see you working on it. x

      Delete
  7. I pulled apart two jumpers last week and like you loved doing it. All the different things that knitters do. Still not sure what I'm going to do with the wool although a couple of possibilities are floating around in my mind. My jumpers came from the op shop too - $1 each - the Salvo's here are now selling all their clothes for a $1 each - how good is that!!! Thank you for sharing the link for that cardigan. It's just beautiful.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahh, two jumpers, Cali? In one week? And for a dollar? You're amazing!!

      Delete
  8. what a beautiful blue that turned out. When I was young my mom used to go to the "wool factory" where she used to buy piles of jumbled up bits of wool, and we used to spend long evening unraveling it all. she thought young people shouldn't wear black, and I can remember the first black sweater she knitted me from that wool. i felt very grown up.

    ReplyDelete
  9. It will fantastic as that cardigan... a very versatile cardigan, that one, and in the denim-y blue, it would go with everything!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope so, dixiebelle..plus it's on circular needles so no sewing up seams..yay!

      Delete
  10. At first I was a little sad to think of the snowflake being unravelled, but I am entirely convinced now you've done the right thing. That blue yarn you've created is absolutely beautiful. I must look out for some more woolens in my op shop travels this winter.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Wow, I can just imagine, africanaussie - very special. Unravelling (untangling?) wool is not my favourite job, unfortunately two of these skeins tangled really badly in the dye pot and it took aaages to get them back into order after they were dry!

      Yes, that snowflake was particularly lovely, Tania. I've seen your op-shopped woolens and do believe you have the eye to find 'knitting options' amongst the garments. Happy hunting. ;)

      Delete
  11. That's a great idea. I've gotten jumpers to felt or use in other ways, but my lack of knitting has never led me here. Look forward to seeing it's re-emergence!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Chris you have given me a good idea, thank you so much. I have a cardigan sitting in the wardrobe that Mum and I knitted but it's never fitted me very well, now I know what to do with it. It never occurred to me!

    ReplyDelete
  13. I have! I bought an ugly pure cotton men's jumper from the opshop not long ago for $4.50. pulled it apart and crocheted it into a couple of dishcloths. I have balls of yarn left, so will be able to make more as I need it - given the price of pure cotton yarn, this is a bargain and the dishcloths are lovely.
    I've also chopped up opshop jumpers and sewn them into "longies" for my boys when they were babies and also into a very cool cap as a gift. The next jumper project is hot water bottle covers for the family.
    Love you blog! keep up the good work
    Tracey

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, felting would be great fun, Stacey! Bags? Or placemats? Again..the options! The emergence you speak of may take some time. ;)

      Wonderful, Rose! Pull it out and churn it into something else..I've seen a couple of people do this lately and they don't regret it at all. :)

      Pure cotton is not something to walk past, Tracey - so glad you snapped it up! Great to hear what you used it for, thanks.

      Delete
  14. Great upcycle. Love the colour. You just don't find cheap wool in the op shop anymore, the bundles I saw today were marked at $20. Would be a great way of getting some cheap kids craft wool. Love the Tappan Zee too.

    ReplyDelete
  15. What an absolutely brilliant idea. Fabulous to see you knit this up!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Kirsty - too often they're nasty acrylic pilled knits that aren't even worth considering. But sometimes..just sometimes there ARE treasure to be found..as the snowflake will attest!

      Hi Inner Pickle - at the moment I'm enjoying just eyeing off the yarn..pondering the options. Good fun! :)

      Delete
  16. My mother-in-law does this regularly. About 18 years ago she unravelled a secondhand jumper and began knitting me a lovely cabled jumper. With only one sleeve left to knit she had a major stroke, and had to re-train herself to do everything. Row by row, over months, she managed to knit that last sleeve and then to make it up, the sewing was even harder than the knitting. Since then she has knitted hundreds of garments, and has won prizes at shows for spinning and knitting,, despite some loss of feeling to her fingers. A remarkable woman!
    Unfortunately I developed an allergy to wool soon after the jumper was finished ... But just can't bear to give it away, such a testament to her willpower and determination to get it done!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Fantastic! I'm in the process of my second sweater recycling project. I really enjoy the ripping out part. :-)

    ReplyDelete
  18. That's gorgeous Christine and such a beautiful colour! Can't wait to see what you make with it!
    Keep going - I bet the original knitter would be delighted to know her work was so respected, and the wool is to be reused :)
    Greenie x

    ReplyDelete
  19. hi christine,
    what a fantastic jumper!!!!! love the colours!!! absolutley a dream!!!
    wish you a wonderful week,
    love and hugs,regina

    ReplyDelete
  20. I really Love the colour Christine. Can't wait to see what you do with it.

    ReplyDelete

Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...