Wednesday, July 13, 2011

From Knitting Stash to Splash - Upcycling through the Recession

My new jumper
 I've just finished knitting this jumper from my yarn stash and am delighted with the result - it was practically a freebie as I bought the original jumper in Shaw's Dungarvan last year and found it didn't do anything for me - in other words I looked frumpy in it when I got home and tried it on. Of course in the shop on the hanger it looked grand and for €7 was a bargain too good to miss. So it was a bit of a disappointment to find it looked so awful on, adding decades to my already mature years! It languished on a hanger on my clothes rail (don't have a wardrobe, just a rail from Argos!) for about a year, till I was doing a charity cleanout and came across it. On mature reflection I decided to deprive the charity and upcycle the yarn. This entailed unpicking the seams and cutting ruthlessly into the jumper from the neckline down - and then painstakingly ripping and rolling the yarn into manageable balls. I probably should have washed and unkinked it but as it was a ribbon yarn it didn't really react like proper wool would have and had an impact on whatever I was going to make. So I just weighed the salvaged yarn and had 350gm. That's like 5x50gm balls so I felt very smug as that would make a jumper even though I couldn't save the top of the jumper from the V-neckline up.

Finished jumper detail
I had a plan to make a jumper like a cream one I had made earlier in the best celebrity-chef tradition - also a ribbon yarn and one I wear to lots of gigs here as it's so comfortable and quite smart to wear - you can see it in the photos in this post - and this lovely burgundy yarn was going to make another similar but slightly longer jumper.

I only started it about a month ago and kept it going between other projects to alleviate the tedium of knitting stocking stitch - or stockinette as the Americans call it. 

A ripping yarn!
 I was making Jaywalker Socks concurrently so that kept  me on my toes - no pun intended! These were a nice challenge and I was delighted with the results using the pre-patterned Lidl wool which is brilliant for socks - I  have about 6 pairs in the red and the blue colourways and I am making a pair now in the grey-black colourways. When I'm going on any long car trip as a passenger the socks are a great way to mitigate motorway monotony - bypassing every village and town on the road to Dublin is great to shorten the road but boy is it a dull trip! At least now there are services with decent food and diversions - a good way to part fools and their money but I'm as much a sucker for Supermac's as the next fast-food fan and they do the Carlsberg of Curry Chips - outside of the Perki Chick in Drumcondra and Lennox's of Cork, Supermac's are hard to beat.

After all those deviations from the topic - here's the end result - I am totally taken with my upcycled jumper and I love the cream stripe at the hem - it used a bit of the leftover yarn I had from my first jumper. It's a perfect summer jumper as it's cool and airy, and the three-quarter sleeves are a great compromise - and a great way to mask any hint of bingo-wings!

Stash quantity - 350gm
Weigh-in of salvaged stash!
I'll try to post some more snippets on recent knitting and crochet projects in the coming days, as I've been a disastrous blogger in the past few months. Life's just too busy with work, concert gigs in Dublin and Cork, house renovation in Dublin - a whole other post - and keeping in touch with the kids and grandkids in Dublin and Cork. And as it's summer holidays for the teenqueen in our lives there's a lot of taxi-ing to and fro between friends and sleepovers hither and yon. Never a dull moment, and we wouldn't have it any other way!


Peggy said...

hi Catherine, you put the rest of us to shame with the amount of knitting/crochet you are turning out.The remodelled sweater is beautiful, I don't think I would have had the patience to rip and unravel !

Mimi said...

want to see a photo fo you modelling it, pretty please?
Lol re queenteen, we've one of those here (2 if truth be told) too. And then a kingteen too, life is busy, but, as you rightly say, wouldn't have it any other way!

Stephanie V said...

Hurrah for your stash-busting efforts! I love the way your new-to-you sweater turned out. The stripe just lifts it out of the ordinary. I'm with Mimi - a model photo, please!

Catherine said...

Thanks ladies - I will try to upload a photo of me with the jumper in the coming days - computer giving me gip with a nearly full C drive and no way to free up space that I haven't tried. So it hangs a lot. Delighted you all like my upcycling project. I love it and it is so comfy. I realised I'd an incomplete post with the first draft as a paragraph was omitted - about the trip to Dublin and knitting in the car. Reinstated now. I am also trying to post a pic of the pattern in case you can get it online - it's a Sirdar Ocean pattern no. 8865. Happy knitting days everyone!
Catherine xxxx