Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Reconstruction Weekend

It's Tuesday already, isn't it? wow. How did that happen? This past weekend unintentionally ended up being a recycle/reconstruct weekend for me and time just sort of flew by.


I had big plans of cleaning/organizing on Saturday but those plans went out the window when I came across a 100% wool sweater that was in the pile of clothing The Boy gave me for crafting/recycling.


I love the color and feel of the wool and knew I wanted to make something with it. I started to take it apart and realized that it was machine knit (but with good seams! yay!) from 2 strands of wool.

Now, here is where the "you WHAT?" questions would start from any non-Knitters/non-Crafters... but you won't do that, will you?

So, I didn't want to knit a whole sweater with 2 strands held together, so I decided to try spinning the 2 together, not plying exactly, more just creating a sort of melded yarn single.

sweater - single

This "single" was looking a touch fine for what I wanted, so I also tried plying my "single" back on itself. Now it was too thick.

sweater - 2 ply

So, I did what any reasonable Crafter/Knitter/Spinner would do when faced with a men's large 100% wool sweater knit with 2 strands of yarn held together.

I separated the 2 strands and then wound them on my ball winder and then chain (navajo?) plied them to make a 3 ply yarn that turned out to be JUST RIGHT. (about 180 yds/2 1/2 oz)

sweater - 3 ply

Much like Goldilocks.

Honestly, it didn't take nearly as long as it sounds like it would. (Although, also honestly, I have only done one sleeve's worth.) I love the feel of the finished yarn. I need to swatch it to be sure but I think it will end up being the perfect yarn. I want to knit the Tangled Yoke Cardigan from Interweave Knits and I think this will end up being just right for it. I hope. cross fingers/knock on wood/etc.


After brunch out with The Boy I came home and was compelled* to start working on a quilt I've had in mind since I first got the bag of clothes from The Boy. I had seen a quilt in a movie that looked like it was made with large sections of mens dress shirts and knew that was what i wanted to do with the shirts in the bag of clothing.

I first deconstructed each of the shirts (3 mens large 100% cotton shirts) and ironed them, squaring the ends and cutting them into the right widths.

quilt pieces

I then cut strips from a 100% cotton sheet I had leftover from my duvet cover. I pieced the shirts and strips and cut those strips into 5 foot lengths. Then I sewed the strips together and voila!

quilt top

It's about 5 feet wide and just over 5 1/2 feet long. Perfect for napping or curling up on the couch.

Now i just need to quilt it. I got impatient yesterday and decided to sew it together so that it's got finished edges already (i.e. not bound... i can't think of the term for what I mean!!) I plan to machine quilt along the long lines and, if i'm patient enough, do some quilting in the blocks as well.

I wonder if anyone would be suspicious if I called in "sick" this afternoon?? not that I would... or would I?

*seriously, COMPELLED. I started pulling the shirts out while I still had my jacket on. I started on this project at 12 noon and, with a brief break for supper, worked until 8 or so in the evening. I kept thinking "just this little bit more" and next thing I knew it was evening. I can't be the only one who ever does this, right?

***ETA: Now I'm thinking about the quilt and seriously considering tying it instead of machine quilting. The material for the "batting" is not very lofty, so I would probably not get the super cool quilting that I love so much, plus it would be faster. But I do so love the graphic look of straight quilting lines... Oh I'm so terrible with decisions!! Any advice? Any strong opinions??


  1. No advice - but, gosh you had a productive weekend!!!

    Making a quilt with boyfriend's old shirts is definitely preferable to ironing them!

  2. OK, the recycled sweater yarn is just cool! Love your navajo plying answer!

    For the quilt, I too am a fan of straight-line quilting. I have also found that tying a quilt results in more everyday wear-and-tear because it allows for greater movement of the fabrics and batting.

  3. That recycled sweater story is fantastic!! Love the quilt.


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