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Thrifty Pie
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Thrifty Pie

I came back to Maryland with some nice additions to the stash – both new and recycled yarns. While I did not come home with the find of the century like my aunt, I did pick up some goodies while in Dixie Land.

I picked up four sweaters to unravel and recycle – the others are in various stages of washing and drying, so I’ll show off the one that was already cleaned at my aunt’s house, disassembled on the car ride home and unraveled on my ballwinder: An aquamarine (same color as my Diagonal Ribs socks!) Gap sweater – a 50/50 Wool Acrylic blend that has a nice texture and a large gauge. Perfect for knit accessories, or maybe even a vest…

Cleaned and ready to unravel

Using a seam ripper, I carefully took out all of the seams in this simply constructed sweater. The ripping took about 90 minutes total – it is delicate work and easy to cut the wrong thread! Thankfully that did not happen to me this time!

Hook it up and let her rip! Easy as pie.

Each sleeve yielded one big ball – the turtleneck was the small ball at the top, and the other 5 were the body. I estimate this at about 800 – 900 yards of yarn… pretty good for $1.49!

Several of you mentioned that you have only been able to find cheap acrylics at your local thrift shops – you should give the recycling a try! You need a good eye for nice quality fibers, and for the proper kind of seams that are condusive to ripping. A serged seam will not work – it has to be seamed like a handknit garment: with mattress or a related stitch. You will see the seams sewed in the sweater’s main color yarn, or in a sewing thread. Both as fairly easy to rip. Keep a steady hand as you use a seam ripper or small scissors, and only cut the connecting thread, not the sweater’s main yarn.

I did find some wool/cotton/rayon blend in a $1.00 grab bag that I thought would work very well for a purse (like the one I mentioned last week, perhaps?) We were on a crafty binge, so we also stopped by Hobby Lobby where I ran into a 50% off sale. Purchasing ensued.

It was not until I got home and photographed it before I realized how much purple yarn I actually bought…

Two skeins of acrylic, and two of the rayon/cotton blend.

Three and a half skeins of the same rayon/cotton blend.

Nine skeins (half price – $2 and some change! – 4 in dark lilac and 5 in dusty lilac. No idea what to make with it, but the yarn sure feels nice… Yarn Bee Dreamy Chenille, Hobby Lobby’s store brand.

My aunt also knows that I am a big fan of the vintage craft books and pattern pamphlets. She picked up these goodies for me – 70s style, baby!

Would you still come to visit me if I made that yellow box sweater on the front of the crochet book? It is so my style! ;) There are some cool patterns in these books, though- stay tuned for some glimpses in the coming days.

While I did come back from Alabama with some nice new stash enhancements, I also came back with some nice warm fuzzies – it was great to spend time with my family, and see my Grandaddy!

Here we are celebrating a late Christmas. I managed to get a smile out of him!

And while we missed our girls, I still got some puppy love from my aunt and uncle’s cute dogs! Here I am holding Nate, and Toby is at the right.

I am still so behind on my blogging – I have many more things to show and tell you about our trip, the holidays, and other knits and crafts – so look for more entries! I am also slowly working my way through the 800+ Bloglines updates… I am woefully behind…

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26 Responses

  1. eyeleen

    Wow! your trip yielded some excellent stash enhancements.

  2. Isela

    Lolly, you are thrifty, awesome stash enhancement!

  3. Kimberly

    Wow what a great way to recycle yarn! I can’t wait to see what you come up with in purple. :)

  4. Joan

    You acquired some great yarn there! Check out your America’s Knitting Book for the inside out method of circular knitting. I learned to knit in the round from this book and still have it. And yes I do knit inside out!

  5. Carole

    I don’t know if I would have the patience to rip and unravel a whole sweater. My hat’s off to you for success with it, though.

  6. Amy

    800+ Blogline updates…holy cow!! I thought I had a long list.

    Way to go finding all of those hidden treasures. I like the idea of bringing new life to something discarded.


  7. catherinekerth

    what a great haul! love that yarn from the sweater, it should make something great :) you did get a lot of purple yarn ! cute pic of you and your granddaddy!

  8. scout

    First of all… miss you Lolly!!! Glad you’re home!

    And secondly…. YUMMY PURPLE!

    Didja happen to see my post yesterday? Me, recruited by my local yarn shop! Look out stash!!!

  9. Annette

    Wow. Awesome thrifty stash goodies! I would still come back to see you if you made that box sweater. I think it would be really cute in the right colors and fiber.

  10. heather

    thrify thriftster!

    What a haul! I see many of these trips in our future!

    lovely purple!

    so good to do XMAS with you last nite lolly dear

  11. Amy

    What great yarn finds Lolly! I look forward to seeing what projects they turn into in ’06! :) All-in-all it looks like you had a wonderful time with the family in ‘Bama.

  12. katie

    Alas, my one experiment with thrifting for recyclables ended badly, too. :( When ripped, the sweater turned out to be knit from about a dozen tiny threads held together, not one spun yarn. The little threads caught on each other, broke, made a mess.

    Perhaps enough time has passed for me to forgive that sweater and try again, though. Ripping is fun…

  13. Karen

    Wow, those are some great stash enhancements. And thank you so much for the yarn recycling tips – I’d like to give it a try some time.

  14. Kathy

    Hmmm…would you make that box sweater in screaming yellow? Hehe…I think you should use…purple! :)

    Cuuuuute doggies!!

  15. Tara

    Lolly, I think you could totally pull off that yellow sweater! hee hee. Glad you had so much fun over the holidays, and you’re right about the super value of recycling sweaters!!!

  16. Kate

    Look at all that purple.. and at a great price. I’m jealous. Love the pic in the top post of you and Kris. SO FREAKIN CUTE!

  17. Cathi

    Is that rayon/cotton the new Red Heart cotton? I’ve been curious about that but haven’t seen it at any of my local craft stores.

    And would you believe that I have that exact Gap sweater? I wear it all the time! Paid more than $1.49 for it, though. :P

  18. Carolyn

    Yeah for purple…love it! great deals. your socks below are so awesome…you are officially a serious sock knitter now!

  19. Usagi

    http://www.neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html is a great tutorial on how to recycle a sweater– large and clear photos.

  20. Mimi

    All that purple is fabulous! I am glad you all had a great visit.

  21. Jenna

    Wow, what a purple kick, looks like you may have a subconscious yarncolor obsession coming up. That chenille particularly looks nice. You need to take me to your local thrift store to check out the sweaters, there aren’t any good places to find ripworty ones around here. Oh man, and those dogs are killer cute!

    glad that you had a good trip.

  22. Karen

    It soulds like you had a great trip Lolly. And boy oh boy you scored some nice yarn! I really like your thrift store find. Good deal!

  23. Moni

    I need to learn a thing or two about carefully unraveling sweaters. I’ve been trying to unravel a sweater that I knit up and it’s not a good scene. I need to invest in a seam ripper, I think.

  24. Beak KNits

    The seam ripper idea is great…if only I had read this earlier today. I just spent three hours on a sweater with my very tiny thread scissors…ouch, my aching wrist!

  25. Rachel

    I LOVE the idea of recycling yarn!! What a great idea!

  26. Cerella Di Mondo

    I have finally figured out who you remind me of….I’m sure that you hear it all of the time! Hilary Duff! You are just too cute!

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