Friday, November 21, 2008

Recycling Yarn

About two years ago I made this sweater. My first attempt at a top-down raglan, it is knit from Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, which is 80/20 cotton/wool. It was a tad large, and the sleeves especially were too big. But it was okay . . . wearable (although the cat was not impressed). And I loved the color. Labeled "Lupine," it's a blueish, grayish purple that photographs as blue unless it is in direct, bright sunlight.


A year rolled by, and the sweater and I were happy together. But then . . . then I lost weight. Not intentionally; I guess it was all the outdoor activity, now that I am no longer a desk jockey. And the sweater stretched (don’t forget the yarn is 80% cotton). Since I had no particular need for a purple v-neck dress, I frogged it (and rinsed the yarn, dried it, and skeined it, of course, like a good little knitter).


I searched Ravelry to see what sweaters other knitters had made with Cotton Fleece and found this lovely pattern called "Dovetail" which is written for 100% cotton yarn. It's from the Spring 2008 issue of Interweave Knits, so it was right near the top of the magazine pile. The fact that the model has her hair draped across the neckline raises some suspicions in that area, but I'm planning/hoping to change it anyway, so no big deal. I'd like to create a V-neck that follows the line of the slanting rib.


So far, so good. The measurements look about right, and I'm almost up to the armhole decreases. I'm knitting the front first in case I totally mess up the neckline. If I can't make that part work, I may change to a different pattern. I've also removed the little rope cable that runs down the side. It looks nice on the larger sizes, but too crowded for my narrower frame.


This is definitely not a mindless knit. In addition to the outward twists of the ribbing, almost every row has decreases/increases (waistline shaping and then the armholes). The sleeves should be restful, though. They can be mostly knit in the round on DPN's in straight stockinette (working on the reverse) with only a few increases to keep track of. But first the neckline must be conquered!

11 comments:

beverlyanne said...

Good choice for the frogged yarn;I think the cables will be flattering. Now that I'm more comfortable with sleeve caps, necklines are my next obstacle. I'm interested to see how your neckline modification works.

Delighted Hands said...

oH, you are something!
The new sweater is beautiful-yes, the v-neck down sweater I made looked just like yours-a bit too sloppy for my tastes-I sent it to GoodWill,though, and never even thought about reknitting it! you are going to love this new one-hope the neckline cooperates!

Luni said...

I've liked that pattern since I first saw it. I'll bet it makes a lovely sweater, especially with a v-neck. Good for you for salvaging the yarn from an unwearable sweater, and for picking a nice yarn to begin with. Usually if I have a sweater I don't wear, the thing I don't like about them is the yarn!

Laura said...

It is looking strikingly good already. I love Cotton Fleece (am knitting with it too these days as it happens). Eunny Jang posted an extraordinary cabled sweater knitted with it on her blog once.
Great idea to execute a V neck that follows the center cable more organically.

Kath said...

Forgot to tell you that I was chatting with an unfamiliar woman at the LYS and when I told her what you had done (frogging sweater to re-knit into new sweater) she was somewhere between horrified (at the frogging) and impressed (at your bravery).

p.s. my verification word is "socki"!

Sharon said...

Attention divided - watching a Laurence Welk Thanksgiving special. Don't tell me you never watched him. Good on you to recycle that yarn and what a good call on the pattern.

Marjorie said...

That is a good choice for Cotton Fleece. I had the same problem, but I only knit a bit of the back before I realized how stretchy it would be. That is why I chose the Calvin Klein cardigan. I thought the cables would give it shape (and they do). I'm sure the cables on your sweater will keep it "pulled in".

On the Calvin Klein cardigan, I didn't calculate that the sleeves had fewer cables than the fronts and backs, and I knit quite a lot on them before frogging and redoing because they were so huge. I'd also recommend a check of the sleeve size before you begin them.

I also found that the yarn takes forever to dry.

Marjorie said...

Oh, and I just finished The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society as an audiobook--it was an excellent story and a terrific audiobook

Lucia said...

It's looking great! Dontcha hate it, though, when they hide flaws with hats or hair or what have you? Show me a head-on picture of the whole garment with no trickery (that pose with the model's arms outstretched on tree branches or a fence? we're onto that one). Still, I really do like that pattern, so maybe the magazine editor did too.

Sheila said...

Great choice for the yarn. I love the color. I will be waiting to see how the neckline turns out for you.

~ Phyllis ~ said...

What a clever way to recycle a sweater. You are doing a great job. Anxious to see the finished sweater.