Saturday, October 21, 2006


I've been a slacker on the blogging front, but that's not because I haven't been busy. Sarah's comments gave me a ton to think about. In the meanwhile...Meet blankie:

When you own a lot of handknitted sweaters, what do you do with them when they are worn out? Out of fashion? Or, it never actually suited you? If they're still in good shape, I give them away. Well, in this case, they weren', take 5 of these sweaters, felt the heck out of them, cut them into squares and rectangles, and sew them together. In my particular case, I break 3 or 4 sewing machine needles doing so, until I realize, duh, that a heavyweight needle might be a good idea. It takes most of a work day, but hey, doesn't somebody have to make things to keep the family (OK, the husband?) warm in the winter time? huh? And hey, can't you always knit and email and edit at night? (well, I can, and sometimes I do, 'cause daylight-well, that's for making blankies..!)

In brief summary, here's why these sweaters became blankie:
1) Oatmeal sweater--color looked bad, neckline was worse, and the velvety nubbly bits kept pulling out, making it unsuitable to give away. I knit this at least 5 years ago.
2) Purple and green sweater-knit for brother while we were in college. Perhaps 1994? He never wore it, loaned it to a frat. brother. The sweater mysteriously turned up in my parents' guestroom closet years later. I took it home, and wore it for too long. It's a man's large, it was always too big and hairy for me. Never even came close to fitting the very large husband.
3) Brown sweater--you can see it here under the "seeing things differently" post. I never did get more wear out of it by turning it inside out. What was I thinking? This was one of my first handspun, handknit sweater size creations that I completed from start to finish, somewhere in the mid-90's. I cut off the buttons to use again. Hey! They were good buttons!
4) Light green sweater with stripes at the yoke. My mommy made me this sweater out ofFingerlakes Unspun . I loved it to death, including shredding the backside hem. It went under my backside once too often.
5) Cranberry sweater also knit out of Fingerlakes Unspun by my mommy. She really loved me back then in the knitting department. This one had a cable up the middle. It pilled a lot. Just as a hint--this unspun stuff was so soft, felted well, and did NOT wear like iron. Had both of these mommy-knit sweaters for at least 11 years of use, I think.

Now, there's room in the cedar chest for more sweaters! The nice UPS man brought these lovely rovings to me from Stonehedge Fiber Mill on Thursday. They arrived a week after I sent the fleeces to be carded. No kidding. Wow! What service... The next box is coming soon, I hear.
Pictured below: one white Border Cheviot Fleece, a little over a pound each of blue and cranberry dyed Cotswold wool. This was the Cotswold that I mentioned earlier, that varied from cotton candy to black cherry in color when I dyed it. Doesn't it look luscious now!?


Blogger e's knitting and spinning blog said...

Such a great blankie with such a history! The Chevoit is making me drool!!!

October 22, 2006 at 6:27 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great blanket! I've got some sweaters and old Pendleton wool shirts I've been saving to do something similar. I like how you varied the sizes of the squares - I'll have to file this idea away for later. :-)
Those are some pretty large bumps of wool! But at the rate you spin you'll have them whittled down in no time!

October 22, 2006 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Melanie said...

Now that's a blanket you will cherish for many years, a blanket with a story. The rovings look yummy. What have you got planned for them?

October 22, 2006 at 2:03 PM  
Blogger CatonsvilleCats said...

Hm, I'm not ready to cut up any of my sweaters yet but someday I'll have a great blanket...

October 24, 2006 at 7:40 AM  
Blogger Barb said...

Great idea! I bet that's a very nice thick blanket that will be so soft and warm. I love how the colors come together.

October 24, 2006 at 8:49 AM  
Blogger Angela said...

I love the blankie!

October 24, 2006 at 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the blankie, I will definitely have a go at doing one of these. Tell me do you use a washing machine to do the felting, if so what temperature do you use? In the UK we have front loading machines that cannot be opened whilst in operation, would this be OK do you think. Wendy.

November 7, 2006 at 6:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love the blankie, will definitely have a go at making one of these. Do you do the felting in the washing machine. Here in the UK we have front loading machines that cannot be opened during operation, would that be OK do you think? Wendy.

November 7, 2006 at 6:20 AM  

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