Saturday, September 09, 2006

some reconstruction

I pulled my Crichton Cardigan out of the drawer the other day and had a hard look at it. I tried it on a few times, posed a few different ways in the mirror, and came to the indisputable truth:

First, that it is at least two sizes too big for me. (I was afraid What Not to Wear would show up any second.)

And secondly, that I would never wear something this vibrant. The colors are beautiful, but if it remained the way it was, only my drawer was going to be appreciating that.

So, I ripped:

This is what's left now. I think I might make it into a pillowcase. It really is so soft, and the colors and pattern are lovely. I'm also extremely proud of it - this was my first foray into colorwork.

Of course, I'm not going to leave the ripped out yarn sitting idly - so why not make them into socks?

This was as far as I was able to get with the hot pink and some of the white. When ripping, I discovered that the pink had bled onto the white in some places. I figured if I used the stained white with the pink, it would be much less obvious. My plan seems to have worked, because I can't tell at all that the pink is stained. I still have half a ball of the pink left, so I'm sure that I'll be able to get a full pair of socks. I have enough white to sink a boat - no worries there. This sock is based on Meg Swansen's design in the Vogue Fall 2006. I did a pattern of snowflakes (found in Elizabeth Zimmerman's Knitting Around) instead of diamonds, and added a few rows of 1x1 ribbing at the top to help keep it up.

I was able to completely finish a pair of socks (this time following Meg Swansen's pattern without any additions) out of leftover charcoal and white. As you can tell, I really, really like this sock pattern. The arch shaping makes it so comfortable, and I love the striping up and down the leg. It's also much easier to make socks out of the ripped yarn than anything larger. Because I had used steeks in the cardigan, I have many short pieces of yarn instead of the nice tidy ball you might get otherwise. With a sock, I'm able to get about three rounds out of a length of yarn, whereas with something larger I'd be having to reconnect it every half round or so. I tried spit splicing, but for some reason it's just not working for me. At any rate, adding in a fresh piece of yarn only slows me down about half an hour for each sock. Not a big deal to me.

So! I am of course going to finish and make a mate for my pink sock, and I'll be able to make a mate for my red sock that I posted earlier out of my leftovers. This makes me especially happy, since otherwise I would have had to buy another skein to complete the pair. All of this success got me thinking about my poor silk yarn, which I've ripped a number of times, unsuccessfully and half-heartedly tried to sell, and finally shoved it into the back of my yarn container and tried to forget about. Surely, if something can be made out of 20 inch lengths of yarn, I could do something with this?

Enter Clapotis, a very popular pattern on Knitty.com.

This pattern takes good advantage of all of the qualities of the Reynolds Mandalay silk. It uses strips of stockinette between the dropped stitches, which allow the beautiful color variations to show. I had tried making lace out of it, but the variations got lost and it looked very muddy. The pattern also allows the silk to hang however it wants and still look nice. The garments I tried to make out of it were a mess of heavy material, which sagged in some undesireable places. I don't think I'm going to be buying a 100% silk yarn again (I don't mind if it's mixed in with more elastic fibers), but I've definitely gotten over my disappointment for now.

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4 Comments:

Anonymous Susan said...

Becki, You are a wonderful knitter. That sweater you ripped out is gorgous!!! And your Norwegian socks are sensational. You are a true "Knitspiration"

11:55 AM  
Blogger hege said...

Oh my god!!! You ripped the beautiful, finished sweater!!! That took an amazing amount of guts! But the fact that you are able to make the socks with the yarn is great. I am also excited to hear that the socks are extra comfortable. I saw those in VK and thought they were intriguing. Bravo for you!

2:19 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Go you with all the sock action! Very impressive. A pillowcase seems like a good option for what's left of Chrichton. -rudbekia

9:02 PM  
Blogger DeeAnn said...

Great reuse!

5:02 PM  

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