Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Yarn Liberation Front

It is really all Larissa’s fault. If she hadn’t spent time knitting the never ending cabled dog coat from the sleeve of a reclaimed sweater then I never would have thought of it.

Here at Chez Knit we are all about the yarn. The acronym SABLE is in full use. What is SABLE you are asking yourself?

S – Stash
A – Accumulation
B – Beyond
L - Life
E – Expectancy

But I cannot just run right out and buy yarn willy nilly as much as I would like to have an entire ROOM full of just Malabrigo Sock. Oh how lovely that would be. I would just be in there every day petting the yarn and talking to it in loving tones and thinking about the projects to make with it and rolling around in it and…..

Never mind.

Moving on.

You see, last year I observed Knit Sib Larissa knit a dog coat from the yarn “reclaimed” from a sweater that she had found at a garage sale. Larissa is clever that way. She didn’t even unwind the sweater! She just found the working end and knit that dog covering right from the sleeve of the sweater. I was fascinated. And I thought, “I CAN DO THAT MYSELF!”

Can I tell you how many times that little phrase has gotten me into trouble.

Minor kitchen remodeling by taking down the soffits above the cabinets? I CAN DO THAT MYSELF! And I didn’t finish the job all the way and had to have someone come and fix it.

Move that heavy wooden wardrobe from the upstairs bedroom to the downstairs family room? I CAN DO THAT MYSELF! And I gave myself a black eye in the process.

But I wasn’t going to let go of the idea of reclaiming a sweater from ugliness and disuse. It was a duty that I must perform. No sweater should be ugly. So I went right out and found a sweater that just cried out to be helped. It was there at the local thrift store in all it’s awesome teal glory. This is going to be SO easy I thought.

Famous last words.

I was doomed to failure from the outset because of the yarn. It wasn’t wool it was cotton. Cotton gives the illusion of easy. But it is not. Please take my advice and do not try to reclaim cotton yarn from a sweater that you have purchased at the thrift store. Consider this my personal mental health PSA just for you. Cotton yarn is a booger to work with anyways and when it is in a sweater it doesn’t like to unwind with ease. It likes to split and unravel and fray and make you wish that someone had hit you upside the head with a 2x4 before you ever began the project. I got part way though and literally threw that dadgum, half unraveled sweater ball in the trash. Never going to do THAT again! No siree bobby.

But the thought just wouldn’t let me go. There was yarn out there that needed me. Wool fiber trapped in the guise of an ugly sweater just crying out to be useful if only I would help it.

I was at the thrift store yesterday and there it was. An American Eagle Outfitters sweater in a denimy blue wool/nylon mix (80/20). A very large and very ugly cabled sweater. I walked by it and put my hand on it just to say hello. I walked by and I heard it’s feeble call for help so I took a second look. It was practically new if particularly ugly. No stains, no pilling, no holes. And only $3.5o!

I don’t know Mrs. Ugly Sweater. The last time that I thought about yarn liberation it was a very painful experience.

Please help me! I just want to be pretty and useful! Take me home and unwind me.

I don’t know……

You MUST! It is your duty as part of the Yarn Liberation Front!


Reclaimed yarn 1Reclaimed yarn 2


And despite cutting though some seams and having a number of really small balls of yarn AND sore fingers from all the seam separation…..

I might actually have enough yarn to knit a nice sweater.

This might be addictive.


  1. The dog coat was actually Plymouth Encore yarn I got in someone's destash on Ravelry for a buck a ball. It was the lace cowl that was knit straight from the sweater sleeve. But reclaiming is addictive.

    1. That's right it was the COWL! It just seemed like it was the Never Ending Dog Coat. Now I feel like I should go out and find another sweater to liberate.


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