Recently, a new business called Yarn Harvest opened in Austin. They have a very cool business idea: unravel old sweaters that are made with quality wool, wash and repackage said wool, and resell. Voila, recycled yarn. (See a short video about them here.)
Under duress, I underwent my own yarn harvest experiment over the last two days. A year ago, I bought a discounted bag of luscious, cornflower-blue Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool at Stitches South (a knitting convention). I decided to use it to make a sweater of my own design. Out of love and respect, I asked the yarn what it wanted to be.
The yarn lied to me. It said that it wanted to be a V-neck pullover with waist shaping and a lace panel up the front. It said it wanted a nice hem along the bottom and cuffs.
It even said, when I checked my gauge and my own measurements for the umpteenth time while knitting that sweater, that Everything Was Coming Out Fine.
The measurements were all correct. The design really did suit the yarn.
And it looked like utter cat barf on me. Why? Too big. Like wearing a giant silk-and-wool house dress. I don’t get it either.
What did I do in this crisis? The same thing I did when once I got a scathing review of an article that I had submitted to a history journal — I believe he used the word “incompetent” — I chucked the thing into the dark recesses of my closet and willed it to disappear. It’s amazing that I am considered mature enough to raise a child.
Then, for whatever reason, a few days ago I was possessed to spring into action. I unraveled the whole blasted thing. I wound the yarn back into hanks so that I could dunk them into a nice hot bath. After letting the yarn relax back into its natural state, I hung the suckers up to dry:
There they are, trying to look like virgin wool. Jerks.
As you may be able to discern, I feel a little singed by the experience, so I may just follow someone else’s pattern this time. I’m thinking about the Ogee Tunic by that genius Norah Gaughan. Norah, you would never lie to me. You will make this yarn behave.