Just don’t do it in public.

Mid-recycling process

I’ve been on a sweater-recycling kick lately. I love the motions of it so very much. Even the de-seaming isn’t so bad anymore, because I’m getting better at it every day. But once all of the pieces of the sweater are separated and waiting to be frogged, the fun begins. I have a system, and it’s terribly inconvenient and time-consuming, but I stick with it because of the motion. Instead of skeining the yarn immediately, I wind it into old-school balls first, then skein using two kitchen chairs.

If any of you have an extra swift and/or ball winder lying around that you don’t want, I will … basically do anything but pay you money for it.

Anyway, when winding the balls, I keep the rolled-up knitted piece between my knees (when sitting down), and then rip out ten or so arm lengths at once. To do this I flail my arms back and forth in the air, and it makes me feel lovely. The winding motion itself is much like punching one of those silly small testicle-ish boxing contraptions.

I’ve ripped and balled four sweaters since Thursday, and will probably do three or four more before I get to skeining, washing, drying, and winding. It’s the motion of it! I can’t stop.

Also, it’s so damn cheap! Last night I finished an extra large cashmere/alpaca/wool cardigan that I bought at a thrift store for five dollars. Buying the yarn would cost at least TWO HUNDRED DOLLARS. (My reasoning: I got about 1,500 yards from the cardigan. I couldn’t find a very very similar yarn, but wool/cashmere blends generally run at a minimum of $20/150 yards. 1,500/150 = 10. 10×20 = 200.)

You can say it’s not worth the time, but really at this point my time isn’t worth money. And that is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

Other than all the recycling, I’ve been making baby things. Because when a baby is coming, you give it wool. And there are millions of babies about to be born in my social circle.

If you want to recycle a sweater of your own, read this lovely tutorial. Then read the rest of that blog – it is brilliant. Then come to my backyard, we’ll rip in the sun unafraid of all the flying fibers getting stuck in our sinuses.


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