Saturday, November 03, 2007

Left-Over Yarn Experimentation

Blue t-shirt knit yarn swatch

For some reason, late fall is the time of year I pull out my overflowing bags of fabric scraps and hunt for project ideas that will reduce the stash volume and produce something useful, attractive, and/or fun. Scrap quilts are always great projects, and I've even made window quilts out of rayon scraps (totally inappropriate for quilts, yet too pretty to discard) by sewing them to foundation pieces cut from old tablecloths. Last year, I hauled out my boxes of knit scraps and used up an entire laundry basket full testing lingerie patterns.

Pink cotton/wool blend swatch

Although I have plans to work with fabric scraps soon, the knitting machine preoccupation has moved me to drag out my large collection of worsted weight cotton and cotton/rayon yarns. Some of these are leftovers from completed projects, others are odds and ends I bought over the years from end of summer sale baskets. I've found that I don't usually like wearing sweaters knitted of cotton this heavy. Fingering-weight or sport weight cotton seems much more wearable. I knitted a cotton throw once, and it was heavy, and stretched badly, and wore out quickly. I even sold a few lots of pretty cotton yarn on eBay, but they don't have the brand names that knitters recognize these days. If only eBay had been around in the 1980's--these were real uptown brands in their day.

Kingfisher blue cotton yarn swatch

Now I'm swatching on the Bond Antepenultimate Sweater Machine, hoping for inspiration to strike. There's not enough of any one color or texture to make a complete project, so I'm looking for ways to combine colors and textures. I'm thinking about knitting strips or squares (or more random shapes) and piecing them together. Maybe I could make a jacket....

1 comment:

OfTroy said...

have you thought of the japanese (shi....??) felting?

make loose stocking knit of wool

use pearl cotton or something similar to embed buttons or other things into the stocking knit (think Tie dying)

felt.. then cut the cotton thread, and remove the button.. the fabric has still felted, but it hasn't shrunk.. you have raised relief (in the shape and pattern of the buttons, finding, charms...

if you start with a loose gauge, and don't over felt.. you still have a soft drapy fabric..