Friday, March 14, 2008

The "Aran Sweater Adventure" begins

So my friend Sally gave me a box of sweaters a while ago...donating to the wool-covered-baby-butt cause...and in the box was a HUGE Aran sweater! Actually a men's medium. Undyed & in great shape. Ooh I just had to have it :)
Here's a pic


If you're reading Sally, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!

It has some pretty extensive cabeling with some pretty big holes in the design as a result...didn't think it would work to cut it up & definitely didn't want to felt it. So the alternative...unravel it and reknit the yarn...I started yesterday.

Now I'm glad that I spent all that time figuring out how to unravel the cotton sweater (which yarn I have hardly used) cuz this one went much smoother. So far the only trouble spots have been where there's a bit of felting at the seams...not sure how that happened since I don't make sweaters.

Anyway, I got all four pieces apart...2 sleeves and front & back panels and weighed them all...
1 lb 13oz! EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!

The part I disliked the most was the tiny crochet chain to bind off the tops (really the last live stitches) of all of the pieces...I actually haven't taken it off of the sleeves yet. Four chains from all the shoulder edges was enough for one day. Then I started unraveling and winding into a center pull ball on a paper towel roll. Then I stopped.

I had thought about washing the sweater before I started...but that thought crossed my mind weeks ago & was since forgotten...I was too excited to get started yesterday. As I was winding I thought...ya know it's gonna be REALLY hard to wash unraveled. Hmmm...off to wash.

I kind of like washing wool :) It smells a little funny, but I REALLY like clean wool especially when it smells like the lavender baby wash that I was using on it.

I was really surprised at how dirty the wash water was. I know Sally said that she'd had the sweater for about 20yrs but that it's hardly been worn...seeing how HUGE it was compared to little Sally, I believe it. I had to rinse each piece about 4-5 times before I was okay with what was left in the water. A quick spin in the washer & it was time to figure out WHERE I was going to lay it out to dry...oops didn't preplan :)LOL

I came up with this...

On one two-piece section of "baby-fence" on top of the glass table in the sun room. The fencing is about 5 feet long & it still wasn't big enough to hold it all...the sleeves were hanging off the sides a bit.

So it's still there right now...the ribbing was still damp last night. It is a lot brighter now after the wash & I can't wait to get back to unraveling :)

In the meantime, here's some pics of the cabeling

1 comment:

Sally said...

wow. so, um... I didn't realize just how attached to that sweater I was. I've got tears in my eyes. The sweater was a gift from my grandparents (both departed) when they went to Ireland back when I was in high school. But y'know... I'm really glad that the sweater is being given a new life - certainly much better than sitting in a box. I look forward to reading about your enjoyment of it, and seeing what you turn it into. :)