If I was clairvoyant, I would have sent out invitations this week to ‘Frog Party, Catriona’s House’. I’ve ripped out a, frankly, impressive amount of knitwear. Ranging from current projects to older and less used garments, I’ve decided to start afresh.
It’s a bit too raw to talk about the current projects; I might burst into tears again. But I’ve known in the back of my mind for a while that I wanted to rip out three older projects in particular. I just didn’t know whether I should.
For all of them, there was some reason why I wasn’t using them like I thought I would. They still represented memories of good times. I had worked so hard to knit them and had learned so much in doing so. I kept going back and forth.
I’ve even spoken about knitting Bonny on this blog. I knitted the t-shirt in the spring / summer of my final year at university. It brings up memories of barbecues on the Meadows and wandering around Barcelona. It’s such a lovely pattern by TinCan Knits. Worn over a camisole, it works nicely as casual but pretty.
The issue was that I just wasn’t picking it up in the morning. The deep armholes made me feel a little exposed when I was wearing a camisole. It also needed to be a fairly warm, but not too hot day to wear it as it keeps the body warm while exposing the arms completely. We don’t have too many days like that in Edinburgh, sadly.
What finally convinced me to rip it out was the yarn. It was too beautiful to be left unused, and was still of good quality. The yarn had plenty of life in it, even if the garment didn’t. I could, of course, buy the same yarn again. However, environmentally, economically and just plain sentimentally, I’d quite like to reuse the same yarn.
I started unpicking the seams, ripping the knitting back, and then winding the yarn back into hanks. Next I’ll give the yarn a bath and let it hang to dry. This should hopefully undo most of the kinks in the yarn and make it nice to knit with again.
If it goes well, there’s two other projects are due this treatment. Both are favourites of mine – Cushing Isle by Amy Hertzog and Starting Point by Joji Locatelli. These are beautiful projects that somehow just aren’t what I need. I’ve enjoyed them over the past years but it’s finally time for them to adapt or be thrown out. In both cases, the yarn is too lovely still to let go without at least trying to save it.
I’m not sure what I’ll do with the reclaimed yarn. I want to give it a chance to relax in a skein and it’ll go back into my stash if it’s all successful. Perhaps I’ll do a series of projects next year using it. More likely, I’ll knit it when I have a whim of what to do with it.
The surprising thing is how good it feels. I believe that I’ve grown enough as a knitter to think I can do better next time. I’ve not lost any of the knowledge I gained knitting these garments by ripping them out. I’ve gained a skein or seven of yarn, and only lost something I wasn’t using anyway.
I’ve also started work on a project bag. It uses Lion King fabric I bought from HobbyCraft matched with a lighter green for the base and the lining. I’ve only just cut out the pieces. I love how happy it makes the characters seem even in silhouette.
I’m still a very new sewist, so that was an adventure enough for me this week! It’s gotten put away in a drawer ready for me to start sewing it together when I get the confidence up.