Posts Tagged ‘clitorectomy’

Day 1

December 30, 2007

I’ve wanted to do this for a couple of years. I came across Ashley Martineau’s recycling tutorial over a year ago, but had never gotten around to it. Yesterday, christmas eve day, I stopped at Listen, our local thrift shop, on the way to celebrate juleaften with family (with all the knitted goodies in tow). I arrived at the shop ten minutes before closing, so I had to rush, which was not conducive to making good and thoughtful choices about which sweaters would be appropriate for recycling. Still, it was funner ‘en hell.

I settled on 29 dollars worth of sweaters, around eight or nine sweaters. All of them were either 100 % wool, or a wool-angora mix. Several were worsted or bulky looking, and two were super fine (those two wool/angora ones, the ones I really loved). I made sure to check for good seams, and so far, all of them have been fine except for some tricky bits at the shoulders seams.

I brought the big bag o’ sweaters with me to juleaften. Okay, in point of fact I had to run a few errands, and I found what turns out to be my best tool so far for ripping seams, a teeny Swiss Army knife, and sat first at a gas station, and then behind the Chinese place –starting to rip up the first side seam. I was just that hot to start! When I got to mom’s place, I had fun showing her all my wooly loot. I ripped a bit but then, reluctantly, set it aside so I could get presents wrapped before Svend and Mia arrived. That basically took the whole afternoon, and then christmas eve was upon us, and the geese were roasted, we were all happy, and life was Very Good. In particular I got very excited about a book I’d been coveting (thank you mom!) called Charcuterie. Ah, pork, the king of meat..

The first recycling sweater

Anyhow, I drove home at midnight, and spent the next two hours figuring out to set up the lovely linksys wireless router that my nephew gave me. With the help of a dear man named Amol from Western India, I succeeded, and fell asleep beaming at this new macbook, the Big Present of this winter from my brother, Svend.
In the morning I got up at 7 am, and then again at 8 am, and then at 9 am, and finally I really got up at 10:30, which is super late for me. After a bit of puttering, and laying on the sofa browsing Ravelry, I was reminded of my new unraveling project.

I made breakfast, mellow soft eggy curds of scrambled wonderfulness, some kinda crappy bacon, and the first cup of coffee in months. Yummy.

Then I retrieved my bowl of sweater, the teeny swiss army knife, and proceeded to figure out how to start unraveling the sleeve I’d managed to separate from the rest of the sweater. At first I was concerned, because I was getting what Ashley’s tutorial called yarnlets. It wasn’t so much because I’d cut in a bad way, rather, it was the top of a small sleeve, and so it simply consisted of shorter pieces. Soon, though, I was getting longer pieces. Yay! They were still a little shorter than I’d expected, but still long enough to be useful, I reckon.

Little piles of unraveled sweater

The sweater is made up of 7 colors, though one of those , so far, is only about 4 feet long. The color I like the most is a deep iron grey, though the rest of them are definitely the sorts of colors I like.

The yarn is very fine –in fact, each strand is made up of 2 really fine strands. It’s not plied, which is to say, it’s not twisted. To me it looks just like when I knit with two strands. Some of the colors, such as the dark grey, is not only thin, it’s very fragile. I worried about this a little, but I believe that if I knit with 4 strands, it will be similar in weight to a DK, and once knit up into something like a hat, which doesn’t need to be uber strong, I think it will be quite lovely. It is so soft and pleasant to touch.

I hit my dilemma after a few minutes: I hadn’t thought out how I would deal with the unraveled yarn as I frogged along. I started a few tiny balls, just wound a bit haphazardly round two fingers. Thing is, I was getting, you know, multiple strands of each of the seven colors, and I just didn’t trust these little roughly wound balls to not become a mess. I wanted to skein each of the colors when I’m done in order to wash, etc, and I was imagining doing this, and realized it would be easier if I had good lengths of yarn rolled into balls that were neat enough to skein from.

So, how exactly to roll the yarn into neat balls that I could skein from. Pretty much immediately, I wanted to use my nøstepinde, but I only have the one, and it’s kind of big, and this yarn is so fine. I looked around my flat for an alternative. My eyes lit on one of my cups of pencils. Ah ha! I started making balls, and sure enough, this worked really well. Plus, as I work, I’m getting these gorgeous fat lollipops of yarn, AND I found a great way to tie in geocaching swag (in the form of pencils) into knitting. Bliss.

Yarn lollipops

Also, when I went to check what Ashley said, she was pretty adamant about NOT having piles of unravelled yarn, but suggested rather that I should be rolling the yarns into balls as I went along. So, I found a happy medium. Working on the sleeve, I’d unravel an inch or so of the fabric, and I’d have 6 or seven small mounds of loose kinky yarn in different colors. There would come a point where I’d look at the piles, and think: that pile should be rolled into a ball before I get snarly trouble. I also decided to tie all the strands of a given color together as I wound the ball. This was so that when I do the skeining to wash the yarn, I have one nice single length. It sounds like a pain, but it really wasn’t. I got into a rhythm, and it was pleasant to keep my hands occupied while watching TV.

There were some funny moments during the afternoon. It was funny how excited I’d get whenever I’d come across a really LONG piece of yarn, and when I got to the solid iron grey cuff of the arm, I was practically wriggling with excitement at the prospect of that WHOLE inch plus of fabric unraveling as one looong piece! There was one nervous moment as I began unraveling the cuff: somehow I got one short yarnlet as I began to frog, but it was just the one, the rest of the cuff came off like a DREAM.

The cuff all ready to rip

Oh, there was one other scary moment. At one point I needed my teeny Swiss Army knife scissors, and I couldn’t find them. I turned and searched between cushions and felt under the sofa when I felt a cold shiver crawl up my spine. Actually, what I felt was the cold steel of the sharp little scissors under me. Like, RIGHT under me, less than an inch from my hoo hootie, with nothing but my big-girl panties between my tender bits and some horrible accidental clitorectomy. I shuddered as I recalled all the enthusiastic crafty wriggling I’d done earlier, and resolved to keep a better eye on my scisseaux. Or maybe I’ll knit me up some steel chainmail boy shorts.

A sleeve's worth of yarn lollipops