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I Knit Around

Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday Melange; Frogs, Rats, Knitters, Rats, and Bloggers (and Rats)

Lightning Can Strike Twice

If you go looking for it. After my surprise find of a froggable silk sweater at a local rummage sale on Friday, Gryphon and I decided to check out the Salvation Army shop that we learned had opened in Nashua a year or so ago.

Within seconds of hitting the sweater racks, I had my hands on a lovely, dark coral cashmere sweater that, if frogged, would give me yards of laceweight. Alas (and luckily), I discovered the moth holes before hitting the checkout with it.

Reluctantly putting back that sweater, I kept cruising the racks. And there were lots of them. I found at least a half dozen different racks, each 15 - 20 feet long or so, just loaded with sweaters of all kinds.

p4223840.jpg

In the end, I settled for a blue chenille sweater by Nautica that looked promising. 65% acrylic, 35% cotton. The online tutorials I'd found advised against frogging chenille sweaters on the grounds that they shed, sometimes to the point of the yarn going completely bald. Still, there was a factor to consider that Neauveau couldn't have accounted for. It was pink tag day at the Salvation Army, so this $5 sweater only cost me $1. I felt that was worth a try!

The score of the day, however, was this color-blocked sweater

Thrift Store Color Block Sweater

Good seams: Check

Quarter to Show Yarn Scale

Worsted weight, usable yarn: Check

Tag

Cashmere: Check

Let me repeat that last one.

Cashmere.

Are we sure we got that?

Cashmere Tag Close-up
100% CASHMERE. Worsted weight.

It's a great, big, mucking sweater, too. A little tight around my hips and neck. But the yarn feels absolutely yummy against the skin, and I long to be able to wear it. I'm guessing that if I frog it carefully, I might just get enough yarn to make myself a little cardigan or something.

Oh, yeah - it didn't have a pink tag, so I had to pay full price for it.

$6.99.

Cool.

Star, of course, figures that only her opinion of these things matters.

Star Inspects the Cashmere
Inspecting the Cashmere

Thank goodness she approved.

Let the Frogging Begin

I decided that the chenille, being not only so cheap but considered by the tutorials to be likely to fail on me, was where I was going to begin. I found some seam threads, and disconnected a sleeve from the body. I'm sorry there aren't pictures of the process, but the tutorial that I linked above shows how it goes quite well.

I found that the chenille yarn shed slightly, but not much. I think I found a sweater in pristine condition, and that makes a difference, I'm sure. Of course, when I'm all done I'll be washing the yarn - we'll see if that alters things.

I showed the ball of yarn that I got from a single sleeve to Gryphon, and he was impressed. Imagine a fingering weight chenille yarn, in a ball at least six inches in diameter. We'll figure out later how much yardage there is, but this sweater is on track to providing a nice amount of yarn.

Gryphon has always found disassembling defunct clothing to be a relaxing pastime. (He picked the habit up in his bachelor days, salvaging buttons and the like from worn-out clothes.) He suggested he might like to share in the project of frogging sweaters.

I had been quite liking the process myself, however, and I confess to an internal twinge at the notion of giving up any of my special sweater finds to another - even my beloved Gryphon. But then I remembered a nearly unused cotton cardigan I had in the closet. Purchased at severe discount at a Going Out of Business sale at a Syracuse department store when Gryphon and I got married, it had turned out in the long term to be uncomfortable and unnecessary. But it's got the right seams, and a nice red cotton yarn that I could imagine knitting with. So I offered it up to Gryphon for his first frogging project.

Star Helps Gryphon Frog a Sweater
Star Learns About Frogging

As you can see, he solicited a little help with the job.

Blogiversary Celebration

Well, technically it was just another SnB-NH gathering on Sunday, but hey, it was my blogiversary, too. And there were special guests and even gifts, so I think I can count it as a celebration!

We had a marvelous gathering, I think in the end nine of us had made it. Everyone had a great time chatting and knitting.

The UCP Twins
The UCP Twins

My friend Anne was inspired by my Ugly Crochet Poncho to make her very own, and they were seen together for the first time on Sunday. Sorry, Anne, but apparently Gryphon couldn't see on the tiny camera screen that your eyes were closed in both pictures he took! This was the best of the two, I promise.

Oh, yeah - and check out the cool hat that Anne's wearing. She crocheted it herself. It's based on a free pattern from Lion Brand, but she found it necessary to pretty much make it up for herself as she went, because she couldn't get their recommended gauge to work out for anything. I think she did a great job, and I might just have to make a hat like it for myself sometime before next winter.

A special Sunday treat was that Sara was able to come all the way down from where she lives in Claremont, NH. That's a long hike, but she was in the area (well, in Manchester) anyhow to drop her partner off at the airport, and since the timing was right, she decided to join us!

Sara and I "met" back in February, when we both knit for Team NH in the Knitting Olympics. We've been reading each other blogs ever since, but given that we live in such different regions of the state, I had presumed that meeting was unlikely.

Color me wrong!

Folkcat and Sara - Together at Last!
Folkcat & Sara, Together at Last

I knew that Sara was coming - but I didn't know she'd be bearing gifts. To my surprise, she brought out a little baggie and handed it to me, saying "Speaking of the rats, this is for them."

The baggie contained a lovely, soft, cotton garter-stitch square, knit in shades of purple. Sara had knit a rug for the Rattie Sisters!

Star and Sable and the Gift Rug
A New Rug for Condo Raton

The girls have already inspected it thoroughly, and have agreed that it's a beautiful addition to their condo decor.

Thanks, Sara!

Wrapping Up the Threads

Quite an interesting and fibery weekend altogether. I found a source of affordable luxury yarns to knit with. I met a blog friend for the first time. Gryphon has picked up a pastime that can directly benefit my knitting. The rats are proving quite interested in - and talented at - fiber inspection. My little Rattie children were acknowledged from outside the immediate family by the presentation of a gift. But best of all, I spent hours knitting and talking with good friends, old and new, on the day of my blogiversary.

All that, and the Easter Candy at Target was 90% off on Sunday. 16 cents for a bag of Mini Robin Eggs. Shut up - I only brought home four bags! Oh, and a 9 cent bag of jelly beans.

I think the conclusion here is obvious. I had a great weekend!

My sincere thanks to all the friends that made it so!

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