Sunday, April 3, 2011

Recycled Sweater Project Part 2

... lots of yarn, still just the one sweater.

I recently posted about using a used thrift store sweater to make yarn for yourself- Recycled, Upcycled Sweater. I had knit my son Bailey a sweater after taking apart the used sweater, dyeing it and reknit. His sweater took only the yarn from the front and back of the sweater and I still had enough leftover to make myself some leg warmers.

I took the sleeves off of the original sweater and set them aside for another project. A project I call Friendship Bonnets made for two awesome little girls Molly and Lydia. Instead of unraveling the yarn from the sleeves, I left whole. After hand washing them and soaking them in vinegar water I placed them on a layer of cling wrap. I mixed my food coloring with more vinegar water and used a squirt bottle to squirt stripes onto the sleeves. I used Wiltons black, red and royal blue. After I applied the dye, I added another sheet of cling wrap, rolled it up and microwaved it until the color was all absorbed. I then layed it out to dry.

The great thing about leaving the sleeves whole is when it was time to knit, I could just unravel the sleeve as I went. I didn't have to wind it into a skein or ball. You can buy something similar called a sock blank- a preknitted sheet of wool that you can dye then simply unravel to knit socks.

Each sleeve made one bonnet with no leftover yarn. The pattern is something I came up with on the spot.

There's a phenomenon that occurs (sometimes) with food coloring. It breaks. That means that all the colors that are in the dye separate. The black broke into a brown and green and the royal blue broke into blue, purple and a bit of pink. I think it looks great!

So with one $4.99 thrift store sweater, I was able to make one sweater, two hats and a pair of legwarmers! That's really cool.

Name: Friendship Bonnets
Yarn: recycled, upcycled thrift store sweater yarn
Weight: super bulky
Pattern: my own

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