Its pretty popular nowadays to recyle and repurpose things. And textile art is a great medium for doing that. I still can’t resist a good wool jacket at the thrift store, even though I know a good part of it has been faced, and not useful for rug hooking. I have a bin full of linen and silk clothing that I have picked up at the thrifts. I hope to use it in a quilt one day. Maybe this will be the year.
I have recycled quite a few sweaters. I used to dye the fiber, spin the yarn, and knit my own sweaters. And I used to wear a different size. So when I lost a lot of weight, I unraveled some of those sweaters. That was a lot of really nice wool and I didn’t want it to go to waste.
Once I knit a sweater for my dad. Poor dad. It wasn’t really a very masculine sweater. But to be honest, it wasn’t very feminine either. I brought it home with me when we cleared his house out. That was a lot of really nice yarn.
Its been four years now. I found it when I was looking for something else in the storage shed. I unraveled the parts of the sweater that I could. The front was constructed the way they used to make fair isle sweaters–knitted in one piece, and then cut and hemmed. So that made it useless to unravel. But a good part of the sleeves and part of the back were in good shape.
Of course, when something has been knitted for a long time, the yarn is kind of crinkly. So you need to skein it and re-wash it. In the end I have quite a bit of this beautiful blend of angora, silk, and merino wool. I will make something nice and cozy that will remind me of my dad. It won’t be as much a memory of him wearing this sweater as it will be a memory of how kind he was and how much he supported all my creative endeavors.