I knit this sweater for Pat a few years ago. I knit it a bit on the snug side and then proceeded to shrink it in the laundry. I may have done a decent job of knitting it, but I didn’t do a decent job of putting it together – look at how awful those seams are! The sweater as-is was unwearable by my husband, didn’t fit me and Edie wasn’t interested. So it sat on my mending pile for eons while I pondered what to do with it.
I’ve read the suggestion in a few knitting and craft books to unravel old sweaters and re-purpose the yarn in new projects. This seemed like a genius idea and I decided to apply it to this sweater, which I seemed to recall was knit out of a decent cotton blend or something along those lines. It took me a year to knit the sweater, but how long would it take to unknit it?
As it turns out, over a month. Look closely at the bottom of the sweater, the arms and the neck – see the ribbing? There was simply no pulling the string and watching the sweater unravel, oh no. Each stitch had to be individually unraveled by hand, pulling ALL the yarn through. Same thing where I had reduced stitches – which was pretty much every row on the sleeves. Those were the parts I did first of course, because they were smaller and seemed easier. They weren’t.
Once started though, I refused to give up. I had grand plans to repurpose that yarn – I’m not at all sure to what now, but dammit, I was going to unknit that sweater.
I finally finished the other evening. Those balls of yarn would be what’s left of the sweater, awaiting a new lease on life, whatever that shall be. I set out to unknit the sweater and unknit I did. I think I even learned a bit about knitting in the process and that once you settle into the rhythm of unknitting, it can be almost as soothing as knitting. But not entirely. Knitting is still more satisfying, but both processes have something to show for it at the end, so there’s that. I do love having something to show for my efforts at the end of the day.
8 thoughts on “Coming undone.”
Unknitting sounds like more fun than knitting to me, probably because I’m not skilled at knitting.
I’m pretty sure if you unknit a sweater, you’d figure out how to knit.
I can knit (and pearl) a straight line…a scarf. I think I expect too much too quickly, so that’s why I crochet; results aren’t quick enough with knitting for me. Though I admit, I love the look and feel of knit. You just can’t get the same with crochet…unless you felt it afterwards.
I like some crochet though. One of these days, I’ll figure out how to do it.
Have you ever tried felted knit? It’s quite pretty. My SIL has made many hats and purses. I do it with crochet.
I have! I’ve done both needle felting and knit then wash felting, mostly with raw wool. I’ve made some fun things with it!
Very clever! It has never occurred to me to do this, but yarn is so expensive, it’s totally worth the effort to reuse it if you can.
It came from at least one craft book, which I need to remember to get rid of, as it’s quite a bit of work to unknit!