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Thursday, February 3, 2005





Over the last couple of years, I’ve found 3 Naughty Knitting Things that really amuse me. These things all have one thing in common: they let you do something you would usually avoid at all costs to your garmet.

3 Naughty Knitting Things:

Felting (where you get to SHRINK the bejesus out of a sweater ON PURPOSE)
Steeking (where you actually get to take a sharp instrument and CUT the garment)
Frogging (where you RIP the sucker right back to its roots)

Now, granted #3 is RADICAL. It is time consuming. It is Post-Production, or post-pro, as we like to say in the video trade.

This is the only activity of the above which de-evolves the sweater back to its main ingredients. And THAT is ususally what you are lusting after.


If I want the yarn, I have to rip out the sweater.

The sweaters above were the latest RIPfest activity I wallowed in. I wanted that Rowan Magpie Tweed! It was not going to sit on the shelf MOCKING me for my poor choice of pattern/execution – this yarn, for the first sweater pattern I picked was just WRONG.

So, off with its thread, so to speak and now I have a Wearable Cardi to play in for the rest of the Winter (did I mention, here in the Midwest, Phil the Ground Hog sez it’s 6 weeks MORE!).

I feel the same way about the yarn in this sweater, the sweater I’m playing with for Alison’s Knitalong

It is NORO! It is, quoting the Yarn Market‘s blurb: Luxury! Cashmere and Silk blend yarn from Noro of Japan. 40% Silk, 30% Lambswool, 20% Cashmere, 10% Nylon yarn. …

I’ve never owned a non-vintage cashmere sweater – used to have a bunch I grifted out of thrift stores in the day…

But here it is, cashmere, silk, Mocking Me from the Sweater Cabinet, daring me to RESCUE its fabulous little Damson Plum ass…

So, while watching “The Girl with the Pearl Earring“, the RIPfest began.

First, it was imperative that I get the furry neckline off the body of the sweater. This is, besides taking the bold step to rip the thing to begin with, the most challenging part of the task. WHY?

You have to FIND the yarn ends you wove into the garment where you seamed or added collars/button bands. I have a really sharp pair of surgical scissors I use to go fishing with; they can prod and poke and un-tie really well. Luckily, it was easy to find where I’d connected the ends of the fur yarn to the Noro – they left a bumpy little knot.

After teasing the knot apart with my scissor point, I *un-wove* the last row of body yarn knitting from the collar. I really wanted to preserve all the CASHMERE I could.

This is time consuming – you go stitch by stitch and just *follow the bread crumbs* back to the next seam. But it is really worth it if you can’t just undo a cast-off or cut the offending piece right off the garment.

… to be continued – read the Notes here.

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