Saturday, February 21, 2009

Thing-a-Day 21-- Frugal Eco-yarn Experiment

(Edited to add: Someone over at the TAD blog kindly let me know that I need to twist my individual strands of yarn first, then ply them together by spinning in the opposite direction. So my next experiment may yield a usable yarn. )

Two of my children are down with the flu, so I'm going to copy my post from the TAD blog verbatim tonight. I may add more details later, or in subsequent postings.

As you may know from an earlier post of mine this week, I just tried spinning yarn for the first time. I do believe I’ve created a monster, and I might need to convince my hubby that a spinning wheel will be a good investment.

Today, I decided to try an experiment with some yarn from old sweaters. The sweaters had been unloved nineties confections from the back of my closet, and they all frogged apart really well last year, when I was on a recycled yarn kick. What I did not like about these yarns is that they had no twist in them. So I just wound them up on my ball-winder and promptly forgot about them until now.

The multi-brown one is cotton, and I thought I might make it a workable yarn if I plyed it with some plain brown worsted. So I tried that. I think on the next try I’d better reverse the direction of the twist, but I like the concept.

Next, I took the yarn from two of my old acrylic sweaters and combined it. Neither sweater yarn had any twist at all, so it seems like it is plying well (but let it be known that I don’t know what the heck I’m doing yet). This is really a fun TV-watching project on the drop spindle. It would be a whole lot easier with a wheel, but I’m getting the hang of plying the slow way. I like the color of my “new” yarn, and I’m hoping that plying will remove the kinks left in the old yarn from being frogged. I will set the twist in this yarn by wetting it and hanging it to dry once I’m done.

If this works out as hoped, I think that no ugly old sweater will be safe from me. :)

When you think about how many acrylic sweaters must wind up in landills, never to degrade, this lowly synthetic fiber becomes worth another look.

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