'A sense of humour lends you poise, it gives you balance and it helps you to bend without breaking'

(HH Pujya Gurudev Swami Chinmayananda)


Menoryarnery; Getting My Crojo On

I love to work with yarn, preferably homespun, but modern fibres are fine. I can  - and have - used knitting needles to produce stuff. My choice, though, is crochet. I love it and am moderately good at working the hook. Competent enough to go 'freestyle', but also enjoying a to follow a pattern.

A few months back, Mac2 put a plea to Mac1 and me to see if we could 'rescue' some homespun garments she was clearing from her cupboard but didn't want to go to the thrift stores. They had not been cheap items. Not that the moths respected that...

The items are not my style of thing to wear so couldn't give them a home in my own 'robe... however, my motor mouth volunteered me to rework some of the yarn for her. Completely forgetting the amount of work that is involved in unpicking a garment that has been constructed for a couple of decades. I opted to take the light grey cable-knit you see here, as well as the navy blue. The latter was wool spun by our mother. It will be dealt with in due course. Mac1 took the charcoal and mud-coloured ones - which were a silk blend yarn.

I first tackled the Orkney wool. It is heavy-duty homespun from the seaweed sheep of North Ronaldsay. Not heard of them? Here's a brief rundown...



Aren't they fun? Anyway, first I had to find ways into the garment by which to unravel the thing. It turned out not just to have the odd damage from moths, but to have been quite loosely spun, so rather too easy to break. If you have ever done this job, you will know that the wool was very kinked, having taken on the shape of the individual stitches. As it was getting unravelled, it also had to be made into skeins ready for washing. This was not only necessary for hygiene purposes but to remove as much as possible of the 'stitch memory'. It wasn't a hundred per cent, but it pretty much came up as fresh wool again. After drying, it all had to be rolled into balls ready for the actual project to get going.

All that took the best part of a week to complete. Once I had a good handle on the yarn quantity, discussions were necessary. Another garment would entail something rather less than previous, as crochet can take anything from 30% to 100% more yarn than knitting. It was decided that cushion covers might be the best use of this yarn.

When I had completed one side of the cover, I began to realise that, if I was to produce at least two, if not three covers from this wool, then the reverse of the covers needed another yarn to contrast and ensure there was sufficient to complete the 'faces'. I was very happy with the multi-coloured one I found, which blended nicely. I will take a piccie of the completed items as a whole later. For now, here is a detail from the face with the Orkney wool and one from the new wool. The buttons were a treasure find... from our late mother's stash!


17 comments:

  1. YAM well done...OMD/OMCs...one of my least favorite things to do with hand work is alterations...I'd rather make the from scratch. LOL Especially if it is alterations to something I did not make to start with. Excellent work...this is the mark of an excellent Crocheter to redo. Love the buttons too
    Hugs HiC

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  2. I like the look of the Orkney yarn - and wonder if the sheep's unusual diet has any impact on the texture of their wool?
    Unpicking and reworking a garment requires a degree of patience I've yet to acquire. Well done!
    Cheers, Gail.

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    1. Hari OM
      All homespun varies according to the origin of fleece and degree of effort in preparation, particularly at the carding stage. This wool is very heavy, still retaining even after all this time, a discernible amount of lanolin. The wool even on the sheep is not particularly even, having courser and finer shafts all combined, and this carries through to the finished yarn. It is beautiful in the finished item, but a little bit tricky to work. As mentioned, the spin was quite loose. That is to say, not overly 'twined', and therefore prone to splitting on the hook... and breaking, requiring lots of restarts. It should be remembered that the stuff is at least 20 years and possibly several more than that from its beginnings. Once formed, it is very robust. I will actually some difficulty letting it go back to Sandra! Yxx

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  3. wow, I can't even crochet a pot holder, I did about 40 years ago make a chain that turned into something that should have been a pot holder. I can't imagine making those sweaters much less unmakeing and making something else. good thing I was not born when we would have had to do this to be clothed.... those sheep are so sweet and I did not know they eat seaweed

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  4. PS mother had a huge stash of buttons, hundreds I think..

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  5. Oh I do love beautiful yarn and this knitted work is gorgeous!

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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    1. Hari OM
      ...nope... this post is about CROCHET... Yxx

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  6. The only thing I do with yarn is crochet usual dish clothes

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  7. That's a lot of work to unpick that sweater. I love the stitch pattern on the cushion cover.

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  8. That child's Gansey is incredible. How sad to see it morph, but, but had to be. Looking forward to the end result.

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    1. Hari OM
      Not a 'guernsey' (our spelling and usually referring to a fisherman-style sweater) for a child, Joanne - that is/was an adult, size 16, cardigan! Admittedly of a 'cropped' style, unlike the other sweaters. hmmm, this has given me an idea for a post! Watch this bloggy... Yxx

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  9. oh I wish I could do something good with my hands too... but the sweater for my dad's 40st birthday is still unfinished (he turns 76 this year)... oh boy... LOL

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  10. Goodness, undoing an old sweater! I applaud you for your patience. But how nice you were able to reuse something that your mother had a hand in as well. I think she would have been very proud. I only ever have to undo something if I have done it wrong and even those few minutes will produce kinks in the yarn. Rolling it up again though, will get rid of most of them. Plus I find that cotton is more prone to immediate kinking than other yarns like wool.

    Klem

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    1. Hari Om
      Yes, short term shaping will 'unkink' from rolling. But twenty years in shape, not so much! Particularly with pure wool which has some lanolin still in - which acts as a kind of 'glue'. It could have been used directly... but (apart from the fact it badly needed the hygiene element - no disrespect to my sister, the thing was just old and unworn), but wrangling curly wool is not much fun. I've been there, done that, learned my lesson and returned to the old wisdom ways!!!

      This one was not my mother's wool. That is the dark blue jumper, which will be transformed later in the year... Yxx

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  11. This is no easy job and your work is just beautiful!

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  12. Those island sheep are awesome and what a wonderful video which I didn't watch the last time (was fascinated by your knitting) ^_^

    Happy Moments to You,
    A ShutterBug Explores,
    aka (A Creative Harbor)

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  13. Oh, yes. Treasures from our mother's things. I am still working my way through Mom's staches.

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