Aside from finding a free app for my droid that will let me post to my blog and seeing Sherlock Holmes, this weekend was a busy.

Before I left for Christmas I stopped by Goodwill to see if I could find a cheap book to read on the flight back east.  I always do a sweep thru the sweaters in case there’s something I can’t live without or sweater that I can rip apart and reuse the yarn.  Well I found several sweaters.  So this weekend I decided to try my hand at recycling yarn.

The first sweater was the test piece.  I realized as I was ripping out the sweater that whoever had knit it, kept knotting the yarn when it either broke or they came to a new skein.  I don’t think it occurred to them to felt the ends together instead of knotting them.  But I got it all wound into long loops and tied up.  Then I washed the yarn in a wool soak.

It looked a lot like ramen noodles.  After an hour or so, I rinsed the yarn and then hung it up to dry.

You can probably tell the 2 smaller skeins were my first couple of tries at winding the yarn.  By the last one, I had figured out what I needed to do.  I took out my yarn swift that my Dad made for me (thanks to the instructions on Instructables) and started to wind the yarn on there.  The other thing I learned is to make sure you wind the skeins tightly, otherwise, you’ll have a hard time getting rid of that ramen noodle look.  And those crazy little udder looking things at the bottom of the skeins – those are weights, fishing weights to be exact.

I bought a couple of packs of fishing weights (sinkers?  I think that’s what they are called – is that right,Dad?) and I had some thick brass wire that I just used to weigh down the yarn to hopefully pull out some of the kinks in the yarn.

I tried another sweater the next day.

Here’s a couple pictures of what the sweater looked like before I recycled it.  It was a great looking sweater but just way too big for me.  I’m assuming that it was a men’s size small because it was pretty large.


And here’s a couple of close ups

And here’s a close up of the sleeve:

(that’s Kink’s paw taking a swipe at the sweater.  She apparently felt left out of the photo shoot)

And here’s what the tag said:

That’s says 100% Kilcarra Yarn.  Score!  (a quick search found Kilcarra yarn being sold for around $9/10 for 90 yards)

One thing that kinda bugged me about this whole process was, that i didn’t really know how much yarn I actually had.  I did a little research and thanks to The AntiCraft website, I headed over to Lowes and with $3 I made myself a Niddy Noddy.  Now I was able to get a a rough idea as to how much yardage I would end up with.

(those are Bob the Christmas Trees needles. He went to Christmas tree heaven this weekend – aka they mulched him).  You should have seen the guys at Lowes when I tried to explain what it was that I was making and what it was going to be used for.  Apparently they had a couple of college guys come in and ask for help with making a beer bong.  From what the Lowes guys told me, it sounded like the college guys used what I can only imagine was duct work for their beer bong.  I would assume at that point it’s more of a keg bong.  Anyway, when I finally showed them what I needed done, they were happy to cut the pipe for me.  Note to self – next time have them cut a length of pipe for a 2 yard measurement as well as 1 yard measurement.  I ended up having to wind the yarn twice.  Once to count the yardage and once to make sure the hank was long enough.

Here’s the second sweater hanging up to dry:

I figured out that i got roughly 1400 yards of yarn out of this sweater.  So here’s the breakdown of cost for everything

Sweater – $6 each – seriously… I love Goodwill

weights – $9

Niddy Noddy – $3

I did also buy tension shower curtain rod to hang in the shower to dry the skeins – a budget busting – $10

So the total for 2 sweaters worth of yarn -$34

I couple of costs that i didn’t really factor in here was the brass wire and the wool wash as I already had them.  Going forward, I may have to invest in a bigger bottle of wool wash.

Next time the only cost to me will be the cost of the sweater and of course the time it takes to unravel, wash and dry the yarn.  If I find a cotton sweater in good condition I may try it try recycling cotton as well.

The other thing I did this weekend was make a Clementine cake and the Zuni Cafe roast chicken recipe from the Smitten Kitchen website.  This website has become my new favorite website.  Everything I have attempted to make from this site has been fabulous.  The clementine cake was a big hit.  I was rather easy and it made the whole house smell soooooo good.

The Zuni Cafe chicken was also good. The only problem was that my  smoke detectors are so touchy that they go off at the drop of a hat.  So everytime the chicken would spit or pop, it would hit the heating coils in the oven and smoke.  So I ended up taking all the batteries out of all the smoke detectors in the house and opening the door and a window.  So needless to say, it was a bit chilly in the house for a bit and I probably should have cooked the chicken a bit longer, but I thought the threat of losing the tips of my toes and fingers to frostbite far outweighed a tasty chicken.

Oh and John, here’s the run down of Sherlock Holmes actors who have been in some form of a Masterpiece Theater Classics (or a Jane Austen movie).

Mark Strong who played Lord Blackwood – played Mr. Knightly in the 1996 Masterpiece Theater version of Emma (among several other PBS/BBC productions of classic literature) with a bad hairpiece.

Eddie Marsan – Inspector Lestrade – was Pancks in Little Dorritt – He was also in Happy Go Lucky with Sally Hawkins (who was Anne Elliot in the recent PBS version of Jane Austen’s Persuasion) and Elliot Cowan, who played Mr Darcy in Lost in Austen (also sporting a really bad hair piece).  On a side note, I’m pretty sure this image is why your friend watches Lost in Austen so much.  I thank God everyday for tivo because of this image.  Really, a body like that should only be brought out on certain occasions.  You can’t just parade that around whenever you want.  You could start riots with that body.  Right John?  I mean you and Elliot have a very similar build.

Kelly Reilly – Mary Morstan – She played Caroline Bingley in the Keira Knightly version of Pride and Prejudice.

William Houston – Constable Clark – played John Boucher in North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell- and not the Patrick Swayze US version (RIP Patrick Swayze).

Hans Matheson – Lord Coward – was Alec D’Urberville in Tess of the D’Urbervilles

And finally the big dude – who was also 300 – Robert Maillet, was in fact a WWF/E (whatever the heck they go by these days) wrestler by the name of Kurrgan.

And I didn’t even talk about who appeared on Mystery or Poirot or any Agatha Christie shows.

And just one last thing, Rachel McAdams, if you’re reading this, could you lay off things like the Notebook and the Time Traveler’s Wife?  Dear God, what piles those movies were. Talk about overly romantic and sappy.  And that’s coming from someone who loves Jane Austen.