Tuesday, January 31, 2017

What was old is made new again

This fall, I (finally) made time to wash, block, and de-pill all of my sweaters.  It took a few weeks to accomplish, between contact time and drying time.  This was long overdue and was well worth it!  It made me excited to wear my sweaters again... except one.

I made this shrug back in 2010, right around the time I learned to knit.  My job at that time wasn't a good environment at all.  The most obvious, and should have been the most easily addressed, challenge was the HVAC in my classroom being controlled by a poltergeist.  It would range from all-layers-off-hair-in-a-ponytail-sweating-while-sitting-still sweltering hot to wearing-a-coat-and-gloves-while-attempting-to-teach-and-play-the-piano cold.  No one seemed to care about this, until they cared immensely when I allowed the kids to 'break dress code' and wear their coats in class... I was wearing my coat as I had to spend 8 hours in that cold and wasn't about to wear my coat while they are sitting there shivering in their t shirts!  After I got a reprimand for 'being dramatic' by insisting to wear my coat in my 57-degree F classroom, I decided that I needed something as warm as a coat, but wasn't actually a coat.  I needed a warm garment, but one that didn't have sleeves so long as to get in the way of my piano playing.

I found a bulky weight shrug pattern on Rav and decided to go for it.  I didn't want acrylic - I needed something warmer.  Enter KnitPicks Cadena.  A bulky 70/30 wool/alpaca blend with nice twist that came in lovely colors (at the time - unfortunately, they only sell natural colored at this time).  I found a pattern for a bulky weight shrug and ordered up a ton of Cadena in a royal blue color called Tide.

I crocheted this shrug in less than 2 weeks, and that included waiting for a supplemental yarn order, because gauge....  (I was a newbie to garments back then... Concepts like gauge and drape were foreign to me at this point...)  Thanks to a sweet lady named Millie, who found me more yarn in the same dye lot!! While it never fit me well, it hung on my person or the back of my desk chair my entire last year of teaching.  It kept me (and several students who I was fairly sure didn't have lice, as those were always a problem in that building... *sigh*) toasty warm on the freezing cold days in my classroom or evenings in my freezing cold ghetto apartment.

But I no longer live in a freezing cold ghetto apartment or work in a meat locker, ahem, classroom.  This shrug does my figure NO favors, so I never wear it.  So, it's been at the bottom of Rubbermaid tubs, closet organizers and my sweater chest for nearly 6 years.  And yet, I never felt compelled to give it away or find a new home for it.

When I had washed everything else in the chest, it was time to fold and reorganize the sweaters in the chest, I told myself it was time to wash it & wear it or get rid of it.  It had enough bad juju that something needed to happen with it, but not enough bad juju that I was okay with letting it go.  It occurred to me that maybe this was a good candidate to rip out and repurpose the yarn.

I've never ripped an entire finished garment before.  I felt like if I was going to the effort to rip it out, it was prudent to find out if I could do anything with the yarn I had left.  After some quick searching using Rav's awesome search parameters, I decided that this shrug was coming out!

Deep breaths

All done - thanks to the hubs for his help!

I finally decided on Lemongrass by Joji Locatelli.  At such a large gauge, the knitting has gone very quickly.

Binge watching Outlander helped the time pass quickly, too.
This yarn loves cables!  The stitch definition is so crisp!

And now it's done!

Warm enough to wear outside in the snow, which made Karma particularly happy!

And I am particularly happy to have a new(-ish) sweater to wear, not just take up space!  I wore this yesterday and couldn't be happier with it!

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