Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Saddest Day of my LIFE

Years ago, I knitted this particular sweater. I made it out of 100% virgin wool, essentially in the same color as in the picture (it's teal, for all those color-challenged monitors out there). I can't even remember the name of the yarn, it was so long ago (20 years if it's a day), I just remember that it was big, bulky and scratchy as all get out! But I loved my creation, and knew to protect it from harm (meaning the washing machine).

But then harm moved in by way of my mother. She decided to do something nice for me, which was the cause of my grief to this day! She washed my clothes for me...and my beautiful trellis cable aran WOOL sweater went right in with the hot water wash, because my mom washed ALL our clothes in hot water--being something of a germophobe...

When it came out of the DRYER (yep, she dried it too, to add insult to the already done injury), it wouldn't even fit my DOG--and I had a cocker spaniel at the time. I cried. That sweater took me forever to knit. I wore it exactly two times.

So, along comes 20 years later. I find merino/tencel top at the Michigan Fiber Festival and it's in the same color as my mutilated sweater that I still HAD (we burned it when we found it up in the barn in a storage box, moth eaten and smelly from mice, etc). Since I was spinning now, I resolved to buy the wool top, spin the worsted-bulky weight yarn and make the most-loved sweater of all time once again--only this time in soft-next-to-the-skin yarn!

It took several weeks to spin up the two pounds of wool required to make an aran sweater like this, but finally the last bit had been spun, let to set, plied, rinsed, hung to dry and balled. With anxious needles, I set to knitting. I was so excited as the pattern developed again before my eyes that I nearly cried. It didn't take me very long, and I had all the pieces knit. I was surprised at how little time it took to knit, since the spinning part took so much longer. Then, I gingerly laid the pieces on the table and finished the seams. Then back on the needles to pick up the ribbed neckline, folded to the inside and sewed it down, and I was finished.

I was so excited that I wore it to work the next day. I think I wore it twice more after that.

And then the unthinkable happened.

The completely unexpected happened.

My husband did the laundry.

And while I would sort out the woolens--he figured that "if it's in the hamper, it can be washed!"

***mental note to self-get a different hamper for the woolens...***

And so my SECOND try at this lovely sweater met disaster once again. The pattern, I think, is cursed.

Here is the final result of the incident:

You haven't heard crying until you hear a woman, who made a sweater from scratch, come home after a hard day at the office to find THIS. Keep in mind--this wouldn't fit my dog Mandy "the Border Collie with attitude". But even with the felting, the cables stayed very prominent.

I'm saving it.

For that rainy day when I need a new purse. I'll just sew up the ribbing, cut it off at the armholes--add a pretty binding and an i-cord for a handle, use one of the sleeves for a flap, the other for a pocket inside, and toss what little leftovers--and voila! A new bag!

I'll have two like this--because hubby also felted another sweater that I didn't much cry over--the resulting bag--



Now this isn't too bad a result--all things considered. This bag was made from a sweater than Anna Dartt had knit--it's intarsia, and therefore the desire to maintain it in some useful form. Again, you too, can do this with any sweater that you've accidentally felted in the washer/dryer.

All you do is cut a straight line just under the armholes, then either crochet a picot edge around the top or sew on some handmade binding--something coordinating. Sew up the ribbing at the bottom. Add fringe and pony beads as I did, or some simple macrame. Because I used the arms and upper torso for the pockets (both inside and outside front), I didn't have anything left for a "flap", so I crocheted a small flap and fastened it down with a bead that looks like seaweed, to go with my ceramic "fish pin".

I need a closeup to show off that "fish pin", in fact I have several pins on this purse (more on the bag I use daily)...and here they are:

Now aren't they just the cutest? My favorite is the ceramic fish!


Beth said...

That is a horrible story and I wish I could give you a hug for that! I am so sorry. But good job looking on the pursey side!

Tenna Draper said...

One of my mottos:

Save everything. You never know when it might come in handy someday!