My Virtual Sanity

Have you ever felt the need to share your thoughts with virtual strangers just so you can pretend that you have adult conversations during the day? Well, that's what I'm about to do. Be prepaired for my life as a stay at home, obsessive knitter, and my attempts to stay connected with the rest of the world.

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Location: Denver, Colorado, United States

Friday, May 26, 2006

Ramblings... Again

Well, it's Friday, 9am and I have finished my required house work for the day! This is pretty amazing seeing as the last few days I have washed laundry, but haven't folded and put it away. This meant that I needed to put away 3 loads this morning, but for some reason I was motivated. Maybe it was seeing Alex walk out of his room wearing long pants and a long sleeved shirt...again. I need to hide all the winter clothes from him. It is almost 90 degrees outside and he will pick out sweats to wear because he likes them. I looked in his drawer to see if I could coax him out of said long sleeved shirt only to find that he didn't have any short sleeved T-shirts in his drawer. Yep, they're all in the basket and apparently he thinks it is dirty clothes because he keeps putting his dirty clothes in it at night and I have to keep removing them and looking at things and saying "Hmm, is this dirty? Did he wear this today?" *Sniffs a small 4 yr old sized sock* "I think I need to put all this laundry away"

The sad thing is that it was only about 3 months ago when I had mountains of clean laundry living in baskets that had never actually seen the inside of a drawer. If I ever did manage to put the clothes away Alex and DH would tell me they didn't have any clean clothes if they couldn't find them in the basket. Now that clothes normally live in the drawers, apparently the men folk in my house are no longer capable of looking in said baskets for clean clothes. Although, in Alex's case, it may just be that he prefers sweats to T-shirts and shorts and I need to hide them....I did in fact remove all sweats from his drawer this morning while putting clothes away.

I am not picky about clothing when we are all hanging out around the house. In fact, I let my 2 yr old pick out her own clothes. This morning Shaya is wearing an American flag T-shirt, peach pants, Brendan's striped hat, and purple socks. As long as it isn't sweats and she's not going to die of heat exhaustion once she steps out of the door, I'm ok with it. I saw an episode of Super Nanny once where the mom was obsessive about her girls clothes. She had to pick out the outfits every day so that they matched appropriately. She had huge battles with her girls because they never got to have a say. The really sad thing about this is that it caused battles, and the mom had to do EVERYTHING. She couldn't just tell the girls to get dressed in the morning because she couldn't handle what they may have come down wearing. If you are this anal, then you are raising your own blood pressure needlessly. Relax! If your daughter doesn't match it's not going to kill her.

While I was in Utah I went on a stash enhancing excursion (aka SEX) at Kohls. I bought 5 gigantic sweaters (Men's size XL and XXL). Do you have any idea of how much yarn is in a men's size XXL sweater?! All of them are 100% cotton, which I'm ok with. It's summer and I could make some nice summer tops, and kids clothes with 100% cotton. They were also 90% off, and then we got an additional 15% off, which made them about $2 a sweater. I ripped this XL sweater apart yesterday and was absolutely astounded at how much yarn I got. I discovered the easiest way to rip apart a sweater is to attach the end to my ball winder and just wind away. It unravels it and puts it into nice cakes for me. Well, I started winding on the back of this sweater and wound until my ball winder couldn't handle any more, cut the yarn and started a new ball. I ended up with 3 large balls of yarn from just the back of this sweater that totaled about 1800 yrds of fingering weight yarn. Why do I think it's about 1800 yrds? Well, I'll tell you:

First I decided that I didn't need 10 gigantic balls of fingering weight yarn. I wanted it to be a little thicker, and thought I'd take care of some of the splitting issues at the same time. When commercial sweaters are knitted, they use 3 or 4 strands of very fine yarn held together. This seems to work fine for a knitting machine, but is a pain in the butt for a hand knitter. You have to really pay attention to make sure that you are getting all of the strands. This frustrated me, and now that I know how to spin, I thought I'd solve this little problem by plying the strands. I took 2 of my big balls of yarn and tied them together with the leader on my wheel and plied it all together. What I got was a 6 ply sport weight strand that hopefully won't split. I filled up my bobbin 3 times from those 2 balls, and each time I sound it into a skein on my arm. I took a spare piece of yarn and wrapped it around my arm the same way I was going to skein it in order to get the measurement. It measured 60". I then wound up my new plied yarn and counted the number of times I went around my arm (I would really like to buy a niddy noddy. I think that would make this easier). Once the 2 balls had all been plied and wound, the new yarn measured about 600 yrds for all 3 skeins. I got about 3 balls of yarn from the back of the sweater, and each ball measured about 600 yrds.... So by my math the back of the sweater was about 1800 yrds of fingering weight yarn. Of corse, I plied it and it will now be about half 900 yrds sport weight.

How do I know that it was fingering weight, and is now sport? I measured the wraps per inch and compared it to this nice chart.

I'm thinking that just 1 sweater should be plenty of yarn to make at least 2 summer sweaters for myself. After all Picovolli only requires about 550 yrds of sport weight to make in my size, and the Silk Corset requires 400 yrds of worsted weight. I have so much yarn now though, that I'm thinking of selling some on Ebay... What do you guys think, would you buy my recycled cotton yarn? Would you prefer it plied? unplied? Fingering? Sport? Worsted?


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