Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Full of Wool

I was going to wait to share this news until I had actually done something with these items, but I couldn't wait.

Let me back up.

Saturday I was doing some things after working in the morning, and was going to do my long-overdue groceries just before heading home. But pulling into the parking lot, I couldn't help but notice that it was extremely busy. Extremely. Oh! it's the day before the Superbowl. I decided no lack of food could make me go into the store that day. I then saw that right next door was an equally busy Goodwill store...but it had 50% off going for it. For that, I can brave the crowds.

I made quite a haul. I found wool sweater after wool sweater that was begging to go home with me. Some days there's nothing but ramie or acrylic blends, but not today. I bought most of them for fulling (the correct term for "felting" an already knit item).

Let's start with this shocking pink number: It's 70% lambswool, 20% angora, and 10% nylon (for strength), from "Lady Sansabelt" (which means nothing to me).
The colour attracted me right away. It is even more shocking in person, but it's quite a true pink. After fulling, I will probably cut it up and use it with other pieces so I got it for the punch it could give to other fabrics.

It was also a prime candidate for fulling because it has several noticeable holes (tsk tsk to the person who didn't care for it properly) and some colour damage on the back (probably from bleach?) which will not be noticeable after the fulling. Perfect!

This next number was desirable for its beautiful fair isle pattern and its sheer size.
The colours are not anything I'd wear, but I'm thinking maybe a throw pillow, or possibly a tote. (Could I possibly use another tote?! Maybe...) This one is from Eddie Bauer and is 100% wool. Should full like a dream.

The next item is what I would call a hideous sweater. From Sag Harbour. (Need I say more?) Also 100% wool. What it has in its favour is a consistent colour and being an XL, it offers a lot of fabric!
It would be the perfect counterpoint to the following huge item:
This almost-knee length sweater coat is actually quite nice. I tried it on when I got home to see if I wanted to wear it a while before fulling it. But it's not very comfortable. So into the washer it will go. The light flecks you see are the very shade of pink of the above sweater. Could things get any better than that? I'm thinking of cutting them into squares and sewing the squares together with edges abutting (but not overlapping). It should work. And then I could line it with flannel in case the lucky recipient baby's parents are worried about the babe's reaction to wool. This item was from Stitchworks and is 66% wool, 20% mohair and 14% polyester.

The next item could be felted (American Eagle, 100% Shetland Wool) but I think I will try to unravel it instead. That is a whole other adventure in reinventing Goodwill finds. The wool is very fine and a little course so I think it would be perfect for my second pair of socks. (The first were more than two decades ago--do I still have to count them?)
And of course, the original reuse of Goodwill items still applies: I have added this same vest in red to my wardrobe. The red one was in a little better shape (not as stretched out) and of course fits into my wardrobe a little better. (I love the red.) I'll let you know how the unravelling goes.

I bought one more sweater, but it has already been unravelled. I will post some process pics soon. With the sale, all the sweaters were $2.50--even the big sweater coat. At that price, I think they are worth buying just for the possibility that I might do something with them. Or just the practice to get better at fulling. It sounds so easy when someone who's done a lot rattles off the steps. But I've learned there's always a lot more to learn than you might think!

Happy with the bargains and the possibilities they bring,

1 comment:

  1. Man, what a haul! I've never been able to find wool sweaters when I'm at goodwill. Only acrylic and cotton. Must dig harder the next time.


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