Thursday, April 10, 2014

Goodwill Treasure Chest!

I had a good trip to Goodwill the other day. Although I expected sweater season to be over, and my luck hadn't been good lately, I made several good finds. On top of was 50 percent off day!

I found this Ralph Lauren cashmere:
I can't be sure, but I think the neck was seamed without cutting so I can harvest all of that yarn. The light blue colour will be very suitable for dyeing.

I was a little dubious about this Old Navy cashmere:
I'm a little dubious about Old Navy in general and this sweater was knit at a very loose gauge (which screamed cheap to me) and was made in China (also not a good sign) but it was a delicious red and you know I have a weakness for red! It also still had the security tag in it and looked like it was never worn which meant there was no felting or wear on the fabric.

Well, this turned out to be the first one I tackled and it came apart like a dream. The seams "unzipped" more easily than anything else I've done and the cashmere, though thin, was strong enough to be undone with my skein winder. I ended up winding a skein of double strands from the sleeves and a skein from the front and back.
A total of 116 grams. Yum.

Another sweater that found its way into my cart was this blend of 40% merino, 30% viscose, 20% angora, and 10% cashmere from Express.
With the viscose content I am hoping it will be strong enough for socks. The angora and cashmere should make them super soft. It's a really nice pink so I may not dye it. On the other hand, I may not be able to resist (just for the fun of it!).

I found this great J Crew 100% wool sweater in the men's department (always a good place to look if you want more wool for your money):
It's really plush and fuzzy in a good way. It would be a nice sweater for Troy to wear for a while except that it is way too short. I found out about a charity that knits for cold kids. They only want wool products so I am feeling like that is my kind of organization! I haven't started anything yet, but I thought building up a stash of thicker wool yarns to use would be a good start! ;)

That leads to this poor GAP sweater:
Also 100% wool and with a good feel to it. Unfortunately it does have some damage. You can see the big hole in front and it has two on a sleeve. I actually had seen this sweater the last time I was at the store but put it back because they were asking $7 for it. This time, for half off, I decided I would get it. When I got to the counter, I asked about a reduction because of the hole (yes, I am learning which cashiers to go to, who will work with me) and they ended up giving it to me for $ the half off! For a dollar, totally worth it.

And rest assured, I cooked it for a while to kill any remaining larvae or bugs before I washed it. That should prevent any more damage and the bugs from spreading.

Finally, I'll show you the results of my latest raveling:
143 grams of cashmere from a J Crew sweater I had been wearing mostly around the house. (It wasn't a great colour on me and didn't fit well. But kept me warm this winter!) I thought I had a "before" picture, but apparently not. I am sure this will be dyed. But I'm not sure if I will wait until I have a project for it and let the project decide what colour it should be or if I will just dye whatever colour I want when the mood strikes. I think it will just depend on what comes first.

But honestly, the best find of the day was this red leather jacket:
It's Liz Claiborne and not a mark on it. It was priced at only $9 and I can't figure out why. There were lots of other leather jackets at $20. But I did not question it. And I did not refuse the half-off price! It's a much-needed replacement for my black leather jacket which has been looking rather well-worn for a while now. Excuse me as a raise my hands and squeal "SCORE!"


  1. Great finds, cashmere too! Can you give me some tips on what type of sweater construction you look for when you are going to unravel the sweater? How do you know that the yarn strands will be continuous? Also, what fibers does one want to avoid? Does the kinks come out of natural fibers? Thanks!

  2. Hi Nancy. You need to look for seams that are not serged. Usually serging means they've been cut. As to fibers, buy what you like to use. Angora will be harder to ravel (sometimes impossible). Cotton is generally the easiest. Yes, the kinks come out with a wet bath or steaming. I generally use it kinky and just reblock after piece is done.

    If you're on Ravelry, check out the "Unravelers" group. They have lots of help and tutorials. A Google search will bring up tutorials as well. Good luck.


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