American Wool Series

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Then and Now: Yarn Repurposing

In 2011 I purchased some Imperial Yarn Columbia and knit the Hollyhock pullover. This sweater was short-lived because I had multiple issues with my yarn and pattern choice. Let's talk about them, shall we?
The pattern is well-written and I actually really like how the giant cowl stands up in this yarn. But Columbia is definitely a heavy worsted to Aran weight yarn and is not happy about being squished down on the US size #7 needle I used. You can see that the fabric is really firm and almost stands on its own. Columbia blooms A LOT after blocking and I didn't take that into account when I chose to forge ahead. Oi. Also, Raglans don't do a whole lot for my shape, which is proportional, so the blueprint of the sweater coupled with my poor yarn choice doesn't really do a whole lot for me (I still like that giant cowl, though). I think I ended up frogging this pullover late in 2011 since I almost never wore it.

Fast forward to now-ish.

Meet Wethersfield by Cecily Glowik Macdonald. She's the same designer as Hollyhock but I think this design works much better for my yarn and my body. 
As I've progressed as a knitter I've begun to shy away from heavier gauge yarns. Even though my body is proportionate (my bust and hips are the exact same measurement) I'm not exactly what you would call svelte. This cardigan is meant to be worn like a jacket since there is no body shaping and the entire thing is knit on a US #8 needle. But the lines work better for me - the cardigan creates vertical lines that break up my (ahem) substantial bust and the set-in sleeves make a nice line at my shoulders. My yarn is waaaay more happy in this little cardigan than it was in Hollyhock. I knit this at 4 stitches to the inch on a US #8 needle and the fabric is just the right density and the cables look squishy rather than strangled. I ran out of yarn half-way through the edging and picked up another skein in a different dye lot to finish off the sweater. There you have it, yarn repurposed. I'm sure I'll get a lot of wear out of my cardigan this Fall since it's a cozy, throw on, weekend around the house kind of sweater; perfect for knitting on the sofa while sipping my coffee.


  1. It's a beautiful sweater and a great reuse of the yarn.

  2. That looks like the perfect cozy sweater for fall! It's awesome that you took something that didn't quite work and turned into something really wearable.