Crafting Thursdays: operation yarn recovery

This week I've continued to fight with my swift, and it's been a frustrating experience. Mothers' Day is coming up on Sunday so I'm taking the family for a drive in the hills, namely to Sassafras, which I hear has a good yarn shop. Which potentially may sell swifts.


I thought, while I was busy reclaiming yarn, I might re-skein a couple of balls of yarn that I'd wound a couple of years ago and hadn't used. I wound them at the yarn store I bought them at, while travelling in the UK: their swift didn't turn very freely, so these balls were wound really tightly. OK if using them straight away, but storing the yarn under tension for any length of time is bound to end up with the yarn getting all stretched and losing its elasticity, and not being so good. And I had two of these balls, each 400m of fingering (4ply) weight yarn.

A ball each of purple and red yarn, wound under tension.
Stretched, badly stored yarn

The purple yarn is sitting on a yarnie spinner - a lovely piece of carved wood that I bought at last year's Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show.


So I wound it off the ball and onto the swift, but as I went, the swift kinda collapsed under the tension. Very annoying!

Sagging purple skein of yarn on the swift
Collapsed swift

The skein isn't useful like this - I really can't manage it like that. So, I put this saggy mess over the back of a chair and carefully re-wound it onto the skein again. Very slowly. 400m of yarn processed twice. Needless to say, I didn't manage the red ball as well, dealing with the purple took long enough.


The rough skeins I created last week actually look pretty nice:

Green skeins of twisted up yarn
Skeins of rescued yarn

I opened them up again and tied them firmly into skeins with some waste yarn so that they wouldn't get too messy in the wash. Luckily this is superwash yarn, so it can go in the machine. The idea of all this is to remove the crinkles from the yarn so that it can be knit up again. Knitting with it in this state means that the stitches would come out all uneven - not the look I'm after!

A skein of crinkly green yarn, tied in four places
Skein of crinkly yarn

I put each skein into its own laundry bag, so it wouldn't get tangled in the wash. These are actually re-usable fruit and vegie bags, and hey, a wash wasn't going to go amiss for them ;)

A pile of white re-usable produce bags, each with a skein of yarn inside.
Skeins in bags

A wash on the wool cycle, and I now nearly have some lovely yarn that's ready to be re-used. It just has to finish drying. And yes, the kids' foam light sabres were very useful here!

Skeins of green and purple yarns, hanging to dry from a drying rack.
Drying yarn

I did also finish knitting a project this week: I cast off my second Follow Your Arrow shawl. It was a mystery knit, with 5 weekly clues, each clue with two options. In my craziness, I decided to knit two shawls, one of each clue each week, one in two colours and one in one. I finished the more funky two-coloured shawl a while ago, and blocked it in Tassie, but the single-coloured one was hanging around making faces at me. Now I just have to block it!

Teal green lacy shawl, needing blocking
Follow Your Arrow shawl 2 - definitely more of a teal colour than the strong blue in the pic!

Here's the funky bright one, for comparison:

Grey and Rainbow lacy shawl
Follow That Funky Arrow Shawl

Write a comment

Comments: 2
  • #1

    Sophie (Thursday, 08 May 2014 15:36)

    I asked for (and was given) a new swift for Christmas. I have my Grannie's old swift but it was struggling with the different sizes of skeins and the weight of them. It required an elastic hair band to keep the "arms/umbrella" bit out far enough, so time had come to get a new one.

  • #2

    pyrrhadesigns (Thursday, 08 May 2014 15:39)

    Yep, mine needs pegs to hold it out, but a big loop of elastic to stop it from falling out too far. Time to get a new one!