About The Country Wife Blog

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Handwork: Charity Knitting Project with Recycling Overtones

A couple of years ago I went to area thrift stores to find 100% wool sweaters that I could take apart for various projects.  At that time I wanted to make dryer balls instead of spending a lot of money for them.  I found a beautiful Ralph Lauren Polo Country pullover.    Eventually I pulled out the stitching at the shoulders with plans to use the sleeves for dryer balls.

Like so many of the "great ideas" that I have, this one turned out to be another failure.  The dryer balls from this sweater did not stay as balls.  When I was felting them they had dog ears and tails hanging off.  And that was just the problem with the balls themselves.  The main problem was that the dryer balls annoyed the other people drying clothes in our dryer.  Oh well.  Chalk it up to another idea which does not go over well with the rest of the family.

With no sleeves but a beautiful sweater body, I thought I could turn it into a vest with a little ribbing on the armholes.

The armhole with no ribbing in place

It was pretty easy to do.  The worst part was trying to find yarn to match the navy in the sweater. I had some Plymouth yarn that was pretty close and even had some wool in it. 

This is what I did:

Starting at the armpit, I picked up (with a crochet hook) 84 stitches more or less evenly spaced around the armhole. After putting on a marker to show where the beginning of the round started I did a K2, P2 ribbing for 5 rounds.  To bind off I used Jenny's Surprisingly Stretchy Bind Off(found at Knitty and also on YouTube if you prefer video tutorials) which I have discovered works very well.

Ribbing in place on first armhole 

When I first decided to do this recycling project I intended to use this "new" vest myself.  I love the pattern and colors.  Well, how can you go wrong with navy and natural cream colors?  However,  the other night I was at a meeting of the women in our Church where the leaders made a call for winter clothing for some refugees in the area.  I am more than happy to give up this vest.  I can only wear one thing and a time and I already have a sweater for winter.  I am hoping to go through our house in the next two weeks and pull out all the winter clothes that can be cleaned and mended, if need be, to give away.  The refugees will be warm and, BIG BONUS: we will have an emptier house!

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