Sunday, September 28, 2014

Recycled yarns experiments: Sweater to Another Cropped top

2. From sweater to another cropped top

This sweater is worth Php 60. I bought it in a Baguio Ukay last Nov 2010. Let me tell you why I think that this is perfect candidate to recycle.

1. It is orange! actually, the color of this sweater is warm orange. I imagine that it might have looked very good when it was brand new. There are specks of yellow and brown, and it is just so nice in person. When I bought it, it was the only orange garment on the racks. Maybe it is because of it's color, that no one wants it.

2. The size is Small. I believe that this size is not a very sale-able size, so maybe that is why it was left on the racks.

3. It has long sleeves. I believe that I might be able to get long yardage of yarn from this garment.

4. It's a pull over sweater. I am quite sure that even if there are places in our country where sweaters are welcome, and we have our fair share of cold weather, ( wet and cold ) , we are still a tropical country. As such, people are not really used to wearing sweaters 24 hours a day, and that we like the convenience of being able to remove the sweater if we feel like it, so we normally favor the ones that has an opening on the front or zipped up ones or those with buttons. Pullover sweaters are for me quite tedious to remove, messes your hair, and you can't do it in public, specially for women.

Just the same I decided to buy it for the purpose of ripping it apart!

Actually, I didn't frog this myself, because when I tried, it was just a mess. My ex-baby sitter didn't give up on it though. I have to give her credit for frogging this successfully.

The yarn lost a lot of elasticity, maybe due to the washing that it went through, or maybe because it was just old. The sweater is only made of stockinette stitch, but it is finely knitted, so maybe that is also a factor. When I started to use it,  the stitches are very very short even if they are treble crochet, so I had to add one or two pattern repeats.

The yarn also splits like crazy. I had to connect the yarns every now and then, so the result, too many knots at the back of the work, good thing I found a way to hide them.

I was able to make one cropped top on size L, and has some more left, so I might use this to make some smaller projects just to finally get rid of the yarn. This one is sized L, and I missed a pattern repeat on the back part, but it's not obvious. I refused to frog it since there's only a very small difference with that missed pattern repeat.

This shade will look nice on summer, such an irony that it used to be a sweater! The pattern I used is same as the one here:  First Cropped top.

Recycled yarns experiments: Scarf to Cropped top

I started on this goal, to recycle yarns back in 2010, when yarns are scarce. I posted them here : Recycling yarns ( 2010 )  and Reycling yarns Part 2 ( 2012 ).  I was able to start with the experiment  of recycling and proving if whether or not it is really a practical and resourceful approach:  I've written my findings on this post:   Recycling yarns part 3 ( 2013 )

Have you noticed the time stamp in between those 3 articles? It takes years to get it going! hahahaha As part of that promise to finish unfinished business this 2014, I decided to use up my recycled yarns, finally.


I hoarded these scarves from Baguio before, and while I was not able to recycle them all up for myself, I was able to sell most of these scarves to fellow crochet-er, and purposely left only a few pieces.

all that was left for me

1. From Scarf to cropped top:

I bought this scarf , from Baguio last 2010. I remember that this particular scarf costs only Php 10. I ripped  it, rolled the yarn into a cake, and it stayed in my stash for a year and a half.

The scarf was knitted in simple stockinette stitch. Frogging it is very easy too.. as a result, the yarn is almost like brand new. It is plied and has a nice drape.

The scarf is less than a meter long and about 4 inches wide, so it has limited yardage. Having limited yardage means that it  really took some time deciding what project to make out of it, so it stayed as a recycled yarn for a while.  My only condition to satisfy:  using recycled yarns ( from the scarves ) is to make sure the resulting project will be usable ( more usable than it being a scarf ), otherwise, it kills the very essence of recycling.

Recently, I got a copy of the pattern: Sienna Top by my friend and favorite designer, Ate Mimi Alelis. It got published on a crochet book: It Girl Crochet.

The pattern is very timely because I wanted to make something for my mom, and at the same time, I'm doing these experiments on gauge, sizing , substituting yarns, and pattern adjustment with different types of yarns, so I really need patterns like this...

I didn't really plan to use the recycled yarns , (which I intentionally put on display on my crafty corner, to make sure I'll notice it and put it to use), but when I was trying to work on the sienna top, my first yarn choice did  not really work well with the pattern.  It was too stiff.

Then I noticed that this cake of recycled yarn seems to have the thickness and softness,  that I actually need for my project.  I finished the project in 2 days.

Given it's limited yardage, it is not enough to make one project, so I finished the last rows using 2 strands of good old Canon thread, on the closest color that I can find.

This is how you wear this cropped top.. I imagine that it will look very nice on top of a bikini.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Cropped tops

These are the projects that I finished...

Sienna Top 1 and Sienna Top 2

The design is made by my friend Ate Mimi Alelis. This pattern published on a book: It Girl Crochet. I used recycled yarns for these projects, which I will discuss on a separate post..

The pattern is a perfect design to study gauge. I love it!

Monday, September 22, 2014


Experiences are good, and after 10 years, sometimes, you will even thank God for letting you make wrong choices. They say history looks a lot better 20 years later..

This photo was taken in 2010, after my 2nd Baguio Trip. I hoarded yarns and brought home " recycle-able " scarves, some are very cheap , costs only 10 pesos each. Most of these yarns are sold during my famous de-stash in 2012. But I felt that there is something missing in there... I just can't pin point exactly...

If I knew then what I knew now, that trip would have been different. However, I figured out I won't be able to know the things I know now if it wasn't for those decisions...

Friday, September 12, 2014

WAR with clutter...

Most of the people I've known for a long time, and who has lived with me at some point, know that I am not a very organized person, nor do I ever pretend to be organized. In fact, I am one of those people who see beauty in chaos. I didn't inherit my mom's knack for organizing things.

well, this is an exaggeration.. this was taken when we are already about to move out
However, being now a mother myself, I therefore conclude that I do not have any right to make excuses. I have to face my  problem with clutter, before I can even teach my son anything about organizing things.

Being a busy working mother, made it impossible to have enough strength to check each and every corner of my house. But then, life is short and if I don't deal with it now, I'm afraid that I will never be able to solve this problem.

See how yarns really dominate my house once...

Here is my problem:

I own a lot of things. And as stated above, I am not a very organized person. I wanted to change that , permanently.

I live in a small apartment unit, the only unit that I can afford at the moment. It does not have built-in cabinets, and can get too crowded easily.

I am a working mother, and while I am able to afford house help slash baby sitter, I do not want to end up like those people who relied so much on their house help, that when the house help left, their house was in dis-array.

Having a house help means that someone cleans up the house routinely on a daily basis. And the house is actually OK , however, I feel that there is really a lot of room for improvement. Normally, my helper will clean the house and make the best that she can do as far as cleaning up is concerned.

One problem I noticed is that after she cleaned up everything, and when I want to just check say that box of yarn on that corner, or that cupboard in the kitchen, everything seems to be disorderly again.

Like touch one item and everything will fall out of place.

Our apartment is just so crowded in my opinion. I felt the weight of having too many items back in April and May, when weather is scorching hot, and the apartment is just so hot. Air doesn't circulate properly: because of the poor design for the apartment and our way too many items.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

I didn't plan to tackle our too many items for this year as a goal. Actually, I am surprised myself that got inspired to deal with it and change my ways. I started to pay attention with how my belongings has actually weigh down my life somehow.. .back in 2012..  ( see this post ) but now, I declare WAR!

Just like the things that I achieved in the past, visualizing the end result is the first thing that I normally do. So for weeks, I have been searching for ideas. Here are some of the articles online that I read.

article 1
article 2
article 3

I started a few weeks back to take this WAR seriously... and I made some progress..

Using vertical space
Crafty Corner

Somehow, I wanted more...

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

And of course, many of my crafty and not so crafty friends, know that I was a yarn hoarder.  I normally separate my craft stash from my personal items. It will be much easier to deal on both at the same time, but not together. So while I  make adjustments on my personal things, I also make adjustment on the crafty things.

I already put the hoarding under control, and while I still make yarn purchases every now and then,whatever amount I spent this year for those yarns, are nothing compared to what it was during 2011 and 2012.

So.. where do I start?

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Utilizing the walls / creating organizers out of none

I firmly believe, that I don't have to add another organizer to my house to organize our things. In fact, I believe that we only have to utilize what is already there.

My apartment does not have built in apartments, but it does have a lot of walls. A lot of vertical space. So, in an attempt to make our apartment more organized, clutter free and breathing, I decided to utilize our walls.

These are some experiments... I hanged the ladles on this kitchen cabinet, so we can better see what we really have.

My baby sitter keeps on arranging things in such a way that items are hidden and I am silently showing her who is mistress of the house. 

I hanged those that can be hanged...

I hanged them too  to avoid cluttering the floor..

Because that is actually what they call an exhaust ( where passes through ) .. which is also the fire exit, which doesn't make any sense because the bottom of that tunnel is a locked door... I can go on the whole day ranting about how the design of this apartment does not really make sense, but no one is asking me to stay, so I better keep my mouth shut and continue with my experiments... hehehehe

I want to repaint the walls, but my husband said that rainy days are not the best time to repaint.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...