Speaking of "Frogged" Yarn....Beware the Hard Cases

I feel like I've spent an hour wrestling alligators! This is one of my recent thrift shop acquisitions that I am currently in the process of frogging. It's a top name designer label, long-sleeve, V-neck pullover in an absolutely yummy silk/cotton/rayon blend. Cost....$2.99! But, my oh my, ripping this sweater out has been a real chore because of it's slubby texture. I spent the past hour in front of the TV unraveling a single sleeve. Even so, I have more time than money &, in the end, my labors will be rewarded with supply of beautiful, high-end yarn that cost something in the neighborhood of 1/2 cent per yard & several hours of my time.

There's actually two different yarns here. The first is a pale pastel multicolor that reminds me of the recycled sari silk yarns that are all the rage right now. The main ply is off white (presumably the cotton fiber content) & it is plied with rather large silk slubs in pale, pale blue, pink, & taupe. The second yarn (the one that appears shiney white in the photo) is a flat ribbon type yarn that I have guessed is the rayon content of the sweater.

I picked this sweater based on the following criteria:

  • Designer Label - These are often made of yarns that are custom to the designer & can't be purchased in the retail market. Since I make one of a kind garments, I prefer to work with yarns that are unusual or one of a kind, too.
  • Fiber Content - A similar yarn blend of cotton/silk/rayon would easily run $15.00up for a 100 yd. ball at my local yarn shop. I am guessing I'll end up with at least 600 yds. of usable yarn - a $90.00+ retail value.
  • Clean & Excellent condition - If it's not clean or shows obvious signs of wear, I'll pass it by, regardless.
  • Special Attributes - In this particular case, the yarn has a wonderful hand to it. I'm sure it would feel great against the skin. Excellent color, texture, drape & movement in the original garment were real selling points, too.

Here's what I've recovered, so far. I estimate the larger ball at approx. 100 yards. The smaller ball is 25-30 yards.

For all of its positive aspects, the texture of this yarn makes it more difficult, time consuming, & frustrating to unravel. Mohair & Angora are also difficult to work with. Take my advice & keep that in mind when selecting sweaters to recycle - especially if you are new to frogging. Just getting the hang of taking out the seams & bind-offs can be enough of a challenge for the newbie. Don't make it worse by choosing yarns that refuse to unravel smoothly, too. When you do take on a frogging project like this, take frequent breaks or run the risk of coming to hate the whole process so badly, you never want to try frogging another sweater as long as you live.

The truth is, I don't often take on these challenging projects, myself. Fortunately, they are a bit like labor & childbirth...I tend to forget my past miseries once I'm holding that precious final product. That's why I have more than one child & it's why I have frogged more than one of these "hard cases."

I'll post a photo of that final precious product of all my hard labor as soon as it's finished.

1 comment:

  1. So finally, I know what "frogged" means. Thanks for the tutorial. I recycle buttons for use on my crocheted hats and other crafted wear, but never had I thought to recycle the yarn. You've given me some food for thought.


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