Thursday, October 13, 2005


Yesterday's post about frogging thrift store sweaters generated a couple of interesting questions.

Mary asks: "Why on earth would your rip up that simply beautiful aran sweater? Did it have damage to it?"

Actually, it was in pristine condition; looked like it had never worn. But, the title of my post was "Highest and Best Use" and I bet you a million bucks that no one was going to purchase this sweater and properly care for it. Plus, it's a royal pain in the arse to frog a wool sweater that's been washed. The wool felts ever so slightly, making it much more difficult to unravel. The yarn I reclaimed is already on DD's needles. She and her friend are making hats for the homeless shelter. So I felt that destroying the sweater was justified; plus it's just so dang fun.

Teri asks: "What in the Sam Hill is that wooden object that looks like a capital I in the first picture?"

It's a Niddy Noddy. Very useful for winding the yarn into hanks and, of course, measuring how many yards you have. After I separated the sweater into four pieces (i.e., 2 sleeves, front, and back), I unwound the sweater by using my ball winder. Takes about 5 minutes, Cassie. Then I used the Niddy Noddy to wind the yarn into hanks so I could wash it and dye it.

Krista asks: "How do you pick sweaters to frog? I can never tell if they will rip out in one single strand or a million 18 inch strands. Please do tell!!"

If you see a sweater commercially made from some lovely yarn, turn it inside out and examine the seams. You should be able to immediately tell whether they were knit separately and then pieced together or whether they were cut and then sewn. If you can see lots of yarn ends and a serged seam, it’s been cut and sewn. If the edges are smooth, you’re in business. The second sweater I frogged (the one in the photo) was actually a hybrid. The seams around the armholes had been cut and sewn, but all the other seams were fine. So I simply took some scissors and cut the sleeves off at the underarm, then cut the front and back of the sweater off at the underarm seam. Yes, I had to throw away quite a bit, but I was able to reclaim almost all of the yarn from the sleeves and everything from the middle of the chest to the lower edge of the body.


I made some banana bread last night and thought I'd share the recipe, which has evolved at my house over time. Here's the disclaimer though; this bread has very little fat (well, if you don't add the nuts or the chocolate chips) so it's kinda dry. I highly recommend slicing it very thinly and having a glass of milk or a cup of coffee within arm's length.

Mix the following dry ingredients and set aside:
2 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

Mix the following wet ingredients:
2 large eggs, slighly beaten
1 tablespoon canola oil (optional)
3 medium, very ripe bananas, mashed

Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix until just combined. Add 1/2 cup nuts and 1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (both are optional).
Pour the batter into a greased and floured loaf pan and bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes. You should check yours after 40-45 minutes, though, because I live at a very high altitude and it takes longer for things to cook.

Breakfast's ready:

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Running commentary on my unending quest to knit up my stash.