Knit, rip, reknit

Have you ever knit a garment, not really used it, ripped it and reknit it into something else? I hadn’t until just recently. Today I knit, rip, reknit and rejoice. Spoiler alert: There is no spinning in this post.

A while ago, when I was looking for inspiration for linen knits, I stumbled upon a top that I really wanted to knit. My plan was to knit it with my handspun linen yarn.

Knit, 2014

However, I did have a top that I had knit back in 2014 in a commercial yarn that was the same as the yarn required in the pattern for this new top. The commercial yarn was a beautiful linen yarn by Quince & co. that I had ordered from the U.S. for the 2014 sweater.

Back in 2014 I knit the East end top by Alicia Plummer. It’s a lovely top, but I didn’t wear it very much. Photo by Dan Waltin.

I did love the top back when I knit it, but when I wore it, it was quite fiddly. The neck was a bit on the wide side and there was always a risk of body parts or bra straps showing. It never occurred to me back then to alter the fit. Therefore I didn’t use it very much.

Rip, 2023

When I found the new pattern requiring the same yarn, I decided it was time to rip the old top. Ripping linen yarn was a bit of a detangling challenge, but after some fiddling and occasional secret cutting, I managed to undo the whole top. To even out the phone cord curls I soaked the squiggly yarn overnight and hung it to dry, lightly weighted. It worked very well, reknitting with it felt no different than when I knit with it the first time.

Reknit, 2023

The new pattern is the Seguin top, by Quince. & co. It is a simple bottom-up knit in the round stockinette raglan sweater with rolled up cuffs and hem and a simple 1×1 ribbed neck band. The detail that makes the whole sweater interesting is a rectangular chest panel in sort of a tight oats pattern. The one over two cable repeat pulls the fabric together, making it look like decreased stitches underneath the panel, but it’s exactly the same amount of stitches.

I really like this detail, that shapes the whole yoke and gives some flare from the bust down. In combination with the simple stockinette and rolled hems it is the perfect everyday want-to-live-in kind of a top.

Shortage and abundance

The further I knit on the Seguin top, the more I realized that I might need to buy a couple of extra skeins. I found an online shop in France that carried the yarn in the same colour. I bought two to be safe, but I ended up using only a quarter of a skein to finish the sweater.

A colour shirt where I needed to join a quarter of a skein of new yarn is a sweet reminder of the thriftiness that is the core of this top.

I knew there was a risk that the colours of the used, ripped and washed 2014 yarn and the new 2023 yarn wouldn’t exactly match, but it didn’t bother me. It would just be a quirky conversation starter in the name of sustainability and making do and mend.

I was right, there is a colour shift from the old to the new yarn, and I quite like it. Ripping and reknitting has been a way of taking care of precious yarn and clothe your family through rough times. Knitting in the round works very well for this purpose – once a garment has been mended and patched until it can’t be mended anymore, it has been frogged and reknit into something else.

Happy spinning!

You can find me in several social media:

  • This blog is my main channel. This is where I write posts about spinning, but also where I explain a bit more about videos I release. Sometimes I make videos that are on the blog only. Subscribe or make an rss feed to be sure not to miss any posts.
  • My youtube channel is where I release a lot of my videos. Subscribe to be sure not to miss anything!
  • I have a facebook page where I link to all my blog posts, you are welcome to follow me there.
  • I run an online spinning school, welcome to join a course! You can also check out my course page for courses in Sweden.
  • On Patreon you can get early access to new videos and other Patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patreon only benefits. The contributions from my patrons is an important way to cover the costs, time and energy I put into the videos and blog posts I create. Shooting and editing a 3 minute video takes about 5 hours. Writing a blog post around 3. You can read more about my Patreon page here.
  • Follow me on Instagram.  I announce new blog posts, share images from behind the scenes and post lots of woolliness.
  • Read the book Knit (spin) Sweden! by Sara Wolf. I am a co-author and write in the fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.fleece section about how I spin yarn from Swedish sheep breeds.
  • In all the social media I offer, you are more than welcome to contact me. Interacting with you helps me make better content. My private Facebook page, however, will remain private.
  • I support Centro de textiles tradicionales del Cusco, a group of talented textile artists in Cusco, Peru who dedicate their work to the empowerment of weavers through the revitalization and sustainable practice of Peruvian ancestral textiles in the Cusco region. Please consider supporting their work by donating to their causes.
Liked it? Take a second to support Josefin Waltin on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!

4 Replies to “Knit, rip, reknit”

  1. Yes, I do the same, in fact there is a jacket I knitted years ago waiting for me to rip and reknit in the pile of mending, something I have been doing for years – not very well, I might add ha ha ha.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.