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Turkish Sock Sweater is Remade!

sweaterWell, my friends, I made lots of noise about going to bed early to get enough sleep. Then I gave in to the obsessive thoughts I had about the sweater I was remaking. And I stayed up till 2:30am finishing the remake. I hate to admit I don’t regret it at all!

I call this my “Turkish Sock Sweater” because several of the motifs knit into it, are motifs I’ve seen at least in photos of Turkish socks. However, the sweater (which I got at Scavenger Hunt, the most fun and funky resale shop in the Lansing Area in my experience… for only $5.00 USD) is labeled as handknit in Bolivia.

The yarn is handspun and no doubt hand-dyed. Some of the yarn is very low spinning quality (particularly the light yellow paired with the purple, it is spun so tight it has corkscrew bits sticking out of the fabric, and that is after it was plied). Some of the yarn is much better than that, particularly the purple and green are very nice.

But I just LOVE clothing that was handmade in other countries! I think about who might have made it when I put it on. I am glad to be the custodian of this item, as imperfect as it is.

Well, the reason it would have been at the resale shop, even if the owner loved handmade things, is that it would not have fit most people in this country. It is long but the tube is pretty tight. I have smallish hips and the sweater barely makes it around them, but even if I had a longer waist it would have been too long to wear with the rib at belt-height as many sweaters are worn. Never mind the shoulders are too wide for most folks with smaller hips than me.

On top of that, the sleeves were fully six inches too long for me. I cut the cuffs off and put little rolled edges on instead (using some Manos Del Uruguay yarn, adding one more country’s handmade items to the mix).

The neck fit fine but was knit from the scratchiest wool in the whole sweater. The neckline style was high enough to touch bare skin under my neck. And the edging on neck, cuffs and bottom rib was a dark burgundy-mahogany yarn, not my color and out of place on the rest of the sweater. The cuffs and rib were not too scratchy but were not at all colorful (and the rest of the sweater is so electric it looks acrylic rather than wool).

So I unraveled the neck, and knit back up a softer neck that won’t touch my skin. Then I knit down from the hem as far as I could go. I could see I’d run out of the first skein and I didn’t want to open the second one. So I got out the last small ball of Manos del Uruguay from my last remade sweater (sweater-turned-skirt-and-legwarmers). I used the leftover reddish Manos to make a stripe in the bottom rib, then went back to the teal for the last 3 rounds and bind off. I think it looks pretty nice. It’s imperfect, but it’s much more wearable than when I bought it. And wowie, is it warm! I’ll be wearing this to Threadbear on Sunday for sure!

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