Sunday, October 30, 2011

Wool or Acrylic???

I sorted through some more totes yesterday and found a bag of knitting that had been given to me a while ago. Inside there was a piece of a sweater already knit and enough yarn to finish the rest of the sweater.

I decided not to save this sweater for a couple of reasons. There wasn't a pattern with the yarn and it has pink in it. Pink isn't my colour.

When I saw this project in the bag, my first thought was I hope this is wool. As I sorted the skeins out and rewound some of the pink, it was fairly soft so I started to think maybe it was just acrylic. But, the yarn was in skeins which, in my experience, usually is wool.

An experiment was in order. I took a ball of the wool from this sweater project and a ball of acrylic from my stash and decided to do the burn test. If you have heard about this you will know that wool will burn only while the flame is against the wool and acrylic will continue to burn even when the flame is removed.

The acrylic from my stash caught fire and burned like crazy, melted the yarn into drops of liquid that hardened onto the sink and had to be scraped off. On the other hand, the yarn from the sweater turned out to be wool and took longer to catch on fire and once the flame was taken away it burned for a couple of seconds and went out. It certainly didn't have a flame anywhere near what the acrylic did and it didn't turn into liquid goo, but it smelt really, really bad.

Now I had all of these skeins of wonderful wool (the pink can be over dyed) to add to my stash but, what to do with the one knitted piece. Throw it out? Unravel it and save the wool? Nope.

I decided to felt it

and cut it up

into coasters. This worked great. Once the piece was felted it cut easily, there was no unraveling and I ended up with something that I can use.

To the knitter who had high hopes for this sweater once upon a time, I promise the rest of the wool won't end up as coasters. It will be knit into something wonderful.


Alyssa said...

Awwwh, poor sweater! It will never be, but at least it has a new life protecting tables :)

DropStitchChris said...

what a great idea louise!! nice coasters!

Minding My Own Stitches said...

I love the coaster idea - especially with those round blue motifs!

Rose Red said...

That was a great idea! The coasters look great.

Stacy said...

I never knew about the "fire test" for wool vs. acrylic. Interesting. The coasters were a great idea, they look perfect.

Frieda said...

Super idea to cut up the unfinished sweater for coasters , recycling in action !

knitty_kat said...

I keep hoping that someone will gift me with one of these . . . first thing that popped into my head was *felt and make a dog coat!*

Delusional Knitter said...

What a great idea! Love the coasters!