Why 'My Mink Betty'?

Why 'My Mink Betty'?
I'm not your common, everyday twenty-something year old and when I graduated from High School I got an equally uncommon gift. My parents found for me a beautiful 1940's mink stole at a garage sale. It had belonged to the woman's Great Aunt Betty who had married late in life to a man with money and had only allowed him to buy her this one luxury. The unusually styled stole has the name, Betty L. Jones, embroidered in the satin lining so that's what I call her. They never had children of their own and the mink was passed to Aunt Betty's niece and on to her daughter. Until it got to me, no one since Aunt Betty had worn it. Now Betty the mink and I go to the theater together on special occasions and I hope that someday I can take her to the Symphony or the Ballet. Although Betty hadn't been worn or loved for many years she was waiting for someone to love her again as are most other things I look for when thrifting.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Ravelry Swap Reveal: Part One

For my crochet projects, I use Ravelry, a networking site for fiber arts, where one can find patterns for free or purchase, pattern help and yarn or notions venders.  They have a wide network of social forums and groups.  I am a member of a group specifically for swapping, and I just completed a swap. 

The theme for this swap was "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle."  This fit so well with things I like to do, such as thrifting, repurposing, and crafting, that I was able to fill a large Priority Mail flat rate box and stay well within my budget.  

 One of the requirements for the swaps that I do is to include at least one skein of yarn for my swappee to use.  I also like to send one item that I crocheted.  Mom likes to unravel or dismantle sweaters, and I help, so between the two of us, we were able to compile a good amount of yarn for this swap.

This 25c wool/angora/nylon J. Crew sweater

became a pair of fingerless mittens

and a lot of bulky weight yarn for my swappee to craft with.

The color in my picture is a little off; the yarn itself is a bit more mustard yellow.

I'm always on the lookout for a good white wool sweater that can be unraveled and dyed. 

So I pulled this one from my stash.  This was a 2XL woman's sweater, wool/nylon blend, that I picked up at Value Village for about $3.50.

First, Mom took out the seams, then she unraveled the sweater, resulting in about 2000 yards of sport weight yarn.

I used felted joins to make two skeins, 455 yards each, and then dyed them using Wilton Gel Color and vinegar to get a nice variegated orange colorway.  My swappee's favorite color is orange.  You can see I still have a little more than half the yarn left for another project. 

We learned how to unravel sweaters and reclaim the yarn from THIS website.

I've been cannibalizing jewelry for years, so I was able to put together a row counter bracelet and some stitch markers.  And there are the Tupperware measuring spoons I found back in February. 

These are just some of the things I was able to get into my swap box.  I'll show more soon.

I'm linking up with these parties:

Nifty Thrifty Sunday
Show and Share
Roses of Inspiration
Think Tank Thursday
Frugal Friday
Tips & Tricks
Bouquet of Talent


  1. Being of grandma age, I thought I have seen pretty much everything. But I am amazed at your resourcefulness in dismantling old sweaters to yield beautiful, reusable yarn in such pretty, vibrant colors! This has never occurred to me. I wish everyone (including myself) had an eye for reusing the things we waste everyday!

  2. Okay, don't laugh, but.....I had no idea you could dismantle a sweater and reuse the yarn :) What a brilliant idea and it's so resourceful! The colors you sent to your partner are simply beautiful.

    Thanks for sharing with Roses of Inspiration - it's always a joy to have you at the party.

  3. I knew I could dismantle something handmade, but it wasn't until I was browsing etsy looking at yarn that I discovered reclaimed yarn. So I searched online and found the tutorial I linked to in this post. It is surprising how many store-bought sweaters can be unraveled and recycled. I learned about dying with food coloring from a post on Ravelry.

  4. This post is so interesting to me! Just started knitting so I love all things yarn. Never knew you could dismantle knitted items that were not handmade....I definitely know how to unravel my knitting mistakes!! The swap sounds like a great idea too!

  5. That is pretty neat. I really want to learn to crochet. I have a couple stitches down, but I can't ever get the squares to be square. They are always pyramid shaped. So frustrating. Thank you for linking up to Tips and Tricks. Hope to see you again this week! Kathleen @ Fearlessly Creative Mammas


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