Time and Tied

My ideas have seemed a bit dammed up lately, to be honest. Not for lack of inspiration, and not even for lack of time  – okay, maybe a little bit for lack of time. Even though I have tons of time to work on crochet et cetera, it never seems to be enough for the amount of things I want to do and create. And, as many creative types know, the more you create the more inspiration you get, and so you are doomed because you cannot possibly ever keep up because the harder you work the more ideas you’ll have.

At least, that’s what it’s like for me.

But I don’t mind things feeling a little tied up, because my experience has been that in matters of creativity it’s best to let things come to you when the time is right.

For instance, my giant bag of orphan yarn has contained, for several years now, balls of recycled yarn from scads of thrift store sweaters. I used a bit here and there, but no project seemed to be eager to fit the bill for the sheer quantity of recycled yarn in this particular weight (usually the sweater yarn I get is somewhere between lace weight and sport weight).

That is, until I just accidentally decided to use some of it in the free pattern for the  Mandala Duster I made recently based off of my original Lotus mandala motif. Suddenly a whole new world of possibility opened up for these former sweaters! In between the actual pattern writing for my paid patterns and working on my stash of art yarns and hand dyed wool roving, I busted hook to do as the yarn commanded.

Emmy4

And so out came the “Emmy Lou” duster jacket, made primarily out of recycled sweater yarn but also featuring a good bit of yarn that I spun myself (see this post for more info on that handspun).

Emmy3

I haven’t gotten pictures of it on an actual person yet because I couldn’t wait 😉

In addition to the pattern being free (see the link at the beginning of the post), I also wrote an extensive, somewhat insanely detailed tutorial last year on how to reclaim yarn from thrift store sweaters, which can be found in three parts:

Everything You Need to Know to Start Recycling Sweater Yarn:

Recycling Sweater Yarn cover

Getting Started and Breaking In V. 1

Breaking In V.2

Unraveling & Finishing

Naturally, before I have even made much of a dent in my stash of previously reclaimed sweater yarns, I ran out and picked up these misty-hued beauties from the thrift store for a future recycled sweater lace duster. I didn’t mean to, I swear. I was looking for summer clothes at the time.

Sweaters1

Of course, I have to wait until some of the dam of ideas I have sifting around in my head find their proper place in new patterns and tutorials before I can wail away on more recycled sweaters. I guess the moral of the story (not to be confused with the morale of the story) is that everything has to come in its own good time. So, if you are like me and experience the pangs of creative blockage from time to time, don’t stress. Someday you may find your patience amply paid for when your ideas find the right vehicle and you realize that’s what you were waiting for all along ❤

-MF

P.S – here’s some more stuff I’ve done that’s made out of recycled sweater yarn. Just for fun.

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29 thoughts on “Time and Tied

  1. omg I love this one…now if only I had an unraveling fairy (that also recycles denim) to process the piles of sweaters and jeans I have stacked way up…we would be in.business in no time lol

    this this one’s gonna go on my list of “to do’s” love it!

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  2. Oh please tell me there is a pattern for the Emmy Lou I’m so,so in love w/ruffles & have been looking for a pattern like this for 2yrs, please, please help. Thank you for being here ♡♡♡♡♡

    Liked by 1 person

      • Did you use the pattern for the “Stevie” and just make modifications for this beauty? I LOVE the big ruffles and I’d love to know how to make them if they’re different. These vests are so gorgeous if I could stock my closet with one in every color I totally would.

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      • Thanks! And yes indeed! This one is the same pattern as the Stevie duster, but the only place I modified the pattern were the sleeves. The bigger ruffles on the outer edge of the mandala are a result of the yarn being bulkier (I think it was closer to worsted weight than sport or DK – but it was recycled so it was hard to tell). So if you decide to make it and want big ruffles, use a heavier yarn on the outside than the one used on the inside of the circle!

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  3. Hi Alex,
    Just found this site. I am in love with the Emmy Lou Duster.
    I cannot find the pattern for it. I must have overlooked it, could you please post a link?

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    • The ruffles are partially the result of extra increasing around the circular pattern, and unfortunately this pattern has lots of increasing at different points on the outer circle. However, since this garment is a circle and the human body is not, any circular pattern (even if you work it without increasing more than you need to) is going to ruffle some when it drapes over the form.

      The best advice I could offer to reduce ruffling would be to alter the pattern so that it stops increasing as much after the armholes, and just sticks to working a flat circle.

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  4. I would really like the pattern for the white mandala duster. I cannot find it on ravelry or Pinterest. If u could show me where it may be I would really appreciate it. Thanks for your help.

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  5. Sorry I don’t see a link for the pattern for the “Emmylou Duster”. I would really love to try to make this. Where can I get a pattern that is written and not diagram, please? Thanks

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