Hello and thanks for visiting my blog. I have been knitting on and off for 50 years and I recently learned to crochet. I love looking for wool bargains and making them into something useful. I mainly knit for charity. I occasionally knit for myself and family members if I find a really good pattern or if they ask nicely!!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

When life gives you lemons.....

.....make lemonade.

Jo on her Three Stories High blog has written an article called "Waste Not Want Not".  This is close to my heart as I am a keen recycler and hate waste of any kind.  Buying bargain lots of wool appeals to me because I both save money and use up wool that is unloved.  Most times I get lucky.  But sometimes I end up with wool that is a bit of a challenge.

A few months ago I acquired a job lot of Aran wool.  I can tell that it is very good quality and probably quite old.  It is a bit too rough for baby blankets, but perfect for some hats that I am planning to knit for Siblings Together.  This is an organisation that helps children stay in contact with their siblings who have been separated from them by the care system.  They take the children away on holidays and give them scarves and hats if they need them.  Their next holiday trip is planned for the end of October so I am working to a deadline.

The organisation has asked for hats to fit the older children who can be any age up to 18.  I found a very quick Aran hat pattern and knitted the "woman" size thinking that it might fit a teenager.  It is a bit too big for me.  But my daughter who has lots of long hair claimed it as hers.  She works on a market stall at the weekends so will really need this in winter.

I'm going to knit the next size down and should have enough wool for about 5 hats. This wool is such good quality that someone has gone to the trouble to unravel what was probably a large Aran jumper.  BUT  BUT  BUT the jumper has had a hard life.  I think it was slept in, covered in dubious stains (curry, I hope), used to dry a muddy dog...etc....get the picture?  Then it was unravelled without being washed first.  When the wool arrived I had to separate it from my other wool so as not to spread the smell.  

Luckily, this hat was very quick to knit up because I was holding my breath most of the time!!  I'm not joking!!  Then I washed the hat and it is beautiful.  The stains have come out and the wool has softened up nicely.  The smell has completely gone.  I'm going to use the rest of the wool.  Five children will have warm heads, and some lovely quality wool has been rescued.

I recommend this pattern for anyone looking for a very quick-knit basic Aran hat..


  1. Good for you Una, I'm afraid I would have had to wash the wool first before I could have used it. It does look lovely and soft and you would never have guessed that the wool had been recycled :)

    1. I would get into a huge tangle if I tried to wash all this wool. I was surprised that it straightened out as I knitted with it. It was much better than when I reuse acrylic which tends to stay crinkly.

  2. Well, that is wonderful. I am sure someone will be so glad of such a lovely at.

  3. Its beautiful You are so kind Una and are always thinking of others in need and God will bless you for all the work you do for others

  4. Well done Una I did chuckle when I thought of you knitting so fast - also I couldn't have washed it before it would have ended up completely mixed up - love the hat xx


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