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Rip Back and Reuse: Getting New Life from Failed Projects

Do you ever have WIPs, and even FOs, that you just don't like?

That's kind of a trick question.  Or more of a pointless question, because I'm pretty sure you do.  We all do.  It happens.  If you finish something for yourself and you're just not a fan, you can usually add it to your gift stash.  But some things just don't turn out how you wanted, regardless of gauge or yarn type.  And other things you just can't even finish.

And then those things sit in project bags and at the backs of shelves, haunting you.

Or at least bugging you.

These have been bugging me lately.

Every now and then I have to face the music and decide that certain projects aren't working out like I want.  Then I go ahead and unravel the unholy mess.  This is not an act of defeat!  Like a phoenix rising from the tangled ends and fluffy bits of lint, I emerge with sorta-kinda-new yarn!  Full of hope!  And promise!

Just go with it. 

This guy:

is supposed to be a Twisted Headwrap from Crochet Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps. The pattern is fine, and the yarn is fine, but I just don't like them together.  It looks fine in the book--the pattern calls for this very yarn, which is Lion Brand Amazing--but I don't like this in real life.  So I finally unraveled this after letting it sit for months.

I'm not sure what I'll use the yarn for, but I think it will be something knitted.  I still want to crochet this headwrap, but I think I'll use a solid color with a little less fuzz so the texture of the front post crochet stitches will show up.

This hat ran out of yarn.


Yup. I was pretty sure I'd be able to finish the Cable Hat from Knit Slouchy Beanies and Headwraps, but I was wrong.  I could have run out to buy more, but I just didn't want to.  If I did that, I'd have another partial skein laying around, and the more I looked at this.... well, the more I realized I'm more of a six-stitch cable kind of girl.  I felt like there was too much purling in between the cable columns, and I just wasn't feeling this.


I'm not completely sure what I'm going to do this with yarn, but I think it's going to be granny square-related.  So I'm not even upset that this hat didn't work out.  You have to be happy when granny squares are involved! It's a rule!  Or it should be a rule.  Whatever, I'm looking forward to my granny squares.

I made this scarf several billion years ago, and then I stopped wearing it.  Then it got a hole in it.  And I decided I didn't like the fringe anymore. 

This waste of yarn was just being a waste of space in my closet for a couple of years, and now it's a nice collection of potential!


I think I want to make another scarf!  I'm serious, so stop laughing.  I'm wondering about one of the patterns in Skinny Scarves.  I think I have enough yarn for a small scarf, and I love this color.

And this hat?

I moved it to the gift stash.  I knit it for one of my sisters from some free vintage pattern on Ravelry two years ago, and then I decided it just didn't work.  I pulled it out last week, and decided the decrease stitches weren't as bad as they seemed to be when I had a little baby and holiday stress on the brain.  I think she'll be happy to wear this alarmingly bright hat this winter and I can't see the yarn being anything else. 

I don't know what most crafters do with their unhappier projects, but I take the approach that I'm not getting any use out of items I don't use, or won't finish. Unraveling and re-stashing the yarn is a quick, cheap, and easy way to get new yarn for a project that will actually make me happy.  And I don't even have to put on shoes and go to the store and spend money on more yarn!  This appeals to both my frugal side and to my lazy side that doesn't like wearing shoes.

To review:
-new yarn
-less clutter
-less being bugged
-not wearing shoes.

Yes, ripping back and reusing is the perfect crafting tactic.  Perfect.

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