Phew. So I’ve finally recovered from life enough that my laundry is actually folded. This is saying something… it had been piling up in a major way, and the only reason it wasn’t covering the dining room table is because we happen to be rather attached to eating off it. Heck, the only reason it’s folded is because we’d passed the PNU (Point of No Underwear). As you may have experienced, this eventuality is only reached because of the recursive causality loop entered into once you cross the FDT (Folding Division Threshhold). This is what happens when you are so busy that you no longer have any slots of time large enough to fold all your laundry in one sitting, but the laundry keeps piling up, necessitating an even larger and more impossible-to-find slot of time to do all the folding in one go. Finally you are so sick of digging through the dryer to find underwear that you start folding laundry in the fifteen minute time slots you get before work, in between errands, or while dinner is in the oven. The downside of this is that your living room is buried in laundry for a few days, but this is a small price to pay for being able to go to your underwear drawer and find something with neither uncomfortable lace nor distressingly large holes.

To celebrate, I acquired even more laundry. Rachel and I went to a pair of linked thrift stores in Rockville (you know, the kind where everything is also displayed/announced in Spanish, and where they won’t sell you an object if the price label happens to have fallen off) that were having a 50% off everything sale. I had the clever idea of going to the sweater section to find some recycleable sweaters, as a temporary way around my current yarn sourcing problem.

I may have gone a little overboard. (Don’t worry, there are some clothes in there that I will actually wear in their current state.)

I went through pretty much every sweater in the joint, and there were a LOT. I only stopped and looked at the ones that felt okay, were of a dyeable hue, and were knit out of something thicker than cobweb cotton. This made for a very interesting survey of the composition of commercial sweaters.

I think I bought the only four 100% wool sweaters in the place. The vast majority were acrylic or cotton, and those with any wool in them were generally in blends.

I did, however, find some with a high wool content and some interesting blends. A surprising number of sweaters were blended with something I’d never heard of called ramie, which is apparently an Asian plant of surprising strength and silkiness but low durability, hence its use in blends. There were a distressing number with the oddly soft and vague stuff called viscose, which is a synthetic fiber more or less like extra-soft rayon. I tended to stay away from these, but another ingredient in a surprisingly large number of blended-yarn sweaters was Angora.

I lucked out on a couple that were quite cheap and had a high concentration of Angora. They are fuzzy as all get out and I’m hoping it’ll make some nice lace. Of course, there’s the off chance that anything with that much fuzz will be so fused together that it will be a pain in the arse to unravel and look like throwup afterwards.

Then there were oddballs. Stuff that was Viscose but so soft that I couldn’t put it down… stuff made of a blend of six different fibres… and one that was 68% silk!

The next question: If I can’t even find time to do my laundry, how am I going to fit in the unraveling of fifteen sweaters before my next dyeing experiment?

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