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Topic: recyled yarn KAL?  (Read 56820 times)
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« on: January 12, 2007 07:24:04 AM »

I have been getting into recycling yarn from thrift store sweaters.
Amazing feeling getting a sweaters worth of yarn for $1.50 !
There are good instructions here http://www.az.com/~andrade/knit/thrifty.html if you are not familiar with the process.
I recently found a chenille sweater that is a rich red. It was 44 inches across the chest...and I don't know how long, put quite long when held against me.
Yes..it's acrylic..but if you price a comparable yarn...which I did. I would have needed to spend about 70 dollars to buy the yarn I got for less than TWO dollars! ...and the yarn is plenty soft and squishy.
( and believe me there is are tons of wool sweaters in thrift stores...just pay close attention to the tutorial above, and what kind of finishing to look for....but beware..some older wool sweaters may have started to felt! That's the main reason I haven't got a lot of yardage by undoing wool sweaters...I am learning now to see the signs of felting before purchasing.)
Anyways...there is enough for my husband to make the hat he wants to make for me, and for me to make a shrug type of garment...at least enough for those items!
I would love to start a knit along for this...everyone use recycled yarn...either from a store bought sweater or a handknit that you have at home, that is no longer being used.

http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2007 08:53:01 AM »

I recycle yarn all the time. I make rugs, so people donate me clothes all the time. I get alot of sweaters that way.
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2007 08:57:36 AM »

I need to join in on this.  I've got a bunch of oatmeal-ish wool from a thrifted sweater I've been meaning to turn into a sweater vest (the diamond-patterned one from the Jems pattern) for months and months now.

« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2007 10:18:28 AM »

I do this too. I'm glad I'm not alone!

One thing I'd like to add is that I like to look for lighter colored sweaters because then I can also dye the yarn (usually with Kool-Aid). That always makes me feel like the yarn is brand new when I'm done.

I recently got the most beautiful yarn from a 100% alpaca sweater for about $2. I got a few scarves for Christmas gifts out of that one.

« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2007 12:58:57 PM »

I'm glad you started this KAL. I recently picked up 3 sweaters for the purpose of recycling the yarn. Each was $1.50 at the local thrift shop, even the one that was 100% silk. I'm looking forward to ripping these up and making them into something wearable. Here is a link to one of the sweaters I got that I've already started ripping. Ugly as sin but the yarn is fantastic. http://flickr.com/photos/39549049@N00/340252891/
« Reply #5 on: January 13, 2007 08:06:23 AM »

I have my husbands portion washed...I guess he's in this KAL too. ( although he doesn't officially have an account here) I was hoping that more kink would come out of this than did...but no big deal.

I would be very excited about a silk sweater score! Good for you Baigneuse!

I'm so happy that you guys want to do this. It sure beats having the sweater go in a landfill eventually.

And also, I agree about looking for light colored sweaters. Also solid color in general is my preference.
I got one that I thought would be good...until I got it home and realized that it was double knit from tiny , tiny yarn...at first I was happy...twice as much yarn...but it had alot of color work and with that and the double knitting and very skinny thread-like yarn...tangles...more than I was willing to mess with.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2007 08:09:56 AM by diosaperdida » THIS ROCKS   Logged

http://www.diosaperdida.net  - My website
http://knittingbare.blogspot.com/ painting, knitting, whatever...it's all art
http://painting.craftgossip.com/  decorative painting techniques, projects and product info.
« Reply #6 on: January 13, 2007 10:09:13 AM »

I was inspired to do some frogging last night. So I went through my sweater stash (Yes, I have a sweater stash) and found a light grey cashmere sweater that I forgot I had. I frogged, washed it and dyed it last night, and was pretty happy with myself because it came apart pretty well. Sometimes I have trouble with cashmere breaking, but I didn't have that problem this time. Probably because it is 2-ply.

I used Kool-Aid to dye the yarn blue and purple. (The blue turned out really nice, but the purple is a little too dark.)

Anyway, this morning I started winding the yarn into balls and NOW I'm having problems. It got soooo tangled when I dyed it and now the yarn is breaking like crazy, so I'm ending up with lots of little balls. Sad

Does anyone have any suggestions for keeping the yarn from getting tangled?

I thought I would have the balls all wound up by now, but it's taking a lot longer thanks to the tangles. But as soon as I'm finished I'll post a picture.

« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2007 01:44:07 PM »

I have been using only recycled yarn to knit.  It's been quite the learning process.
 Anyway, I discovered the trick to avoiding massive tangles is to wind the yarn into a hank, using a niddy noddy, then tying it together in about six places before removing it from the niddy noddy.  Once this is done, you dye it.  When winding it into balls, again the tangling problem can occur.  I have avoided this by putting the hank around the legs of one of one of my kid's plastic chairs - turned upside down - as I wind it into balls.

By the way,  I made a niddy noddy out of $3 worth of PVC pipe from Lowes.  It's not attractive, the way the wood ones are, but it works just as well.

Good luck!
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2007 11:27:21 PM »

Love this thread!  I've been buying recycled sweaters too, mostly because I don't want to spent tons of money right now.

I definately agree it's a learning process.  I didn't know I was supposed to wash it first.  I've just been unraveling it and knitting with it.   Undecided  I figured when I washed the finished products it would unkink and/or kink correctly.  Maybe I'll start washing it in hanks first too...

Ok, here is a shawl I'm knitting from an unraveled sweater.  A pretty candleflame or candlelight pattern, I can't remember the name.  It's fun to knit and I like how it looks, but I'm kinda realizing that I'm not sure if I would wear a gray knit shawl if it wasn't for the fact that it's fun to knit, yk?  It's a wool/cotton/acrylic blend.  A little something for everyone, lol.  On size 7 needles.

And here are socks I knit from a recycled sweater on my blog.  100% cotton, so it's not as snug as I'd like.  But, you know what, it was my first sock, and I'm glad I didn't spend a ton of money on the yarn, and now I know I can knit socks and don't mind spending the $ next time.  There is nothing more frustrating to me than spending a lot of money and messing up and it going to waste.  They are warm and I wear them around the house...  (I made knitty's Wavy with the same cotton sweater too.)


I've found a few 100% wool sweaters, but with those I've been having too much fun felting in the wash to make purses out of.  The purse I'm using now was a wool/cashmere sweater I found for $1!

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« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2007 11:41:23 PM »

thanks so much for that link! i have a few sweaters that just got their walking papers, but now they have a new purpose!

*spinswim* my hand-spun yarn and fiber shop!: http://www.etsy.com/shop.php?user_id=5546058
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