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Topic: Out of curiosity . . .  (Read 3463 times)
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SparroWinter
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« on: November 17, 2005 09:12:28 AM »

How many people here use recycled yarn as opposed to going out any buying new stuff all the time? And by recycling yarn, I mean going and buying sweaters or other knitted objects (second-hand, of course) and unravelling them.

Just curious. I told my ex-boss that I meant to do that to some sweaters I had, and she looked at me like I had a serious screw loose. This would have bothered me less if she hadn't been the assistant manager of a craft store where half their business is done in yarn. Treating me like I'm odd because I happen to take a different approach than she did . . . And no offense to her, but after two months or working there, I may not have been able to make a sweater (mostly due to lack of funds to buy enough yarn), but I sure as heck knew how to do more than she did, in terms of knitting . . .

Ahem. Job experiences aside . . . yeah. So how many of you do recycle yarn?
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BlackMarketBaby
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2005 10:15:15 AM »

I definitely unravel.  My newest project is the 1st time I've bought new yarn, a real splurge! It is great fun to buy new every now and again, but I want to knit far more that I'll ever be able to afford new, so no choice, really!  And I like the very idea of rescuing some lovely yarn from a terrible garment and making it into something wearable, as well as the opportunity that it affords for opting out of the whole capitalist-market thing.  (My new yarn comes from handpaintedyarn.com, which is both relatively cheap and a co-op!).  Don't less the less-enlightened get you down!  They don't know what they're missing...
eta. - I know that LOTS of people on here do unravel, if you look at the knitting threads much it's often mentioned-in-passing, as it were.
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subloke
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2005 12:23:04 PM »

I first started unravelling sweaters when I lived overseas and had no access to yarn.  I had never heard of anyone doing that before, and this was before I discovered the masses of on-line knitters (I didn't have regular internet access).  I had a sweater I didn't like.  I wanted to knit something.  I figured out how to take it apart.  People looked at me like I was a mental patient.  Then they wanted me to make them something. 

I buy second hand sweaters (and use old ones from my own closet and my mom's closet) to recycle, but I also buy new, but cheap yarn.  About 50/50 I'd say.  I love the fact that I can get a whole sweater's worth of good yarn for a couple of bucks. 
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kiwimum
« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2005 12:34:32 PM »

I recycle knitted articles often.  I have a health condition which prevents me working, so I have a lot of time for knitting, and I like to knit for various charities as it helps me feel I am contributing to society, in spite of being unable to work.  But I cannot afford to buy much new wool, so if I didn't unpick things from thrift shops I'd have nothing to knit with!

If the unravelled wool is clean & in good condition, it is sensible to reuse it.

But I can understand the lady from the shop that sells new yarn not liking the idea...less customers for her!
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Aria
« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2005 12:58:51 PM »

how do you know which sweaters are going to be good yarn?  I don't knit but I do crochet and I have thought about doing this before - my problem is that i'm not a big fan of 100% wool because its ITCHY - does any of the other yarns unravel well too? (I know you have to get the kinks out...) Just curious HOW to look for sweaters to get yarn from...
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lupinbunny
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« Reply #5 on: November 17, 2005 05:33:07 PM »

i've tried but i failed to find any suitable jumpers to unravel.
australia (especially the less chilly parts) has a dearth of sweaters, generally. i'd still keep an eye out when op-shopping, but i don't hold out much hope.

i tend to turn to ebay to economise on yarn, or only buy on sale.
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FluffyMonkey
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« Reply #6 on: November 17, 2005 06:21:10 PM »

I would definitely do this if I didn't live in a college/farm town where the thrift and second-hand stores SUCK! There's only mystery material, ugly, or cheapo sweaters. Or none.
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mizuiro
« Reply #7 on: November 17, 2005 06:28:11 PM »

I haven't really found a good sweater to unravel, but I did undo some cheapie knit tanks for practice.    It was only about $3, so it wasn't too bad.

If I ever get the right opportunity, I definitely will.
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erincatherine
« Reply #8 on: November 17, 2005 06:30:34 PM »

I just unraveled my first sweater. It was a gift a few years back from a friend, and I love the friend and loved the yarn, but the sweater wasn't cutting it...It was a sweater coat, too, so I have tons and tons of yarn!! I am now hooked! I am going to the thrift store tomorrow (conveniently located in the same area as my LYS) before I go to the yarn store to see what I can find...
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tofuttibreak
« Reply #9 on: November 17, 2005 06:35:11 PM »

how do you know which sweaters are going to be good yarn?  I don't knit but I do crochet and I have thought about doing this before - my problem is that i'm not a big fan of 100% wool because its ITCHY - does any of the other yarns unravel well too? (I know you have to get the kinks out...) Just curious HOW to look for sweaters to get yarn from...
I see sweaters at the thrift store every day and I'm constantly trying to figure this out.
Does anyone have tips for what makes a good recycled yard?
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