Sunday, February 12, 2006

Recycling Yarn from Thrift Store Sweater, Part 1

Here we go. My detailed and illustrated adventures in recycling yarn from thrift store sweaters. FYI-I highly recommend this tutorial at Neauveau. It not only tells you how to deconstruct a sweater, but what to look for when shopping for cheapo yarn at your local thrift. Apparently, not all sweaters are the same, and not all are ideal for unraveling. Also, if you want to do this I would pick up sweaters now even if you don't plan on unraveling right away. The Sal-val (salvation army for you "talk proper" folks) I went to had TONS of sweaters. Tis the season so take advantage. Now onto the show:

First off, I deconstructed what I'm calling "sweater 1" which is the LL Bean ladies M silk/cotton/wool blend sweater in a kind of denim twist color. Following the tutorial, I unraveled. Now, Karin asked me about washing and I'm going to say this: I think it's best to wash before you unravel. However, I couldn't wait for it dry flat in my cold-ass basement, so I went nuts. I'll probably pay for it later. As I unraveled I wrapped the yarn around my hand and elbow like I was wrapping rope or something. And when the yarn broke (I think this has something to do with the silk) I tied each end of the loop with a twistee tie. After about a week of unraveling off and on (I would say this takes several hours. I hope you're patient) I had this:

It seems like a decent amount of yarn although I really have no way of estimating yardage. If you can see the thing in the upper right corner that is the turtleneck part I left whole to give you an idea what the sweater looked like before it felt my wrath.

Next, into the bathtub it went with some warm water and a few squirts of Garnier shampoo. I tried to be gentle so that the yarn wouldn't tangle. I think I did a pretty good job. It's currently hanging over the tub drying (and taking its good old time about it). >.>

I rung it out by hand, rolled it in a towel (twice). I figure it will take a day or two. Then I can wind it up with my trusty ballwinder (oh how I love thee). If I were to estimate the weight of this yarn I would say its probably a sport/DK weight. I'll have to swatch some of it when it's all said and done. But I can tell by looking at it that it's not worsted weight. Oh here's a close up of the fiber in its kinked-up, perfumed, dirty glory. Oohh... baby, baby!

So what to make with this yarn? Since this is a skin friendly fiber I think it would be a sin to NOT make a garment out of it. But what? *opening suggestion box*

Still no Winter IK issue. I plan on using that Customer Service # they gave me in reply email. In the meantime, I casted on for sock 1 of Rapunzel Sock (the snobby cousin of Traveler Sock). I'm using woolease (of course) in gray. I bought the skein for a buck-fiddy at the Joann's in the mall that I don't like going to. Thankfully they're going out of business and all there yarn was 30% off plus I got to use my coupon. I might have splurged more but there wasn't any other yarn or colors that appealed to me. Although, they have tons of fuzzy and ribbon-like novelty yarn if you're into that sort of thing. Cheers!

Coming soon- Part 2 of Recycling Yarn, Part 2


Jen said...

Boy, that Jo-Ann's has needed closing for a long time! When I came back to Syracuse for the holidays, I was reminded how disarrayed it always was. I got to visit the newer one out in Fayetteville - it was like a WalMart with nothing but crafts! Much better to shop at.

Now I just need the company to do something about the Jo-Ann's here in New Hampshire. The one by me is so bad, I have actively wished for the chain to go bankrupt so we could get someone else in. Since seeing the one in Fayetteville, though, I just want them to decide that it's worth putting a good Jo-Ann's here!

ErLeCa said...

Damn those IK people! You'd think you'd have your issue by now!

Awesome find with that recycled sweater. I don't know how patient I'd be waiting for it to dry, so far it seems you're doing pretty well.

Barbara said...

You'll be able to make something really nice with that yarn- I love the color. Thanks for the deconstruction link- I'll file that away for future reference!