I .:heart:. Recycled Sweaters

**This was originally a post to the Crochet Partners list**

I have read the great tutorial on recycling sweater yarn posted a while back (; I have unravelled more than a few yards of yarn in countless types of projects. But I still didn't think it completely through before I started my quest for recycled yarn.

Here are a few tips for anyone else that has in the back of their head to look for sweaters to "recycle", in addition to the tips on that site, and others like it:

(1) Look at the pattern. The simpler the better. Those "Bill Cosby"-esq sweaters jump out because they have great colors in combinations you might not have put together, and you can easily see what an awesome felted purse they could become. But beware the headache they will add to unravelling. You could just snip the color flecks and pull them out, or unravel them for a little (little!) bit of accent color. Either way, much more fuss than the plain colored parts of a sweater.

(2) Don't wear clothes (or sit on couches) that are highly lint receptive. You're going to get fuzzies. And if you are unravelling a fuchsia sweater, they will be fuchsia fuzzies. And if your pants (or couch) aren't fuchsia, they soon will be. Have a working lint brush at arm's reach, too.

(3) This is no place for (small) children. You may be able to crochet while watching your 14 month old (or cat) frolic and play, but the temptation of freshly unravelled yarn is too much for the little ones, and you might as well knot the yarn yourself with all of the resulting tangles. Pattern flecks have nothing on this knewe-high headache of unravelling.

(4) Unravelling is unravelling. You know how "not fun" (or near impossible) it is to frog an eyelash scarf or chenille square? Boucle and chenille sweaters are hard, too. And you should definitely look back at hint #2, because you think you knew shedding before???

(5) Seam rippers are good for ripping seams. Ok, Ok, I know it seemsobvious, but every site I looked at had people cutting seams with scissors. A 97 cent seam ripper is a pick and a concentrated cutter all in one. It is your friend.

(6) Pilling is bad on your new afghan, but spells doom on unravelling. Especially when there are color changes, this works just like cement to hold that sweater together despiteall your best unravelling.

That being said, I now have hundreds of yards of beautiful wool/acrylic blend freshly unraveled, awaiting an unkinking wash and to be made into a beautiful felted purse (and who knows what else). Hopefully I can get a picture of my "new" stash.

posted by Unknown on Tuesday, January 17, 2006 @ 6:16 PM


Blogger elaine.triquetra said...

Ummmmm, can I ask how you wash unraveled yarn? It seems obvious you can't throw it loose into the washing machine. I have yet to take anything apart to make something new but I know I will want to since I am starting to make afghans for the poor and my purse is usually empty. I bet I have bags of stuff in storage that doesn't fit anymore that I can reuse so this information would be very helpful.
CPer name-Elaine in N. NV 4:14 PM  

Blogger Kate said...

One great way to wash the yarn is to wind it on a swift or around your hand and elbow (like Christmas lights!) and tie tightly with scraps of yarn (you'll have several) at several places. Wash on the gentle cycle (without final spin) around the agitator.

Another way is to wrap the yarn into hanks, and then insert into knee high pantyhose. Tie off the tops, and wash on gentle.

The best way I've found to dry is hanging in the loop on a line, but I've heard of drying in the dryer on low. 11:54 PM  

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