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Recycled Yarn

Thimble got me all inspired to head down to the Salvation Army to seek out sweaters to recycle. Three candidates volunteered themselves, and here they be (with Inspector Moses):

recycle1

The apricot one in the center was a rayon-cotton blend that was HUGE and lovely, but I soon discovered its seams were serged and the yarn therefore, sadly, unusable. Lesson: check for serged seams before you get suckered in by an orphaned sweater.

The magenta sweater was $3, and is made with a cool ribbon yarn, 65% acrylic and 35% nylon. The cream sweater is really my prize. It was a little steep at $5, but was a biggish, sparkly French Connection sweater made of 63% acrylic, 19% mohair, 10% angora, 5% polyester, and 3% metallic. Each sweater produced about 12 oz. of yarn. If you're interested in doing the recycling thing to the max, here's a fantastic detailed tutorial my pal Carrie Grunion recommends. Here's, on the other hand, the lazy way: First I cut the seams of each sweater, taking care not to cut the yarn, separating each into its separate panels. Then it's just unravelling till you're blue in the face. Here are the results:

The ribbon yarn is rather curly, so I'm going to try to steam it before winding it into balls:

ribbonyarn

Four balls of sparkly yarn:

fancy pants!

Closeup of Sparkly McGee:

fancy pants!

All in all, recycling yarn is probably a worthwhile pursuit, particularly if you're on a budget. I'm so excited to use Sparkly McGee! At the same time, however, it was quite time consuming and, boy, does my arm hurt.

Posted by jess at February 21, 2005 1:58 PM
Comments

wow looks great!

Posted by: lori at February 14, 2005 3:41 PM

Loved the Sparkly McGee! What a cool idea to recycle the sweaters! The tutorial you linked to was awesome! Thnx for sharing your ideas and links!

Posted by: heidi at February 21, 2005 4:41 PM

i have been meaning to recycle some sweaters as well. it's such a good idea that saves a lot of money- looks like you got some good finds! especially the sparkly...

Posted by: Yifaa at February 21, 2005 7:02 PM

I just read the Interweave Knits article about recycled yarn. It's tempting! Another way to remove the kinkies from ravelled yarn is this: After it's unknit, wrap into a big hank around your arm (like you would wind up a long hose or cord), wet it, and hang it over a hanger. Then suspend a weight from the bottom if the hank just heavy enough to pull the kinks out without stretching the bejesus out of the yarn. A sneaker tied on would probably work well. Hang the whole enchilada up until dry and then wind into a balls. Have fun!

Posted by: sara at February 21, 2005 7:43 PM

I really admire your patience. I can't stand having to wind skeins and hanks of yarn you buy at the LYS into balls, let alone recycled yarn from sweater. And that sparkly yarn is great. Very unusual and pretty.

Posted by: Sandra at February 21, 2005 7:47 PM

Your yarn looks super! It is definitely time consuming to unravel, but kind of satisfying too. And its a good mindless thing to do while watching a movie or something!

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