Recycling question....

I've decided to give something new a try.... Here's the idea: I'm going to go to Good Will (or Salvation Army... haven't decided) pick up a wool sweater... frog it... and knit something new myself. It's an excercise in recycling. Might sound a little crazy, but I thought it' be cool to try. Anyhow, have any of you done that?

Any suggestions? I want wool... and I'm hoping for sock-weight (although not determined on that point). Is there anything I should be aware of or concerned about? Any suggestions on how to start "unraveling"?

And for those of you who care, yesterday started the season of Advent... may it be a blessed one for each of you (and your loved ones).

Grace and Peace,


BuduR's picture

I found this site really helpful to me when I decided to try recycling. She mentions some things I never thought of :)

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

teejtc's picture

What a great link! Thanks.

And you're right, there are number of things it would have taken me several tries to learn "the hard way."

Grace and peace,

drmel94's picture

The link made clickable (opens in new window/tab):

"Hatred does not end by hatred; hatred ends by love. This is the eternal law." - Buddha

BuduR's picture

thanks! I haven't bothered to figure out how to do that yet :p

MWK's Token Estrogen-American

RareSteek's picture

Great idea. Here is a a site I found that describes one person's experience.


scenter's picture

A woman at my local yarn shop does this, but instead of unraveling, she felts the sweater, and then makes purses, slippers etc out of the felted material.

Serge664's picture

I did that to get yarn for teaching and had great luck.

I know the other link mentions it, but be sure to avoid serged seams - they yarn is cut and not good for anything.

Try to avoid handmade sweaters unless it's great yarn. you want to find garments sewn with a chain stitch for easy removal. you can pick a hand sewn seam out, but it will take a lot longer. Think about how long we send sewing and hiding the yarn ends. Now think about undoing it.

If you dont already have a yarn winder, take some of the $ you save on yarn and get one. or else plan on spending hours re winding. Acutally a lot of sewaters will unravel right on to the winder if you just get it started pulling and start winding it off.

Last time I went searching I found a silk/cashmere tank top from Nieman Marcus with enough yarn for 3 beanies. Hope you have good luck too!

Please remember: I have a collection of needles and a history of violence

Please remember: I have a collection of needles and a history of violence

Very interesting! And I like the idea of recycling.

I know I am probably the only one here but....I save the bits of natural yarn or thread and in the spring, scatter it outside for the birds to build nests. Cannot think of another use except tossing.

MMario's picture

If you know someone who makes paper by hand - they can be used for that as well.

MMario - ambiguity is cultivated, it doesn't happen in a vacuum!

MMario - I'm not divorced from reality - we're having a trial separation

No I don't know anyone is something I wanted to try. Good idea!

Tallguy's picture

Yes, that's an excellent idea. There are several sweaters that need to be rescued, taken out of circulation and remade into what they should have been in the first place!! (what were they thinking??)

One thing to watch for is that these are not commercially made. Look at the seams. Many sweaters are made from large sheets of knitted fabric, cut apart into pieces, and then serged together. You will see that in the seams. When you take them apart, all you are going to get is short lengths of yarn -- from one seam to the other!

When you take the sweater apart, you will be de-constructing it. Like putting a sweater together, but in reverse. So take the seams apart first, and then start to rip from the end that was knit last. It should all run smoothly. Don't try ripping intarsia!!

Once all your yarn is wound into skeins, give them a gentle wash in soapy water. I use fairly hot water, drop them in and leave them alone!! Don't touch!! After about 10 min, remove, drain, rinse, and hang to dry. There is no need to weight the skeins -- it will only take out all the elasticity of the wool. When dry, wind into balls, and knit!