View Full Version : Sweaters to unravel!

09-01-2007, 08:36 PM
Hey everyone! Last night I was looking up shawl patterns and I saw this awesome garter stitch shawl that included about 20 different types of yarn. The pattern writer explained that she frequently buys hideous sweaters at flea markets, thrift stores, and yard sales just for the yarn, and she takes them home and unravels them. Well... that sounded fun and just plain cool! So I went out shopping today and decided to go to Good Will and see if they had any awesome sweaters!!! I got a purple one and a red one to unravel (maybe I'll make one of those charity red scarves) and I also found the most beautiful aran sweater in the world for only six dollars! It's way too huge on me but I fell in love with it and just couldn't leave it there. Don't think I can really wear it, but whatever. It's gorgeous. So here's the goods!



09-01-2007, 08:48 PM
i love recycling sweaters! i already pulled apart this pretty teal ribbon yarn sweater .. it's going to be a simple smock dress for dd.. i also have a ramie/cotton lovely green sweater to unravel.. so soft!... that too big sweater is nice, if it's wool, you could steek the sides and along the underside of the arms to re-size it....:)

09-01-2007, 08:51 PM
That is a good idea Jeanie! I never would have thought of doing that. I am so glad you mentioned that here.

09-01-2007, 08:53 PM
Ooooh, that's great! I was wondering if there was anything I could do to resize it and use it for myself, it's 100% wool!!! I :heart: it soooo much!

I am a bit confused on the two sweaters I bought to recycle though. I'm undoing the seams and thats all fine, but it seems like they were seamed and then the yarn was cut or something...??? Is that possible? That's pretty disappointing... but I love the aran!

09-01-2007, 08:57 PM
More likely they were cut out of knitted fabric and seamed together. You gotta watch how the seams are put together.

I keep going to thrift stores to find sweaters to recycle but keep finding ones I want to wear!

I did score today though - got 7 skeins of KPs Shine worsted and a home dyed hank of KPs fingering yarn for $4. There's quite a lot of sugar and cream for 45 cents each I'm trying to talk myself out of going back for....

09-01-2007, 08:59 PM
a good tip for future recycling efforts. always check the seams .. i usually just check the top shoulder seams and neckline. You want one that doesn't look felted or sewn too tightly, as the yarn will be hard to unravel, or possibly cut along the seams. you want nice looooong bits of yarn just like as if you were unraveling your own handknit. HTH

09-01-2007, 09:00 PM
i am always checking my goodwill for yarn or recycling sweaters. i scored today and got 6 cones (1300 yards each!!) of pure new wool yarns! $12 for all :)

check out these sites!
a detailed how-to (http://www.az.com/%7Eandrade/knit/thrifty.html)
a more image heavy how-to (http://www.neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html)

hope those help!

09-01-2007, 09:02 PM
i usually just check the top shoulder seams and neckline.

I always check the side seams. Sometimes the neckline and shoulders are cut, but if the sweater's big enough, you can get enough out of the body.

09-01-2007, 11:51 PM
Here is a site you might like

09-02-2007, 02:48 PM
they did a show on unravelling and making new items from sweaters you find at flea markets on Knitty Gritty last week....

I actually have a green sweater upstairs that a friend gave me (i loveit) but it's coming apart at the seams.. (yes, i wore it a LOT.. now it's miles too big for me).. i'm going to try unravelling that one (one of these days! LOL) and then decide what to make...

09-02-2007, 11:45 PM
My mom's friend found a cashmere sweater at a thrift shop, unravelled it, used a little and gave me the rest! She thought I could make socks, but I dunno about cashmere socks. I am thinking it will end up being an accent for some garment at some point. It is fingering weight and I don't think there is enough for a shawl...though maybe there is. I need to figure out how much there really is.

Ooo, now I am thinking maybe gloves. Kinda obvious now that I've thought of it...the pattern search begins :)

09-06-2007, 04:51 PM
It's so funny to find this thread here today, as yesterday I went to Goodwill looking for sweaters to unravel :) and dresses/skirts to use for fabric. I ended up with 2 skirts and 2 dresses. I did find several sweaters but ruled them out for one reason or another.

So, it's good to know about checking the seams, in case it was cut from knitted fabric. I had no idea.

11-10-2007, 10:29 AM
:happydance: :happydance: :happydance: I stopped at a couple re-sale stores yesterday and found four sweaters I think I can recycle. I worked on one yesterday, a color work bulky knit sweater jacket. It was beautifully hand knit and relatively easy to frog. I have several long pieces I'll join to make a swatch to see if it's superwash or not.

I was haunted by the idea that someone on line would see my blog and consequently see the sweater s/he'd spent so much time on as a gift for someone ending up at Salvation Army. My consolation was that if the tables were turned, I'd be happy that someone who appreciated it found a good use for the yarn. Pics of sweater and yarn on my blogs.

11-10-2007, 10:33 AM
But I wouldn't know where to begin! I wish I could have seen the video of it. I think I would end up with a pile of short strings!

11-10-2007, 12:37 PM
You have to look at the seams. Some sweaters are cut from knitted cloth and the seams will be sewn over with a binding stitch. The ones you want to look for look just like the seams when you sew your own knitting together - the edges are knit. These pages http://www.neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html and http://www.az.com/~andrade/knit/thrifty.html have pictures showing what to look for and how to do it.

Becky Morgan
11-11-2007, 01:19 AM
Did anyone else see the Knitty Gritty about making tote bags and such from thrift shop sweaters even if they *were* cut and seamed? The trick was to pick wool sweaters, cut them to size and felt them. I thought that would be a nice use for something that might be too bright as a sweater, or too small or whatever, but would be great as a felted bag.

11-11-2007, 09:42 AM
Never mind! I found it, and have it set to record every time it comes on.

I LOVE DVR's!!!!!