PDA

View Full Version : Yarn weight/recycling sweater question


AngieLanigan
07-03-2009, 11:47 AM
In an effort to aquire gorgeous (and normally expensive) yarn without breaking the bank, I've started prowling my local thrift stores looking for sweaters to recycle.

I have a couple waiting for me that are likely a worsted or maybe sport weight, but at the moment I'm frogging two very light-weight sweaters. Now, I knew going into it it was going to be a job and a half due to the light weight of the yarn, but I just couldn't pass up the fibre (one is silk/cashmere and the other is merino/angora/cashmere... mmmmmm.... sooo soft....).

Before frogging, I dug out my handy-dandy stitch gauge, and hopped onto YarnStandards.com (http://www.yarnstandards.com/weight.html) to see if I could figure out the weight of these yarns. Figured that'd make it easier to find patterns when I'm ready to knit them up, right? :figureditout: Sometimes I amaze myself :roflhard:

So the one is 10sts/inch (or 40sts/4inches), which seems to just fit into the fingering/lace weight category. Great. The other, though, is 15sts/inch (or 60sts/4inches)! Do people hand knit with stuff this fine? Is there a name for this weight of yarn? It's so soft and so gorgeous. Could it become a lace scarf, or shawl or something?

suzeeq
07-03-2009, 11:55 AM
Yarn that's thinner than lace is called cobweb, you can double it and use as lace weight. Another way to figure the weight is by using WPI, wraps per inch. There's a chart on this page (http://www.woolfestival.com/articles/WPI.htm) that will help you determine where they fit in.

AngieLanigan
07-03-2009, 12:28 PM
Thanks, Sue! I've never heard of cobweb before, or of wraps-per-inch!

suzeeq
07-03-2009, 06:11 PM
I think there's actually a yarn that's thinner than cobweb but can't remember what it's called. And it's not thread....

mathwizard
07-04-2009, 07:22 AM
Did you get the sweaters for a good price? I think recycling the yarn is a great idea!

AngieLanigan
07-04-2009, 09:21 AM
Did you get the sweaters for a good price? I think recycling the yarn is a great idea!

I'm really loving this recycling yarn idea, myself. The baby doesn't seem as interested in yanking on my frogging as he is in yanking on my knitting LOL

Besides the 2 I mentioned above, I've also got 3 more waiting to frog. One is a worsted weight 26% Viscose, 25% Cotton, 24% Nylon, 17% Wool & 8% Angora Rabbit Hair, in a gorgeous, soft light brown tweed.

The other two are 100% Lambswool, one in a lovely sage green and the other is a dark red colour.

I paid between $2.50-$4.75 for each sweater.

Chrysee
07-04-2009, 11:57 AM
How do you unravel them? I know that sounds silly, but I wouldn't know how to start if I bought one. There is a seller on etsy who only sells recycled sweater yarn from thrift store sweaters and the sweaters are always sooo ugly but the yarn looks great!

suzeeq
07-04-2009, 01:28 PM
You would start in reverse order of putting a sweater together. Take off the neckband if there's a separate one, then unravel side, sleeve, armhole and shoulder seams. You need to look at the seams to see whether the edges are serged or look like plain knit. If they were serged, the sweater pieces were cut from a larger piece of knit fabric and you'll end up with a million 2 yard long pieces of yarn.

AngieLanigan
07-04-2009, 07:04 PM
How do you unravel them? I know that sounds silly, but I wouldn't know how to start if I bought one. There is a seller on etsy who only sells recycled sweater yarn from thrift store sweaters and the sweaters are always sooo ugly but the yarn looks great!

I found a most excellent tutorial on My Virtual Sanity's blog (http://dawnprickett.blogspot.com/2008/01/recycling-sweaters-for-yarn.html). It's very thorough and has lots of good photos to walk you through the deconstruction.

ArtLady1981
07-05-2009, 09:16 AM
Thanks Angie! That website/blog was FABULOUS! Simply wonderful tips about what to look for and what to avoid when buying up secondhand sweaters for the purpose of 'harvesting' the yarn!

Makes me wanna go into the deconstruction business myself!

Her blog gives me the courage to deconstruct a few sweaters that I've knit and don't like anymore. But the yarn is too expensive to be collecting dust! I'm on it now!

thecatsmother
07-05-2009, 06:59 PM
Angie,thanks for all this info and the super links.I had bought some sweaters a few years ago and started to do this...don't remember why I didn't finish.I'm gonna go find them and get going it sounds like fun.