Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 06-16-2009, 12:02 AM   #1
purplravioli
Ribbing the Cuff
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 30
Thanks: 6
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Unraveling Old Sweaters
Do you unravel old sweaters for their yarn?

I recently decided to try recycling a few thrift store sweaters, and I've gotta say, I'm loving it. How else can you get 1500+ yards of wool or cotton (or cashmere!) yarn for $1.50-$3?

Has anyone in the forums been adventurous enough to unravel a fingering or lace weight sweater?

I want to try it, but I'm afraid of constantly breaking the yarn, making it impossible to get a decent amount of yarn without a bunch of knots every few yards.

Also, is cashmere hard to unravel?
I found a BEAUTIFUL beige 100% cashmere sweater for just $3!!! but it's a Large, and definitely doesn't fit me, so I want to unravel it and make a smaller sweater and possibly a hat or gloves etc.

Sorry for such a long post, I just have so many questions. hahah
purplravioli is offline   Reply With Quote

 

This advertising will not be shown to registered members. Join our free online community today!

Old 06-16-2009, 06:46 AM   #2
Mirl56
Instepping Out
 
Mirl56's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Baltimore, MD
Posts: 2,298
Thanks: 455
Thanked 720 Times in 670 Posts
Well, for $3, what's to lose? I say go ahead and try to unravel it.

I've never unraveled a sweater, I don't know where you all who find such nice yarns find them. All I ever find is acrylic, not worth the effort to unravel.
__________________
Marilyn

******
Mirl56 at Ravelry, too.

Learn from the mistakes of others. You canít live long enough to make them all yourself. Eleanor Roosevelt

OTN:
Lady Feb Sweater
more shawlettes, socks
Mirl56 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 08:38 AM   #3
Sunni
Ribbing the Cuff
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 49
Thanks: 20
Thanked 25 Times in 13 Posts
I have unraveled several sweaters from a thrift store. Some worsted weight but most sport/DK/Fingering. It is great fun just make sure to look at the seams to ensure they are sewn together. Some sweaters are cut from a large piece of cloth and you end up with tons of single strands! Have fun, I have taken apart several angora (rabbit) sweaters and they shed a bit but it didn't ruin the yarn I ended up with. Just be careful when pulling it apart so you don't break it. If it is more than 50% animal fiber and is not a "superwash" then you will be able to felt the ends together for a seamless join

HAVE FUN AND HAPPY KNITTING!!

yes I yelled! Thought it was appropriate
__________________
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience!
--George Bernard Shaw

TrunkFullOYarn on Ravelry!
Sunni is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 09:03 AM   #4
margz3
Working the Gusset
 
margz3's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,470
Thanks: 328
Thanked 780 Times in 753 Posts
I am interested in trying this. Where do you generally start your unraveling from?
__________________
Margaret


OTN


socks (still!)
dishcloths
baby afghans
HAP items

margz3 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 06-16-2009, 09:10 AM   #5
TooCircular
Knitting the Flap
 
TooCircular's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Michigan
Posts: 266
Thanks: 279
Thanked 189 Times in 80 Posts
I've heard that if you freeze a mohair or fuzzy-yarned garment overnight, the yarn won't stick together as much as you unravel it. I've never tried it, though.


Jan
TooCircular is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to TooCircular For This Useful Post:
margz3 (06-17-2009)
Old 06-16-2009, 01:36 PM   #6
purplravioli
Ribbing the Cuff
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 30
Thanks: 6
Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Originally Posted by margz3 View Post
I am interested in trying this. Where do you generally start your unraveling from?
When I first started unraveling, I looked for a bunch of tutorials, so here are the ones I found useful:

http://www.craftleftovers.com/blog/archives/401
http://dawnprickett.blogspot.com/200...-for-yarn.html
http://www.neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html

Hope these help.

If you do try your hand at unraveling, make sure that if it has a crochet seam, unravel the seam in the correct direction (this process is explained very thoroughly in the second tutorial). Don't try to cut every little thread of the seam (I know from experience, hahah). It is VERY tedious and time consuming, and I wish I knew from the beginning that you could just unravel the seam in seconds by pulling it in the right direction.

Last edited by purplravioli : 06-17-2009 at 12:55 AM.
purplravioli is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to purplravioli For This Useful Post:
margz3 (06-17-2009)
Old 06-17-2009, 09:15 AM   #7
OffJumpsJack
Working the Gusset
 
OffJumpsJack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1,127
Thanks: 447
Thanked 312 Times in 249 Posts
I have an acrylic sweater the volunteered to be unraveled! I know there was a thread about this in the last 2 or 3 months.

Here are the points I remember:
  • Always check the seam to make sure it isn't surged (cut and sewn).
  • Read the labels to learn to recognize the fiber.
  • Watch for and avoid felted or partially felted sweaters.
  • Cables and ribs hold more yarn than ST ST patterns.
  • Buy or make a nostepinne or a ball winder to save your hands and wrists for knitting.
__________________
--Jack
Master of Crochet, apprentice of Knit

as Off-Jumps-Jack

OTN another Black & gold Diagonal Square Potholder
OTH Baby blanket
OTH Lace doily - A vintage pattern recreating from an heirloom.
OffJumpsJack is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to OffJumpsJack For This Useful Post:
margz3 (06-17-2009)
Old 06-17-2009, 09:32 AM   #8
Sunni
Ribbing the Cuff
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Providence, RI
Posts: 49
Thanks: 20
Thanked 25 Times in 13 Posts
Yes, it is true that angora/mohair and other "shedding fibers" will shed less if placed in the freezer for a night or two prior to unravelling. This is also a useful way to avoid the shedding when knitting with it.

Another "trick" is to handwash the sweater, prior to unravelling, with shampoo and conditioner as it seems to alleviate some of the shedding as well. I did both of these with one of the angora (rabbit) sweaters I unravelled as it was shedding quite a bit and found great results.
__________________
If history repeats itself, and the unexpected always happens, how incapable must man be of learning from experience!
--George Bernard Shaw

TrunkFullOYarn on Ravelry!
Sunni is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to Sunni For This Useful Post:
margz3 (06-17-2009)
Reply


Currently Active Users Viewing This Thread: 1 (0 members and 1 guests)
 

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Unraveling help Wnderlnd How-to Questions 3 10-06-2011 07:41 PM
Unraveling.. Babyduck87 General Knitting 4 09-19-2007 10:13 AM
Instead of unraveling work 1234 How-to Questions 1 10-18-2006 10:42 AM
Unraveling. re-using yarn gunnerbee How-to Questions 5 12-12-2005 08:39 PM
Unraveling ugly sweaters!!! bekahdrmom General Knitting 8 07-19-2005 10:54 PM

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 04:45 AM.