Tuesday, July 27, 2010

What I learned From Recycling Sweaters

My initial research paid off. I knew what to look for, what could be taken apart.
But what I was not prepared for was a thin sweater (too much work), I was also unaware of how long to soak the recycled yarn. After more research, I learned it is best to leave the yarn soaking over night. This will help to get rid of the wrinkles (not totally so far), clean the yarn and leave it smelling like new.

I unraveled the sweater with the help of my yarn winder.

Then I wound the yarn into large skeins by wrapping it around 2 chairs and used about 6 ties to secure it.

I then let the yarn soak over night in a eucalyptus wool wash.
The batch in here are yarn balls I bought second hand and they were smelly so I washed them too.

This is my first lot of  unraveled and soaked yarn, that is now drying in the shower.
You can put something heavy on the bottoms of the skeins to assist with the wrinkles coming out even more.

This is another sweater to unravel.
 After the yarn had dried, I was looking forward to winding it into balls to use with my yarn winder, not that simple. I had placed the skein on the floor and begun to wind the yarn, but it all ended up into a mess!
Put your thinking cap on Cat! There must be a right way to do this, even with out a swift. So I went back to the chairs where I had made the skeins, placed the skeins back over the chairs and began to wind the balls of yarn that way. Yippee, no tangles, but I will still have to go back to the yarn winder and use that if I want nicely wound balls of yarn.

I have now gone just that one step further and attached the yarn winder to the chair to save time.
Some may say why bother with all that trouble?
For me, I found it relaxing (apart from winding the yarn around the chairs). 
The washing means you are almost there.
The money saved is more than worth the effort.
And finally, I finally have the same ply and color to make larger projects, this is very exciting for me.
Some very useful links.

How to Unravel a Sweater to Recycle Yarn 

Reclaiming yarn from a thrift store sweater