Monday, May 16, 2011

Mindless ripping... =)

We're on a budget. We do okay, but there's not a lot of room for expensive non-necessities. In my case, that means nice yarn for my knitting/crocheting projects. One hank of really nice alpaca wool can run you about $17. For one! Then I remembered that some of my friends recycle thrift store sweaters, and I wondered how hard it could be. It sounded complicated, but maybe it would be worth it. I did some internet research, found some great tutorials, and hit the clearance section at the local consignment store.

For about 3 bucks, I came up with this:

Now, the top gray one is an old one of mine. I had shrunk it, and thought, why not try recycling the yarn? The others cost me between $0.25 and $1.40 each. Not bad for one morning of digging through the discount bins.

I washed, dried, and began.

First, I ripped out the seams. Except for my shrunken one (which was really fuzzy, and kind of "felted", all I had to do was find the right end, and with one pull, I could rip from cuff to bottom hem. Goodbye side seam! A little more work with the collars, and shoulders, and I had a pile of sweater pieces that looked something like this:

Then I found the top string, dug it out, and started unraveling. The bottom of my end table made a perfect winding area, don't you think?

I ended up with several hanks from each sweater that looked something like this:

They were all kind of kinky from being in a sweater of course, so once the sweater was finished, I gave them a cold bath and hung them up to dry, in hopes of getting most of the kinks out. I forgot to take pictures of this, but let's just say, my family got a kick out of seeing peanut butter jars weighing them down. =)

I've only done 4, and stopped to work on a project with the yellow yarn, but so far, for my work, I have all this yarn, just waiting to be used!

Now two of the sweaters pictured in this yarn pile were cotton, and two were wool, so I'm not sure exactly how much money it would have cost me new, but I'm guessing I probably got around $75 worth of yarn for less than $5 ( don't remember how much the old sweater of mine cost, but it wasn't much)

The best part? It was mindless, and fun, and I needed mindless lately. =)

I realize most of you probably won't care in the least, but I wanted to share anyway. It made me happy. =)


T said...

That's so cool! Jenete is really big into refurbishing old clothes and making new clothes out of it, so she would think this was awesome too.
Have fun making stuff with your new yarn!

Shannon said...

I think that's incredibly cool! What to be thrifty and very resourceful. Happy crafting!

Life and times of the doctor's wife said...

Wow!! What a super idea!

Jenete said...

I think that is the coolest refurbising I have seen. I would have never thought to tear apart old clothing to get yarn. I have seen using the pieces to make another item but that is a great way to recycle for knitting and crochet. You are so talented at both that I am sure you will make something awesome!

John and Margaret said...

Thanks guys!

Jeanette & Tarythe, I've loved how Jeanette has repurposed, but sewing machines and I don't have the best relationship. This is more my speed. I'm glad you like the idea though.

Now to keep myself out of the thrift store until payday. =)

Mandy said...

Perfect! I have done this many times. I'm glad that it's working out so well for you!!

Michelle said...

This is a super cool idea. I didn't even know, or think that you could take a sweater apart and reuse the yarn. Makes sense, but to really do it, super cool. What are you going to make out of the yarn? I have only used old jeans to turn them into quilts and rugs. Awesome.

John and Margaret said...

So far I'm making a bread cloth as a gift with the yellow yarn, and possibly some placemats. Not sure about the other stuff yet. I'm sure it will come to me. =)

Jennie said...

I love it! You have always been creative. PS-- I also loved John's Anniversary Post! I'm so glad we got to be there on your special day!