Twice Loved

April 5, 2010 at 9:18 pm | Posted in 2010, Knitting, Reclaimed Yarn | 1 Comment

Having no realistic expectations of winning big on the lottery anytime soon, I’ve had to become frugal and creative with regard to acquiring yarn ; )

yarn spaghetti

Back story: A couple of weekends ago, I discovered a pile of hand-spun yarn at a LYS by a local woman who reclaims cashmere sweaters she finds on consignment. I thought it was a brilliant idea and, happy to support such an ecologically savvy endeavor, began to gather a handful of skeins. That was just before my enthusiasm hit a brick wall. Apparently there is quite the inflation on recycled goods these days…. So, feeling inspired, green, and rather ambitious, I took a trip to the local Salvation Army and scoured the sweater racks myself for several hours on Saturday morning hoping to find a sweater or two that I could try my hand at ‘reclaiming’.

I left with 9 sweaters of varying woolen goodness, all for under $34. Quite the steal, if I do say so myself, considering the first sweater I unraveled is easily worth 70+ in yarn if you were to purchase it at a specialty store.

Of all the wools, I am most excited about the heather gray lambs wool and sapphire Shetland wool. My mind is reeling with ideas of what they will be knit into : ). I’ll debut the rest as I unwind them.

2000 yds of heather wool

sapphire Shetland

As far as the actual deconstruction in concerned, once you get past poking around with a seam ripper for tiny hem stitches, the rest is a matter of ripping, winding, washing and hanging (a process made exponentially easier by means of ball winder and yarn swift). The only truly difficult part has been waiting for the ‘new’ yarn to dry before winding it into useful little cakes! The process is tedious, no doubt, but nothing so outrageously time consuming that the time spent outweighs the collateral benefits of feeling thrifty and self-sufficient. In fact, I found the methodical ripping out of each row quite relaxing. It gave me time to dream up all the wonderful thing’s I’d be able to knit with my new wool.

If you need more any more convincing of just how satisfying reclaiming can be, I procured just under 2000 yards of heather grey fingering weight lambs wool for a modest $4.99. More than enough to make my own version of Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Pi-Shawl.

This may just open up a whole new world for me.


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  1. Oh, so much fun!! I have done this several times and it is nearly as fun to go searching for the sweater/yarn as it is actually knitting with it! I have found some real goodies over the years at various thrift shops. It sure looks like you have too! I love this gray and blue~ can’t wait to see what they become… again!

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