Monday, April 13, 2009

Watching Yarn Dry


I've developed a knack for reclaiming yarn from thrift store sweaters. There is an excellent tutorial on how to do this here. Now when I breeze through the thrift store I look at the sweaters with a new eye. There are plenty of natural fiber sweaters in good shape to choose from around here, mostly for under $5.

The yarn in the photo is from a 100% cotton sweater in a heavy worsted weight. The sweater's been unraveled and the skeins have been washed to take out the kinks. I had to hang these skeins for about a week before they dried because cotton holds moisture, but wool dries much more quickly. I'm using old shower curtain rings and a coat hanger to dry my skeins. I love the color of this yarn, but the sweater was practically new due to an unfortunate design. "Ah ha!" I thought. "I can fix that."


I think this is the third sweater I've "
upcycled." I like this term: it conveys the idea that you can make something even better than the original when you re-use an item. I've invested in a swift, courtesy of Ebay. It wasn't very expensive, and these are manufactured in the the U.S.


My ball winder is from Jo-Ann.com, on sale.


These new tools allow me to turn an old sweater into cakes of yarn that look new, so it's fun to use them. I'm planning to knit a summer stole from this yarn.


Here's the original sweater's label with the re-wound yarn. Cheap thrills.

And Debra and I are embarking on another Madonna project. Wait until you see what we're up to.

10 comments:

Allison Ann Aller said...

Very cool, Barbara! And how satisfying...

Kay said...

Aren't you clever! Felting an old sweater is as creative as I'd thought of being.

sophie said...

Your upcycled cakes of yarn look scruptious. It's so lovely and pale . . . have you considered dyeing it, too?

I can't wait to see your next Madonna project. Debra and you have produced some wonderful pieces from your collaborations.

Debra said...

Gosh, now I am curious how the sweater originally looked with the unfortunate design!

Judy S. said...

That is really impressive; it looks like you got a lot of yarn for your effort, too, Barbara. Did the kinks really come out? Thanks for sharing!

Quiltnbee said...

I have a similar swift that I bought from a woman whose husband makes them for her to sell. Mine is cherry, she had several choices. I love it =-) Great color yarn!

dee said...

Oh, I'm so excited about the Madonna project. That's how I first discovered you and Debra. I love the Madonna pieces so much. Can't wait.

*karendianne. said...

Wow! What a neat post. I learned so much. Thank you for sharing all this. I might even have to pass this post along. :)

Finn said...

Hi Barb, what a wonderful new adventure with the upcycling! I love the idea, leave it to you to come up with that. Needs to be on the list of the Ultimate Frugal Crafting! Not that we actually have a list like that, but we should!
As always your creative spirit delights and thrills me!
On a different note, would you mind sharing the blue HST quilt you've been working on with the Orphan Train readers?
Whether or not it's a donation quilt, it's such a great example of working with what you have rather than dashing out to buy more. Please let me know what you think. Big hugs, Finn

Plays with Needles said...

Yaba daba doo!!! This is a GREAT idea!