Sunday, February 10, 2013

Sweater Reclaimation Act, 2013

I have wanted to knit a sweater almost as long as I've wanted to knit socks, but I've always held myself back. The main issue has been yarn quantity and cost; committing myself to that many skeins at that cost, I just could never do it What if I never finished it?

But then I had a light bulb moment to reclaim yarn from an old sweater to knit a new one. Reclaiming yarn is not a new idea and I've heard of the practice before, yet all of a sudden it seemed like a practical and perfect idea.

So I found a few sweaters at a local thrift store, some that looked nice already and in a variety of yarn weights. The top sweater is an angora wool blend, middle is 100% wool, and bottom is an acrylic wool blend:

a pile of thrifted sweaters ready for yarn harvest

Before I cut into a sweater, I did a little googling and found this awesome site that takes you step by step in sweater deconstruction. Thankfully I had chosen sweaters with seams that are easier to take out! (dumb luck, eh?)

And now the process!

Sweater before deconstruction
This is what the original sweater looked like

These are the sweater pieces after pulling out the seams:

sweater disassembled

Then I wound the yarn into skeins with my improvised niddy noddy:

improvised niddy noddy
it's really the backs of two chairs put together
And the finished, reclaimed yarn!!

reclaimed sweater yarn

I ended up with just over 800 yards of super bulky yarn :) It was a very exciting process and it's still thrilling to think of all the possibilities reclaimed yarn can become.

This 800 yards is becoming a Campus Jacket. I will share progress photos soon.

I hope you are all having a safe and warm weekend.