Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Waste Not Want Not Wednesday: Delicious Yarn From a Thrifted Sweater

I picked up this gorgeous alpaca/wool, name brand sweater at Salvation Army for $2.25. The moment I saw it I turned it inside out in order to gauge the possibility of unraveling it and was thrilled to find the right kind of seams. Yay!

The seams came apart like a dream! They'd been joined with a yarn of a slightly different color which meant it was simple to snip them free without concerning myself I would accidentally snip something I shouldn't.

As you can see, the added design element was 'sewn' on. I snipped off the knot shown in the photo above and easily pulled it out.

I thought the rest of the unraveling would go just as smoothly. Boy was I wrong. Not being a knitter I simply had no clue of the intricacies of putting together a patterned sweater. As you see above, the front panel is made up of three parts woven together. So it was frog one side, untwist from center yarn, frog center yarn, untwist from other side of yarn, frog second side, repeat. I won't lie, I thought that was tedious. Then I got to the arms/back, none of which had any design, but that didn't mean the parts were knit in a single panel either.

It took almost an entire morning and afternoon to unravel this sweater.

Here you can see the results. With the sweater being a men's large I sure did get a nice quantity of yarn. I'm hoping to get a double layer hat plus a single layer hat out of it. Just two days before I found this sweater to unravel hubby ruined his nice, heavy, double layer alpaca hat so he definitely needs a new one. I think I'll get started on this project today. Despite the frogging being so much work, the yarn is just gorgeous and I think it was worth all the effort.


  1. Great yarn. Unraveling a sweater is always a job. Can't wait to see the hat.

    (Found you via WR)

  2. It's so worth it, all that effort. I want to see the hat when you are done as well.

  3. I guess unraveling would be king of therapeutic until you hit a tangle, but felting wool sweaters is my favorite thing new to me to do with wool thrift shop sweaters. I've had the most fun with it. I go to Salvation Army on Wed when I get a senior citizen's discount and get the sweaters 1/2 price. Sounds like you do, too, unless your store sells them cheaper.

    I may give unraveling a shot one day and see what I end up with. It's definitely a great way to use natural fiber on the cheap.


  4. Thank you folks. First hat is done, will get a photo posted probably next week when I finish the second hat. They're nothing fancy, just plain loom knit hats.

    I really enjoy the unraveling for the most part and think everyone should give it a try. Just make sure you have the correct seams on the garment or you'll end up with lots of little bits of yarn instead of a continuous piece.

    And yes, Wednesday is our half price day at Salvation Army. It's great fun!