Recycling yarn~Where do I start?!?!?!

I just bought a sweater from the goodwill and—I don’t know what to do.!!!
Where to begin?

Here are two sites that I found particularly helpful:
http://neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html
http://www.az.com/~andrade/knit/thrifty.html

One thing I do differently…

I wash and dry the sweater BEFORE I start reclaiming the yarn.

Frankly, if I’m going to be taking apart a sweater and releasing any dust or anything else from it into the air… I want it clean! Same thing for handling it.

Secondly, I find washing the hanks of yarn much more difficult than washing the sweater. I’m lazy and I don’t like to work harder than needed.

I put some water and eucalan in my washer and mix in the eucalan well. Then I put in the sweater, gently squeeze to get the water in, and let it soak for an hour so that the water gets all the way into the inner fibers. Just let it soak, DON’T aggitate.

Once it’s done soaking, I turn to the spin cycle and spin out the water. Lay the sweater out to dry.

If I feel a need, I can do the soak and spin twice for extra cleaning.

Whether or not I put the yarn into hanks and take the kinks out depends on what I am knitting. Most yarns and things I make can simply be knitted with the kinked yarn and it works out as I knit.

I generally go straight to balls by winding the yarn from the sweater directly onto my ball winder.

Some of my favorite items are things I knit with recylced yarns. The only problem is that sometimes I find an especially lovely yarn, and there is not way to buy more of it!

Mama Bear

I learned how to do it from this site. I even emailed her for questions and she was quick to respond. Very nice. So I usually hit the local goodwills or value village stores for plain white/natural stockinette sweaters. The Gap or J Crew or stores like that have really good quality yarn. Most of it superwash. Then you just follow the step for ripping out the seams and make stuff with it. I like to get the white/natural bland sweaters so I can rip them out and dye them with kool aid and make warm socks out of em. Nothing better than wool socks. THe last sweater I ripped out I got about 1000 yards of yarn for about $4. I’m not always that lucky. some times you get yarn that is so fragile it rips apart every two seconds. I give up on those and let the cats have em. But its only $4 so no big loss.

I never thought of washing them beforehand. That actually is a good idea. They can be a little dusty (they have been sitting in someone’s closet after all) but its up to you. GOod luck