Deconstruct and Reinvent:
new yarn from an old sweater
By: Stephanie Flynn Sokolov
It is time for spring cleaning: out with the old and in with the new. But wait, before you donate your used clothes, take a look at what might be deconstructed and reinvented. There's great yarn in there!
In the last "Yearning to ..." article, Melissa demonstrated how to deconstruct your t-shirts and reinvent them into a cushy rug. In this issue, I take a look at using an old sweater to create new yarn.
Let's start with a really nice cashmere sweater that is out of style, both in garment styling and color. (If you are reluctant to part with your old clothes, you can always pick up a bargain at your local thrift store.)
Start by cutting off the bottom ribbing of the sweater.
Most store-bought sweaters are seamed up the sides and this is where I make the next cut. Just cut up a couple inches and deconstruct slowly.
Sweater along with yarn from a deconstructed sweater
Next, I suggest you find your reading glasses, put on some calm music, and make yourself a cup of tea. You'll need a little patience as you start the raveling process. Start at one side of the sweater and pull a strand across the bottom. You may need to do this a few times until you have a strand of yarn that ravels all the way across the bottom of the sweater (the edge should now look neat and even).
Next, ravel the yarn away from the sides of the sweater. In order to have a continuous thread, follow these steps:
1- Begin by pulling a thread from the side a couple of inches across the bottom. This will be your starting thread.
2- Go to the other side of the sweater, and working at the bottom edge pick at the side until the next two rows separate and tie them together in an overhand knot.
3- Ravel the next two rows and tie them in an overhand knot as well. Continue until you have five or six knots (10-12 rows) tied together in pairs.
4 - Move to the other side of the sweater and do the same, making sure that your first knot does not include the starting thread. This is when the music picks up.
Now, you will use your spinning wheel to do the raveling work. Tie the your starting thread to the leader of your spinning wheel. If the sweater is a two-ply, it is likely that it was last spun with a left, or S, twist. I have found that I like to spin it S or left