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 Recycling Previously Loved Skeins
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Clara
queen bee

USA
4406 Posts

Posted - 11/18/2009 :  8:36:52 PM  Show Profile  Visit Clara's Homepage Send Clara a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I was stash-diving in preparation for the KR Retreat and found several balls of yarn from someone's frogged sweater. Nobody took the yarn last year, so I took it home. And I realized that this poor yarn just needed a little TLC -- which is what this week's KR is about.

We've seen them before, those sad and lonely balls of yarn from projects that were abandoned, frogged, and eventually discarded. These yarns often occupy a place of shame on swap tables throughout the land, representing failure, regret, and unfulfilled ambitions. We glance at them briefly before quickly turning our attention away to other fresher, newer skeins, still in their original packaging.

These lonely cast-offs represent a knitter's bounty, and restoring them to their former glory is extraordinarily easy. It's also a fully satisfying pasttime when you're eager for yarn contact but need a break from the needles.

....read the rest

Am I the only one who loves to clean up old yarn and make it look pretty again?

Clara
Your friendly Knitter's Review publisher

Sue the nomad
New Pal

16 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  03:40:40 AM  Show Profile Send Sue the nomad a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I am forever recycling wool - from successful projects I have grown tired of, or unsuccessful ones until I find the right project for that particular yarn. I find it quite satisfying to bring new life to old yarn (especially when I am on a yarn budget). But I've become lazy and just frogged, wound into balls and gone from there. next time, I'll take the trouble to soak and get rid of those tell-tale kinks and enjoy the greater satisfaction. Now all I need to get is a swift! Oh dear, there goes the yarn budget again.
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jaymeKnits
Permanent Resident

USA
1353 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  05:02:27 AM  Show Profile  Send jaymeKnits a Yahoo! Message Send jaymeKnits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do this all of the time unfortunately. I can no longer use my washing machine though since it's too fancy to just spin. I use a big salad spinner instead, I can just barely fit a sweater in it comfortably and a hank of yarn is no problem.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Signature? Who needs a signature?
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socker
Chatty Knitter

258 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  05:26:08 AM  Show Profile Send socker a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just finished a pair of felted slippers for MIL, from yarn in time out because it just wouldn't work up into the beret I wanted.
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fmarrs
Guardian angel

USA
9776 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  05:40:20 AM  Show Profile Send fmarrs a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do this a lot and not just with previously knitted yarn. I buy a lot of yarn on ebay in lots that knitters no longer want. I find that a goodly supply has been wound into very tight, firm balls. Knitting with this yarn makes it impossible to get any accurate gauge because the yarn is stretched, not relaxed. So, I unwind the balls, wash or wet the yarn and allow it to dry unstretched, then rewind it into soft spongy balls of yarn.

fran

http://martianmischief.blogspot.com/
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kellienuss@byu.net


Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  05:53:22 AM  Show Profile Send kellienuss@byu.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for this article. Not only does it open new avenues for acquiring great yarns, but it reminds me that it is so freeing to let old projects go and either give the yarn away, sell it or just put it back into the stash for a second try sometime. I have eliminated many of my loitering UFO's by taking this attitude, and I need to go through again and decide which of those stalled projects just weren't a good fit for me and start fresh.
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vwilson2
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  06:19:08 AM  Show Profile  Send vwilson2 a Yahoo! Message Send vwilson2 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fantastic article! Thanks so much. I appreciate the pictures to highlight the technique.

Lyn

"Recognition is the greatest motivator."

Eakedale
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JLWinPA
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  07:04:20 AM  Show Profile Send JLWinPA a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Another advantage to winding mystery yarn back into a skein is that you can calculate yardage. Count the number of strands in your big skein (before washing or twisting it) and multiply by the circumference. This is how handspinners do it all the time! Be sure to jot this down on a tag and tie it to the skein.
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Gibson Girl
Chatty Knitter

USA
151 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  08:04:50 AM  Show Profile  Visit Gibson Girl's Homepage Send Gibson Girl a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I just frogged, rewound, and reknitted one of the first sweaters I ever knitted in 1962!. The yarn was in great shape because the style was outdated and I hadn't worn it in ages. I had so many nice memories working on the new pattern. I wouldn't have thrown it away for anything.
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peggymchoe
Warming Up

63 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  08:17:34 AM  Show Profile Send peggymchoe a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What a dead-useful article! Is that a click reel pictured? I do everything by hand, so a lot of these devices are unknown to me.
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Solaris
Permanent Resident

Canada
4159 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  08:22:31 AM  Show Profile Send Solaris a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great article! Very educational. Thank you.
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Ceil
Permanent Resident

USA
1846 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  10:01:33 AM  Show Profile  Visit Ceil's Homepage Send Ceil a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Clara, a question: I started a sweater, just the back, and never finished it. Now that I've discovered I don't have to sew seams, I want to frog that much and start over. Three balls of the ten I bought are knitted. When I skein and soak this yarn, should I use a detergent? I'd rather not skein and soak the remaining balls, because they don't need it, but for the sake of consistency, if I have to do it, I will. Your advice please!

Ceil

Time is never a factor when joy is involved.
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JMatGam
New Pal

USA
6 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  10:01:35 AM  Show Profile Send JMatGam a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I do this as well. I also just frogged 2 sweaters made from Kureyon to make an afghan. I just finished it recently and it makes me much happier as an afghan!

Knit happy! Janet
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Jeri.riggs@verizon.net


Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  10:08:58 AM  Show Profile Send Jeri.riggs@verizon.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
What a useful and lovely article, Clara! I don't have a lot of equipment, so I found that winding yarn around the edge of my coffee table works nicely to re-skein yarn. And the cats enjoy trying to help. Thanks again.
Jeri
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okate2@earthlink.net
New Pal

3 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  10:12:35 AM  Show Profile Send okate2@earthlink.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great article. I pictured piles of unkinkable fiber, but now that I know it might be tamed...well, I'm off to cruise the local thrift store. Thanks, Ms. Parkes.
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kcknitnut
New Pal

USA
32 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  10:52:38 AM  Show Profile Send kcknitnut a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Fantastic. I thought there must be a way to transfor stash. I have a spinning wheel from my Grandmother. It now has used....:-)

KC
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kr@stimps.com


Canada
Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  2:26:24 PM  Show Profile Send kr@stimps.com a Private Message  Reply with Quote
I lack an ensuite washing machine, so I use my salad spinner for spinning water out of my washed yarn. It works rather well! I have seen industrial sized ones that you can spin out 3 or 4 lettuces worth with, but I think doing it a skein at a time avoids everything tangling up.
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queen of the east
Seriously Hooked

Canada
877 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  3:53:36 PM  Show Profile Send queen of the east a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Some of the loveliest yarns in my stash were acquired at swaps and yard sales. My most recent buy was two weeks ago at a yard sale just a few blocks from my home. For 10 bucks I picked up 12 100gm skeins of Fritidsgarn from Norway and 10 100gm skeins of Lopi. The woman I bought them from had started two sweaters about 10 years ago, got half way on the backs and gave up. The yarns went into a bag, the bag went into a cedar chest in the basement. The woman and her husband are selling their home and buying a condo so hence the yard sale. I'm always happy to give orphaned yarn a good home. I only had to re-skein 4 skeins, but I washed the whole lot.

Ann in Montreal
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barbara-jim@sbcglobal.net
New Pal

USA
4 Posts

Posted - 11/19/2009 :  4:35:58 PM  Show Profile Send barbara-jim@sbcglobal.net a Private Message  Reply with Quote
THANK YOU SOOOOO MUCH FOR THE ARTICLE AND INSTRUCTIONS ON RECLAIMING KNITTED YARN. I HAVE SEVERAL PROJECTS THAT I WANT TO RECYCLE; SOME ARE MANY YEARS OLD AND I'M SURE QUITE KINKED.
BARBARA SCHNEIDER
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cpknits
Chatty Knitter

USA
300 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2009 :  09:36:53 AM  Show Profile Send cpknits a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Great article. I have a few sweaters lined up to take apart (one too large, the other bulky and not sewn very well) so it is very timely for me. I was saving it for a winter project when my hands needed a rest.

Carol, Wisconsin
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Jesusan
New Pal

USA
5 Posts

Posted - 11/20/2009 :  4:55:26 PM  Show Profile Send Jesusan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thanks for a great article. I've never done this before because I didn't have information on how to do it. Does this work with 'fuzzy' yarns like mohair? They tend to stick together when knit & are therefore harder to rip out. Wouldn't getting them wet do the same thing?

Jesusan
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