Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recycling & Dyeing Yarn

I'm never going to be able to afford nice yarn, end of story. Even if I had money after paying the rent and bills, I'd feel like a horrible human being paying $8 for less than 100 yards of yarn just because it's supposedly "luxury."

So I've decided to start recycling and dyeing yarn. Maybe selling some of it, as well as personal use.

Here we go...

Found a man's XL sweater made of 80% lambswool and 20% acrylic. Probably between sport and fingering weight. As often as I've heard people comment on the internet that only yarns worsted and bulkier make it through the recycling process well, this yarn did pretty remarkable. Especially for a first attempt.

Then we start ripping out the seams to separate the pieces and unraveling the yarn.

Made a homemade diddy doddy to measure the yarn out of an unused desk shelf and pens. Not the best choice because the plastic pens do tend to bend inward a bit if the yarn is wrapped too tight. But my only option at 4 in the morning. I'm sure our neighbor appreciated the use of power tools at this time.

And yes... Sakura is fascinated by this entire process. She was right there for all the action and I couldn't get her out of the pictures.

After measuring out the yarn, pre-wash and de-curlifying.


Hanging out to dry, stretched.

We have very few spots in our apartment that are good for stretching drying yarn. So I had to improvise a bit and move the semi-dry yarn out of the way as I continued to wash.

On to dyeing!

My Publix is lame and only carries Cherry, Grape, and Lemonade Kool-Aid.

Dyeing... drying... and done. Pretty red mix. When the water was clear of the red, I scattered in part of a purple packet and let it settle where it wanted. This made parts of it darker red.

Dyeing... drying... and done. Red/purple mix.

Dyeing... drying... this one is still kind of damp because it's much more yardage than the other two. It turned out really light, so I'm not sure if I should re-dye it or keep it.

So out of a man's XL sweater that cost me $6.99 at the Salvation Army, I got 2200+ yards of yarn that is perfect for shawls, scarves, etc. It's separated into about 10 skeins ranging from 100 to 400 yards a piece.

While this process isn't exactly rocket science, it does take a lot of time and can be tedious. Fortunately we watch a lot of late night movies and I'm fascinated by this process... so I think I'll carry on doing it.

Curse Florida and it's lack of a good sweater selection in thrift stores. Most of the finds are cotton or acrylic, this was a really rare find.

1 comment:

  1. I use recycled yarn for almost everything I do. It's the only way that I can knit with beautiful yarn, too. Your dye job :-) is beautiful, btw!



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