It takes a little work, but thrifted sweaters are a great place to source yarn. You can find unique and what might normally be expensive fibers, for a crazy low price. Bonus, you save a sweater from living the rest of its life in a landfill! There are plenty of posts out there showing how to take apart your sweater, how to chose the best and how to wash your yarn. Please defer to the experts, I'm an amateur with this! Here's a good post from How To Spin Yarn. Need more help? YouTube tutorials are great for visual learners!
- Unless it's a to die for color you can't resist, skip the acrylic and go for the high end materials like wool, cashmere, cotton, or silk. There's nothing wrong with acrylic, I use it all the time. Acrylic yarn is very inexpensive and you may not feel like the time spent unraveling and rewinding sweaters is worth it. If I'm going to burn a couple hours I want a yarn that I can't afford or I can't find anywhere else.
- Besides checking the tag for fiber content, you need to take a look at the seams. Seams that have been machine serged are a no no(except if it's just shoulder seams). You want seams that have been crocheted, it looks like a braid on one side. Here's another great informational post from My Virtual Sanity
- This takes time, accept it. If you think you are going to hurry through this project, you'll get frustrated and give up. Get comfy and be patient, this can really be worth it!
- Don't forget you need to wash your yarn. You don't know where these sweaters have been after all.
If you need a detailed tutorial, please visit the links I provided. I started up the sides and took the arms off first. When it came time to do the main body, I was not screwing with this v-neck so I just cut straight across underneath. It took a minute, but I eventually found the end and started pulling from there. These balls pictured are all the yarn I got. No clue on yardage and it's hard to tell from this picture how much this is. I just barely managed to stuff all these into a gallon ziploc bag if that helps.
Now I need to figure out what to do with this! I've used this texture of yarn before and it's kind of a nightmare. It looks and feels great but when crocheting with it, you can hardly see your stitches. If you've been crocheting a long time, you can kinda do it by feeling. I debated between leg warmers or mittens. I decided on these cool fingerless gloves because they use a simple single crochet throughout. I started working with this pattern but it wasn't really working out with my yarn. I ended up having to write a new pattern based on the original style.
These gloves are awesome and amazingly soft and stretchy. You can find them in my Etsy shop!
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