Recycled Yarn

I have been following the people over at WEBS for their 31 days to get organized. I skipped the first couple of steps (ok all of them), and have just been reading about what they are doing with their stashes while I let mine rest in hiding. Honestly, my stash isn’t out of control, I have it neatly packed away in two tote bins and I don’t have yarn all over the house (most days). When I got to the post on Recycling Yarn that made me sit up and pay attention.

You see friends, I have this sweater I made last year. I hadn’t made something for myself in a very long time and I really really wanted this sweater. It looked difficult so I was kind of putting it off until I felt more confident. The time came when I really wanted to put it on the needles so I did. Now, I made a couple of knitting no-nos. I didn’t really swatch. That is to say I did a very small swatch, never took it off the needles or washed it and then ripped it out and said close enough. Those of you who have ever knit something bigger than a pair of socks know what’s coming. My gauge was off and the sweater swelled to ginormous proportions. Also, I was paranoid that it wouldn’t fit so I cast on for one of the larger sizes which I really didn’t need. Why didn’t I stop and fix it then? I was pregnant at the time, let’s just leave it at that.

So I plodded along and knit my little heart out. The back didn’t look that big, and the front panels looked ok too. You know all separate and not put together at all. I wanted a nice comfy over-sized cardigan sweater to wear around the house and mostly to be able to wear while feeding the baby because your shoulders get cold. (My children were born in April, May, and June. Don’t ask me what I was thinking.) I should have known when I was knitting the sleeves that this was going to be a mess. The sleeve was about three-quarters of my total height. That was not good. But I was afraid that if I made the smaller sleeves that the sleeve cap would not fit the larger sized shoulder shaping of the front and back pieces that were already done. I prayed to the knitting gods that this would all work out and the pattern wouldn’t lead me astray.

Well since this post is about recycled yarn, I think we all know what happened. The thing was too freaking big. Comically so. I could never wear this sweater, I didn’t even want to take a picture of this sweater. The worst part was I didn’t even know anyone who would fit into this sweater because it was that big. I washed it, blocked it and it didn’t shrink up, it stayed huge. I put it in my closet and said some expletives and let it go. When I saw the post about recycling yarn, something happened to my brain. I could do this with effed up sweater. There’s nothing wrong with the yarn, I can still use it to make the sweater I wanted (in the appropriate size now) and probably have enough of this yarn to make another sweater for my daughter if not for me!

I took it out of the closet where it’s been mocking me, sitting there reminding me of my knitting failure. I sat down and started to rip, and rip and rip. Then I ripped some more, and some more. I sat through an entire hockey game (yay hockey is back!) and just pulled seams and ripped out the yarn. Most of the yarn is wound into balls except the back piece which I managed to knit from an entire hank and was too big to wind. That is now back in the form of a hank waiting to be washed. I have to unwind the other 6 balls (yes, 6 and did I mention this is bulky weight yarn?) and then put them back on the swift to make hanks. Once that is done I will give them all a good soak and hope they un-kink and return to a useable state. Wish me luck!


A mess of yarn or what’s on the floor after Goldilocks gets a haircut.


Balls of yarn to be re-hanked.


Re-hanked and ready to for a soak.


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