It’s all about the positives

It’s getting a little chilly out lately so I put on an old store-bought knit sweater that I used to wear in Middle School and prayed that it still fit.

It did fit but… not in the right way. I didn’t want to simply throw the sweater away so instead I took it apart.

That’s right. I took the whole thing apart.

My mom thought I was insane but also was very impressed at how the sweater easily came apart. She expect me to run into endless snags, knots, felted pieces, etc. because of how old it was. She laughed every time she heard a growl of frustration because she knew I had run into a cut piece that wasn’t intended to be cut, and finally, a “yay” of satisfaction at the end.

I bet you’re wondering: How do I take a sweater apart with maximum yarn-return?
It’s not easy, let me tell you that much. I lost a good amount of yarn because of how I cut and how I took it apart, but I’d rather lose half of it by taking it apart the way I did, than having the entire thing sit at some lonely Goodwill store.

So how did I do it? All you need is a pair of scissors, a lot of patience and arm power.

I started with cutting at the seams, carefully so I wouldn’t cut the main part of the sweater and did that until I had five pieces: two arms, a front and back, and the cowl neck.

I then snipped the end piece where the final cast-offs had happened and began unraveling. A lot of my pieces would end of the other side of the sweater due to my cutting being off so I tied them to the main piece and kept frogging*. It was very tedious but the end result was so worth it.

Now what do I make with it?!

I then finished off with the yarn into balls, even though I should have left them in hanks, wet them down, and let them air dry rather than forcing them into the balls and letting them stay all kinked etc. That’ll be another project some weekend.

I’m now addicted to doing this. I’m thinking of going to Goodwill and picking up some sad, lonely sweaters for a couple bucks a piece and take them apart in a weekend project.

*Frogging: when you unwravel the knitting you’ve been working on. If you listen it makes the sound of a frog “ribbet-ribbet.” Some people call it “Ripping” because you’re ripping the stitches out, but I think it’s cute being called “Frogging”


4 thoughts on “It’s all about the positives

  1. this is my first time visiting your blog and i must say i feel inspired to take on a knitting project right now! and i’m they type of sporadic person that would if it wasn’t for the fact that i do not actually know how to knit. you should think about giving lessons! i saw a group of women sitting at Altera learning how to knit from a lady they were probably paying. also, i love the idea of reinventing old clothes to make knew ones. i’ve made skirts out of old shirts in the past, but i never considered skirts made out of old knit sweaters until now. : ) – albulena

  2. This was really interesting to read about! I’ve never heard of anyone taking apart sweaters and then re-using the yarn! It’s a very ecologically friendly way to get more yarn, though. Cool!

  3. Sweet! I wanna go to Goodwill now and get some old sweaters now!

    Totally random thought: I once read a book titled “The Endless Steppe” about exiles in Siberia during WWII (which is not the point). Anyway, the girl in the story knits a sweater, and I think it is either from an old one, or she knits it and then has to re-knit it for a client…

  4. Wow! Did that take a long time to do? It’s very cool that you re-used the yarn on an old sweater; I would never think of doing somethings like that!

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