Saturday, March 5, 2016


One idea I've been toying with for a little while is recycling -- or upcycling -- yarn.  I'd first heard the practice mentioned in a post on Facebook ages ago (before that handy "save post" feature).  When I read "recycled/reclaimed yarn", I immediately pictured some ugly homemade sweater that someone's great-aunt knit them and they donated asap.  Why would someone want to reuse ugly, scratchy wool? I thought.

It slowly dawned on me, as I saw more and more posts and links popping up on my feed -- there might just be something to this after all.  So I checked out a few blogs and how-to's, and I came to see how limited my thinking was.  Don't get me wants to repurpose Great-Aunt Sally's technicolor steel-wool monstrosity.  

But a $5 sweater might just get you several hundred yards of cashmere.  Or silk.  Or angora.  Or who knows what else.  I had never even considered factory-knit garments.  Duh!  They tell you right on the tag what's in 'em!  And there are entire aisles of knitwear just waiting to be rifled through at the thrift store.

So, having done a little research, I optimistically headed out to Value Village with a vague, half-baked plan.  (But I ever have any other kind?)  My basic goal was to see just what kind of fibres I'd be able to net...and I gave myself a budget of $50.

For $50, you might be able to get a couple of decent skeins -- or one really good one -- from your local yarn shop.  Or you could get several cheap ones from WalMart.  (Not to knock those of us knitters on a budget, of course)  But let's take a look at what $50 got me.

After two or three hours of fondling most of the garments they had to offer and finally weeding down my selections, this is what I ended up with.  
These sweaters are all SO soft!
And, for another $50, I also got these.  Like I said, half-baked plan...thankfully, there was a 30% off deal, so I really only went $20 over budget.  Thirteen sweaters!
I can never find metallic yarn in the colors I want, but I CAN find sweaters!
Totally worth it, though.  I scored a great assortment of angora, merino, a bit of alpaca blend, some mohair...and a gorgeous cashmere!  (They had another as well, but the color kind of reminded me of vomit...)  Plus I nabbed a couple of sparkly blends, because I love sparkles and I can never find any in the colors I want.  And they all feel so soft and squishy!
Everyone collects something.  My collection just happens to be somewhat grotesquely beautiful.
So here's my first haul, ready and waiting to be ripped apart and given new life.  Oh, and I also found a new mask for my collection!  (I hang them in the bathroom to make my friends uncomfortable when they come over -- because I love them)

Right now, I think I'll just sit for a bit.  And try not to think about going back for another load just yet...

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