So, I've read about other people re-purposing old sweaters they find in thrift stores, but I never thought it was something I'd be able to do. This isn't because I don't have the desire to, oh I so do, but ... I live in Florida. I don't think I've seen a single hand-knit sweater in all the years I've been thrifting, probably because you just flat out don't need them here. It occurred to me that I could possibly use a non-hand-knit sweater though, so I would look inside any that I came across.
One day, the craziest thing happened. A nice lady came in the jewelry store to find a silver shawl pin for a wrap she was knitting. She had the knitting with her and let me take a look - it was a nice drapey yarn that variegated from pink to purple to gray and it had a metallic strand running through. She happened to have the yarn label, and showed me it was Blue Heron Rayon Metallic yarn. Of course when she left the shop, I had to look this stuff up - it's just what you do as a fellow knitter - and I discovered that this yarn is $46.00 per skein! Yikes! I had that big price on the brain when I went by my favorite thrift store on my lunch break, and I came across this:
Since the yarn was so crazy splitty, I did have many instances where I had to cut the yarn, remove a knot, then tie it back and keep going. Also, the neck band was so all over the place that I could never get it to unravel. When it was all over, I had 390 grams of yarn in balls. and 32 grams of crazy kinky mess that I couldn't use. I'm really not that worried about it. So, if we compare this to the Blue Heron Rayon Metallic, which comes in a 227 gram ball for $46.00, that would make this 390 grams cost $79.00 ... and I paid $1.50 for it. Sure it took about an hour to unwind it all, but Hello! Check out that price difference! Well worth an hour of my time :) I still have absolutely no idea what I will make with 3990 grams of sparkly gold metallic yarn, but it is now an option if I want it, lol.
Each sleeve took me about an hour to undo, so I didn't finish the rest of the sweater yet. I ended up with 108 grams in two balls of yarn afterward. I did the math on on the yarn that was wound on the swift (i.e. measure the swift circumference, multiply by how many strands are wrapped around it) and I estimated 350 yards in that one skein, so I'm confident saying I have about 700 yards so far of this yarn. I know this will be really useful for making all kinds of things in the future :) I'll have enough for a sweater for myself along with countless gifts - I mean, who doesn't love cashmere?! These sweaters cost me $3 each, and I still have the body of the cream one along with the entire blue one left to unravel. One of these days, I'll finish this up.
So, that was my first ever experience recycling yarn from a thrift store sweater :) I love that I've got some really expensive fibers now that I paid almost nothing for - sure it took a ton more work than just clicking the "checkout" button online, but I feel it's worth it since my budget would have never paid for these types of yarns otherwise. I can tell you right now, this will not be my last time unraveling sweaters. I can't wait to find more!