Adventures in Upcycling/Reclaiming

With spring came that familiar itch — I want to do nothing but organize, create, and reuse.

I’ve started a new ‘day’ on my business page, #thriftythursday, and I can’t tell you how very excited I am about it!  Since I’ve decided to throw myself into my business, I’ve had thoughts and ideas coming out of my ears!

This past Thursday, I visited our local thrift store.  I had my eye out for spring-colored cotton clothing to make some fabric yarn, but I found some pretty items that begged me to reclaim the yarn they were made from!

Recently I’ve been trying to stray from acrylics more and stick to the natural fibers, but two of the sweaters I found were so pretty I had to grab them (and at half-off, who could resist?).  My husband liked all of them and wanted me to keep them as-is to wear in the fall, but I was on a mission and it was not to pad my already overfilled wardrobe.

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looky what I found!                     

The colors aren’t very true in those photos, hazards of photographing at night, but they are so pretty!

Well, what I did was used my seam ripper to take the pieces apart.  The first sweater was considerably more difficult to unravel than I’d expected, so I only managed to get through one part of it before I threw my hands up for the rest and put it into a whelping box for our cat, who should be expecting in just under a month.  Let the kitties appreciate the rest of that 😉  This is what I managed to get out of the purple sweater:

11164810_10155564492015565_4476018394595868705_nTada!  129 yards of pretty bulky yarn!

It is quite a nice yarn, for an acrylic.  I’d compare it to Alpine Wool or pencil roving, it works up similar and is incredibly soft.  Now, onto what came of the pink sweater . . .

Whoo!  A neckwarmer, some layering blankets for
photography use, and 171 yards of beautiful bulky-weight yarn!

The second sweater came apart so easily, it’s like it couldn’t wait for its second life to begin!  I’d compare this yarn to Homespun, but without the annoying way Homespun tends to work up when being crocheted.  You can see the definition of these stitches when worked up, and it is just as soft!  The neckwarmer is basically the entire neck section of the sweater with a little bit of tweaking — I had to crochet the ends so that the knit wouldn’t unravel.  I could have continued the knit pattern, but I personally like the look of a crocheted edge and the contrast between it and knit.

Onto the third and final sweater and what it yielded!

Tons of yarn and fabric to work with!

The grey sweater-dress was a-LOT of yarn.  I didn’t completely unravel the whole thing, so the bottom of both sides became layering blankets in different lengths.  The sleeves came apart so cleanly that I immediately saw them becoming a swaddle sack for photography prop use, and the purling around the neck was so pretty I kept it as an asymmetrical neckwarmer.  I added two vintage floral buttons to it that I think complimented it nicely.  Then, to top it all off, the rest of the sweater became nearly 250 yards of beautiful yarn!  This was the only sweater that was wool, and it also has a very pretty metallic thread throughout.

It was a slow re-entry to the world of reclaim/upcycled materials and I intend to be pickier of what I choose in the future, but being able to give these sad sweaters new life makes me very happy and it was a lot of fun!  There’s something cathartic about unraveling a large project, especially if it’s to make something better!

Happy thrifting!  My next blog post will be about turning cotton shirts into yarn, so stay tuned!

**All of these ‘new’ items are available in my Etsy shop,