January 8th, 2013

31 Days to Get Organized: How to Recycle Yarn

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Today is Day 8 in the 31 Days to Get Organized series, and we have a great tip for you! On Day 2, you went through your WIPs to see which projects were worth keeping, and which needed to be frogged.

Once you decide which projects to frog, you have to get that yarn back into shape so you can work with it again. A lot of my WIPs have been sitting for months and even years. After I frog a project, the yarn is left crimped and crinkled from being knit up for so long.

To get your yarn back into shape, you first need to get the yarn back into a hank. You can wind the yarn straight from your project onto your swift. You can make a hank by using the back of a chair or a niddy noddy too. Tie off segments of your hank to keep it all together using a bow or a loose knot so you can get it untied easily later.

Next you want to give your yarn a good soak. Make sure it’s fully saturated and the water reaches all the nooks and crannies. Get all the excess water out by rolling it gently up in a towel, then just hang your yarn to dry! It will drip, so keeping it set up in the bathroom or outside is your best bet.

Once the yarn is dry, you can put it back on the swift, wind it into a ball and you’re good to go!

Before storing, if you know the identity of the yarn, label it with some essential info like fiber content, weight, and yardage. If you know it’s a partial skein, weigh it on your kitchen scale and write down the weight so you know later how many yards you have left.

It’s so satisfying to bring old yarn back to life. Do you have an old WIP knit or crocheted in a yarn you would love to make into something else?

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7 Responses to “31 Days to Get Organized: How to Recycle Yarn”

  1. nah Says:

    It appears that you have some sort of weight(s) hanging on the bottom of your skeins drying – what do you use?

  2. Barbara Gombos-Reynolds Says:

    On the photo where the yarn is hanging to dry, what weights are you using? Thanks!

  3. Dena Childs Says:

    The weights are handles to my pull-up bar. Adding weights during the drying step isn’t essential. If you do weight your yarn, don’t use anything too heavy since you don’t want to stretch out the yarn getting rid of its elasticity.

  4. Dena Childs Says:

    See my answer to nah’s comment, same question as yours.

  5. jen Says:

    I did that with a sweater I found at a thrift store. It was a nice wool tweedy color. Didn’t have a swift so used a chair and it worked fine.

  6. Global Bag Project Says:

    I also got so much old yarns on my room, perhaps I’ll just recycle them like what you did here. Thanks for the tips.

  7. Cathy @ ImpassionedYarn Says:

    Why can’t you just unravel it and knit/crochet as you go?

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