Thursday, 26 November 2009
some knitting notes
I have had a couple of queries lately about knitting with recycled yarn. May I begin by saying that I cannot recommend this practice enough - you can get great yarn (cashmere, silk, angora, camel, merino, you name it) that no-one else is knitting with, knit an entire garment for under $10, keep garments out of landfill, recycle and get a completely unique knitted item.
There are several excellent resources on-line regarding re-/up-cycling yarn. I started with the tutorial over at Neauveau Fiber Arts and have written up some notes of my own. I also highly recommend the UnRavelers group on Ravelry for information, support, sharing and inspiration.
There are a few common concerns about knitting with recycled yarn, one of which is the kinkiness of it, that is, the kinks in the unravelled yarn. I have rarely found this to be a problem. Usually I just unravel from the garment straight onto my ball winder, perhaps winding it twice, keeping the tension pretty tight. And then knit with it and that's fine. On occasion I have found that the residual kinks have affected the knit-ability of the yarn (namely with the yarn that I used for my Sunrise Circle Jacket and the Columbia Beret). With that I did go to the trouble of winding it into a hank, soaking the hank for a while in warm water, then letting it dry. I'm the first to concede that this is laborious but I find rarely necessary.
And of course one of the major bonuses of knitting with recycled yarn is that you can often knit an entire garment piece - sleeve, even the back - all with one strand of yarn. Yes, that's right, many less ends to weave in!