Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Being frugal with yarn and some items for Etsy ...

I've been busy knitting lately, some very colourful items here.

I'm sure all you knitters and crocheters out there know how expensive wool/yarn can be, making even the smallest project out of reach for some.  It makes sense then, to re-use yarn as much as possible.  I do this a lot, buying handknit items from charity shops and boot sales and unpicking and re-winding the yarn to use again.  By the way, I hate the term 'ripping out' (sorry American friends) but ripping just doesn't come into it, it's done very carefully.

Here is a childs jacket I picked up recently for only 30p - you couldn't buy the buttons for that, which incidentally are very pretty too, they have flowers on them.  I instantly fell in love with the yarn, the space dyed colours are so spring-like and fresh.  You can see here I've taken out one sleeve.  After unpicking it all, I wind it into skeins:
I wind it around a book and keep the skeins quite small for the next step.
I used to use one of those old fashioned whistling kettles and hold the skeins over the steam, but I have an electric kettle now and an electric hob, so the next best thing is to use a steamer.  Place the skeins in the steaming pans and steam for about 5/10 minutes, it works very quickly. 
 When you take them out all the wrinkles will be gone and you will have virtually 'new' yarn to work with.  I will use this for crochet flowers and embellishments, that should work very well with the colours.
While on the subject of re-using wool/yarn, I made myself some leg warmers/boot toppers the other day, they were made from hand-knit socks I made a long time ago.  They had become thin, and I had darned and darned them, the 'upper sections' were OK so I removed the foot, see how holey they are ?
 I then just picked up the stitches and knit a new band and darned in the ends.
and here they are :
from old socks to leg warmers/boot toppers.  I will wear these with my walking boots, I find they rub against the back of my leg if I don't have some protection, these are perfect for that.
Here are some brightly coloured leg warmers with matching fingerless gloves/texting gloves.  These are destined for Etsy.
There are more works in progress, I'll show you when they're finished.


  1. Hi Wean what a useful post. My mum used to re-use yarn but I never quite knew how she went about it. I remember seeing lots of little bundles of wool - she used to commandeer me or my brother to hold the wool on our arms for rewinding. However I did not know about the steaming part. Thank you for that I shall keep my eyes peeled from now on in. A very useful post. I hope you had a good Christmas and wishing you all the best for the New Year. Blessings.

    Tricia (aka Pattypan)


    1. Hello Tricia, I remember when I first started knitting, that all wool was bought in skeins and had to be wound. I could never find a willing volunteer to hold out their arms long enough so used to use the back of a chair.
      Hope you are well.


    2. Hi Wean I have inherited a load of machine knitting wool from my mum. It is currently in the attic pending sorting. I will have to do a similar thing for this. Fortunately mum had a wool winder which I also have. Fortunately as I do not think I could hold my hands up that long these days. Hope you are keeping okey cokey. Take care.



  2. Oh those items are lovely. You are a very clever and talented person.

  3. Your makes are so lovely and colourful, I love them.

    I've never heard of steaming reused yarn in a steamer to get the kinks out, I'll remember that, thank you :D

    Happy new year to you, I hope you have a good one! x


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