FW, it's pretty easy (usually) if you have a yarn winder. A lot of times I can just hold the knitted piece in my left hand and turn the winder with my right hand and it just takes a few minutes per piece to unravel it all right onto the winder.
I've been avoiding the GW sweaters lately because I have too much yarn as it is. Including reclaimed silk and cashmere!
I was thinking I would like to try this. I am going to start with a pair of knee high socks. The feet are worn out, but the legs have a lot of useable material on them. It should be an easier thing because there are not any seems.
I am really into recycled crafting. When I did sewing with recycled materials it was easy to find materials. I just used my old clothes (or clothes family members did not want anymore). With crochet it is harder. I have made t-shirt yarn but that is very thick and does not crochet up soft. It is good for making bowls and baskets but not really good for wearables.
I haven't done anything with it lately, because I have what I want in my stash for the time being. I've been fighting the urge lately though. Maybe I'll see what I can find this winter for cheap. I try not to buy anything that's not half price.
Some people cringe at this idea, but I wind all the yarn including the short pieces at the tops of the sleeves. I just tie the ends together when I reach the cuts. The knots aren't very noticeable with fine yarn, and even with heavier yarn I'm not that fussy. But most of what I do is utilitarian stuff anyway so it doesn't matter if it's not perfect. But IMO it's a waste to just trash that yarn.
I've bought several bags of reclaimed cashmere and silk on etsy and ebay. It hasn't always been very cheap. So if you get the sweaters at good prices and have the time, it could also be a way to make some money. Here are some examples: recycled cashmere yarn | eBay
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