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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
For $17, I got 6 sweaters at Goodwill today. It was my first time scouring for cheap sweaters for yarn. I got some great stuff that I really believe I'll be able to use. Hooray! Then I went to the library and collected a huge pile of knitting books. I've been really looking to learn how to knit socks lately, so I ended up bringing home 3 books about socks and one about ponchos (it gets cold in my house during the day...a poncho could be a great thing for me to have).

I'm so excited to unravel my new sweaters and see what kinds of treasures I can create!

Edit: I began taking (trying to, anyway) out my first sweater. I'm terrified i'm going to snap a bit of the yarn, thinking I'm cutting the thread used to put it together. How do you all start the unraveling? Where do you start?
 

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Great finds! :D

I am new to this knitting thing, so I don't have an answer about the unraveling of the sweater, but I'll be watching for someone else to tell us how it's done.
 
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wow! I;d never have thought of unraveling sweaters......that;s waaaaay outta my league!

I'll look forward to hearing how it turns out!
 
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The only knitting I have ever unraveled is my own.
I have been looking for used sweaters to repurpose but none so far yet.

I would start on the seams. So you can take it apart in sections. The front, back,
two sleeves. Try starting at the neckline and see what happens.
Most sweaters are started from the bottom/waist and go up toward the neck.
So reverse your way back down.
Let us know how you make out :)
 
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There is a recycled knitting group on Ravelry. I haven't tried it yet. But, I read several topics on that board. It said that you want to be real picky in the sweaters you buy. Mens large or extra large sweaters from Gap were one thing to look for and also check the label to make sure it is wool. They tried to avoid machine knitted sweaters because they are hard to unravel and the yarn is sometimes cut in many places. There was another good brand besides Gap, but I can't remember which one. Good luck. This is something I want to try sometime, too. Please keep us posted on your progress.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Well, since I have checked out that link on neauveau, I've figured a lot out about whats good and whats bad! I didn't even think about being selective about wool - I'm afraid some of my purchases may turn out to be duds. But, I guess thats the learning process.

At any rate, I've ripped out one seam, from the bottom all the way through to the tip of one arm. Disconnected the arm panel and I've begun unraveling that panel. Making a little ball for now - I'd like to wash the yarn at some point, and I know I can't wash it in a ball, but I don't have any other plans so far, so I'll get it into balls until I figure something else out. The seam took me FOREVER. The pieces were sewn together with the same yarn the thing was knit in, so I was constantly worrying that I'd be snipping a piece of the work instead of the seam. But, I've gotten a lot more confident of where those seam threads are and which ones are which. I guess I'll get quicker as I go.

The sweater I'm working on is 55% Ramie, 15% Wool, 15% Acrylic, 15% Nylon. Ugh. Any tips on this type of material? I hope its not a waste of money and sweater! I know its not a waste in learning opportunity. :bigglass:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I've posted a couple of pictures of my progress in my first photo album! Hooray!

The yarn is a really nice medium-light weight. I'm not terribly familiar with the different weights - I've mostly worked with worsted weight yarns, so far. I know I've got a sweater with fingering yarn I'm planning to take apart...hmm...we'll see how that goes. But this is a great weight, lighter and more delicate than worsted weight, but really versatile. I can't wait to use it.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
There is a recycled knitting group on Ravelry. I haven't tried it yet. But, I read several topics on that board. It said that you want to be real picky in the sweaters you buy. Mens large or extra large sweaters from Gap were one thing to look for and also check the label to make sure it is wool. They tried to avoid machine knitted sweaters because they are hard to unravel and the yarn is sometimes cut in many places. There was another good brand besides Gap, but I can't remember which one. Good luck. This is something I want to try sometime, too. Please keep us posted on your progress.
My Ravelry invitation is due tomorrow...I'll definitely check out the recycled knitting section. Thanks for the tip!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
So far I've unraveled one arm and one half of the hood. The arm produced a little more than 2 oz of yarn, and half of the hood produced 1 oz. Adding up both arms and both sides of the hood, I've got 6.5 oz. Having never purchased this weight/type of yarn, I don't know for sure, but I'd say the entire body of the sweater is going to be my gain!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Ravelry invitation??

So, I put in my request on Friday, and it told me it would be two days before I got an invitation. No problem. On Sunday, I checked to see the status of my invite, and it said there were about 150 people ahead of me, and it would be one day. I thought that was weird, but thought okay whatever. Today, it says the same thing. I thought they sent invitations daily?? Its not a huge deal, but I'm anxious to get in and see the wondrousness of ravelry! I just wonder, because today is the third day, and I'm still waiting...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Got my Ravelry invite...I am so overwhelmed! I can't believe the possibilities!:loop:
 

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It is unbelievable! And you'll never run out of things to find there, because the people and the content are always changing. It is revolutionary! I'm sure I'll never run out of projects in my queue. :loop:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Exactly! My problem is keeping on my queue and not on my needles! At least until I've finished what I'm working on already...

Update on the recycling adventure: I've gotten another arm pulled out and the weight is as I guessed. I'm still puzzled about the fibers and trying to find out how to handle this mix of fibers. I don't imagine this is the kind of yarn they sell in the yarn shops (includes ramie, wool, acrylic and nylon), so I'm having trouble getting info about how to wash it and so on. And in the mean time, my four projects could use some attention :)
 

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Awesome thread. Thank you. I have several sweaters that I would like to recycle and this sounds like a great way to go about it.
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Ceashels - the link on the first page to the recycling tutorial was immensely helpful for me. It is a wonderful resource!
 
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