Replay: Second-hand sweaters reincarnated. I do enjoy knitting and crocheting, especially when I'm using a comfortable fiber that doesn't cause my fingers to blister, and I prefer cotton and wool (and silk, when I can find it). But seeing the prices of these fiber yarns makes me cry a little bit. The truth is that I am cheap, and if I'm going to spend more money (plus time) knitting or crocheting a piece than it costs retail, then I'm either not going to bother, or I feel really bitter while I'm making it. So when I heard of reusing second hand sweaters, I soon found myself at Goodwill, sorting through hundreds of colorful pieces.

I'm currently in the process of making a handbag from an old cherry red, cabled GAP sweater. I loved the cables and didn't want to have to unravel the thing, so I cut and sewed the piece as if it were conventional knit fabric. It went really well, and I'm currently sewing the lining (from some plaid pajamas) into the bag, and I'm really happy with the turnout so far.

I found three other sweaters that I would like to reuse somehow, but am unsure. So, I've found a bunch of other people who have successfully reincarnated sweaters, and collaborated a list of resources.

The Recycled Yarn Tutorial gives excellent pictures guiding those who want to unravel a sweater for yarn. Excellent photos and instruction are great for those sweaters that are well constructed, and difficult to unravel (due to tight seams).

Recycling Yarn: Not-so-much a visual guide as a really detailed description of the unraveling and recycling process of sweaters. Excellent instructions as to how to spot and disarm difficult seams.

Adventures in Reuse chronicles the recycling process, with great before-and-after pictures and details of the fibers they've found.

Kraf-O-La gives a great book suggestion and sample images/ideas regarding sweater recycling.

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