Re-Knitting

knitting

Knitting is a very enjoyable hobby as well as being a very useful skill.  To be able to make your own clothes, toys and accessories is a brilliant way of being self-reliant and can also be eco-friendly.

As a vegan shopper you won’t want to buy wool or alpaca or silk, but as an eco-minded shopper you won’t want to buy acrylic.  The problem is that organic, eco-friendly, natural yarns are very expensive.

So what do you do if you can’t afford the eco-stuff?  Simple – you Re-Knit!

Browsing in charity shops and second hand shops you’re bound to find knitwear that is a pretty colour, but unattractive design.  If you buy it, wash it and unravel it, you can re-knit that colour into something beautiful.  It’s just another way to recycle, or upcycle if you like, and it’s very enjoyable and satisfying.  Here are a few things we made with unravelled yarn and oddments:

This matching hat and mittens was made by acrylic yarn unravelled from 2 different machine-knit jumpers. The problem with unravelling machine-knits is that the yarn is cut at the end of each row, it's not continuous like with hand-knits. So the ends of the yarn had to knotted together as each row was unravelled. Quite tedious and time-consuming but it results in interesting balls of yarn which, when knitted together, produce a unique effect. Leaving the dangling ends of each knot untrimmed creates a shabby chic effect .

This matching hat and mittens was made with acrylic yarn unravelled from 2 different machine-knit jumpers. The problem with unravelling mass-produced machine-knits is that the yarn is cut at the end of each row, it’s not continuous like with hand-knits. So the ends of the yarn had to knotted together as each row was unravelled. Quite tedious and time-consuming but it results in interesting balls of yarn which, when knitted together, produce a unique effect. Leaving the dangling ends of each knot untrimmed creates a shabby chic effect .

 

Blanket made by sewing together little knitted squares

Blanket made by sewing together little knitted squares

 

The yarn from these saggy old hats was unravelled and knitted into ...

The yarn from these saggy old hats was unravelled and knitted into …

... this gorgeous beret

… this gorgeous beret

An enjoyable way to give new life to old knitwear and keep it out of landfill 🙂

Don’t know how to knit?  No problem – watch this brilliant video:

And for the left-handed:

UPDATE:

I’ve just finished the hoodie I was knitting in the photo at the top.  I wanted a warm chunky knit but didn’t have any thick yarn so this is knitted with 3 strands of unravelled DK acrylic; lots of different colours and oddments.  It’s so soft and warm, like wrapping yourself in a blanket before you go outside.  Now I’ve just got to find a zip for it 🙂

upcycled knitting yarns

upcycled knitting yarns

upcycled knitting yarns

Further update:

I’ve just finished another one here and if you would like to make one yourself, the pattern is at the bottom of this post 🙂

26 thoughts on “Re-Knitting

  1. I have done this. It is a bit harder because you have to visualize the amount you need rather than go by the numbers on the yarn package, but it is worth it to save and reuse the materials. This is a great post and I love the hoodie!

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  2. I have tried this before with an unwanted jumper that had been sitting around in my wardrobe, unloved. I turned it into a lovely lace beret (with plenty of yarn left over) and gave it to my sister. You’re right that unravelling can take some patience but definitely worth it. Love your hoody!

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  3. Great re~use of materials, Violet ~ my mum used to unpick hand~knitted items, holey or outgrown and use the natural fibres to crochet multi~coloured blankets. They were so warm and snuggly, in the days before central heating had ever been thought of. I loved the colour combinations and it was fun identifying the garments from which the rows were constructed! I mostly use acrylic yarn for the vibrancy and variety of textures ~ and, although I check out all the charity shops for pure wool sweaters to re~purpose, I’ve yet to find any. I think felters have got there before me and snaffled all the bargains! Great post, fabulous site! Thanks for visiting my blog (http://taoofscrumble.com) and for the ‘like’! 🙂

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  4. I like your philosophy! I buy used mason jars to use when I buy vegeables and fruit on sale and can my future meals, along with tons of other re do’s of other items. Nice to know I am not the only careful with money person.

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  5. Beautiful post, Violet. I never thought about being a vegan in the context of knitting. It was interesting to learn this new perspective from your post. I loved the word ‘upcycle’ 🙂 The blanket and the cap and mittens look very beautiful.

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