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How to Reclaim Used Yarn

Maybe you have an old project you got halfway through knitting and forgot about. Or maybe you knit something you haven’t found use for. Whatever the case, there’s a way to get back that yarn and reuse it!

It happens to all of us – you get tired of a project or you knit something that just doesn’t look as good as you thought it would and you don’t want to miss out on using the material to knit something new. We’re all for sustainability and doing our part to not let materials go to waste so, learning how to reuse yarn across different projects is a game changer!

Getting Started

In this tutorial, we’ll take you step by step on how to reclaim the yarn you’ve chosen. Take the project you’ll be reclaiming – it can be wool or cotton, the process is the same for both. You’re also going to need a container large enough to soak the material you’ll be undoing. Lastly, have some yarn on hand that is at least a few shades lighter than the color of what you’re soaking to avoid any color from running.

Step One: Unravel Your Yarn

To start off, go back to where you last left off in the project or go to the cast-off end and begin unraveling the yarn that you’ve knitted. As you’re pulling it out, begin to wrap the yarn around into a ball to avoid any tangles and knotting.

Step Two: Prepare Your Unraveled Yarn

After you’ve pulled out and unraveled all of the yarn you’ll be reusing, make it into a hank. You can do this with a book, clipboard, or a similar flat surface. If you have a lot more yarn than what fits on a book, you can use the back of a chair, or a swift or winder if you have one.

Once you’ve made the yarn into a hank, find the ends of the yarn and make sure they’re placed going in the natural direction of how they’re winded. To prevent the hank from falling apart, cut a couple of strands of the lighter yarn we mentioned earlier and you’re going to tie them around the hank you made. Make sure you tie one of them where your ends cross.

Step Three: Time to Soak

Now that your hank is secured, take your container of room temperature water and completely submerge it in the water. Make sure the top part also gets wet. Be careful not to use hot water – your yarn might shrink and if it’s wool, it may felt.

As you’ve soaked it, start stretching the yarn a bit so that the curls created from being stitched can relax. After this, let everything soak for at least 30 minutes. In the meantime, start looking for the next pattern you’ll create with the reclaimed yarn!

Step Four: Dry Your Yarn

When ready, take out your yarn and begin to squeeze out any water without twisting it. You can also remove excess moisture by wrapping it in a towel and squeezing gently – no rubbing. Do this as many times as necessary until your yarn is no longer dripping water.

Put the hank on a hanger and leave it out to dry somewhere without direct sunlight. Once it’s dry, remove ties and gently wind it back up into a loose ball to avoid stretching.

You now have reclaimed yarn that is ready to use for a new project!

Sheep Thrills Knitting in Lauderhill, FL

If you’re a South Florida local, Sheep Thrills offers private lessons for knitting, crocheting, or weaving during open hours. Call us today at 954-742-1908 to schedule your private lesson. You can also visit our website to shop online for the materials you need and find more information about our safety guidelines for shopping in-store.