Knitting With Upcycled Yarn

What do you do when you turn your hobby into a full time career?  Well after a while I needed another craft I could just call a hobby so I took up knitting.  Some of my quilting buddies are also knitters and many of them were have a blast knitting socks. I admit I considered the knitting of socks a little strange, I mean look at all those tiny little stitches needed to make socks. Well all it took was one pair of socks and I was hooked!  I have made 8 pairs so far and have just cast on another.  This time I’m learning the “Toe Up” method.

Start of Sock

The challenge I gave myself however was; how to keep from spending $1,000 – $2,000 a year on it.  I have heard that knitters are just as bad as quilters about building a stash!   As a quilter I love working with 100% cotton so I decided I would work with 100% cotton for my knitting.  I like the concept of upcycling and have had fun using men’s shirts in my quilting so I decided to give 100% cotton sweaters a try!  I’ll be the first to admit it’s a little eccentric but I’m having a blast and that is what matters!

At first I would unravel the sweater and roll it on to a ball and then I discovered I could just unravel as I knit.  Below is pictured the sleeve from a man’s XXL sweater that I am knitting my current pair of socks from.

Sleve with needles

If this sounds like something you might want to try, pay attention to the seams before purchasing the sweater.  You want seams that have been sewn together with a chain stitch and the seam will look something like this.

chain stitched seam B

You don’t want seams that have been serged.  The process of serging the seams cuts the yarn at each edge.

serged edge

This is a close up of a chain stitched seam.  Love those chain stitched seams, once you find where the stitching begins all you have to do is rip out a few stitches and give the yarn a pull and the whole seam is undone!

Close up chain stitch

Have fun with this idea of upcycling sweaters!


Pat Speth author of:   Nickel Quilts,    More Nickel Quilts,    Amazing Nickel Quilts,  and  Nickel Quilts & Borders


One thought on “Knitting With Upcycled Yarn

  1. I don’t knit (don’t need another hobby!) but I love the idea of recycled sweaters! I’ve been collecting wool ones to felt, then make a throw. I saw one on the internet and it was so cozy-looking!

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