Recycled Yarn: Find it, save it, store it - turn it into something new!
Reclaim used and useless yarn
Crafters know that sometimes you just can't throw stuff away. (No matter how much your husband wishes you would.)
Take yarn for example...many people have tons of the stuff laying around in skeins, balls, Ziploc bags, and baskets, just waiting to be turned into something gorgeous. Or maybe you have your eye on an old sweater or botched scarf. I know I've made plenty of crocheted things I wish I could take back. Now I can!
Whatever it is, there are plenty of things you can do with those yarn scraps, reused sweaters, and leftover mismatched skeins. Don't let it go to waste!
Learn how to find it, store it, and turn it into something new.
Photo by ME! And yes, repin with pleasure!
Do you know where to find yarn to recycle?
If you don't have yarn laying around, or can't find the color you want at the store, the webmasters of the following links have some interesting ideas for finding and hording yarn.
- The Recycled Yarn Tutorial
This great web page shows you step-by-step photos on how to turn a sweater back into yarn.
- Unraveling Thrift Store Sweaters
This is another great page with photos that also includes tips on dying, skeining, and washing yarn.
- Keep a Cheap Yarn Stash
If you're trying to get yarn instead of get rid of it, try garage sales and thrift stores.
What can you do with recycled yarn?
Recycled yarn doesn't often come in long strands. Sometimes you're working with only a few feet at a time. The good news is by expertly tying the ends together, you can make small, useful items, even with "ugly" yarn.
What can you make with bits of string?
- Wrap monochromatic colors around a foam wreath frame to make a base for a decorative wreath.
- Make a tassel or pompom for a hat.
- Crochet clothes for babydoll and Barbie.
- Crochet granny squares, and stitch them all together for a donation blanket.
- Wrap packages in butcher paper, kraft paper, or tissue paper, and tie with string instead of ribbon.
- Crochet a coffee mug cozy.
- Stitch up a soft baby toy. Add catnip to your baby toy to make a cat toy.
- Make a reusable Swiffer or Libman Mop pad.
- Make a teeny drawstring pouch for treasures.
- Use in place of floss to embroider on felt. Kids can do this!
- Make a stripey scarf.
- Use it as stuffing for a small pillow, pincushion, or toy.
- Make a potholder, trivet, or washcloth.
Kreative kitteh looks gud in penk.
Be responsible with your yarn
This video shows what can happen when people aren't responsible with their yarn...or their enthusiasm over yarn. (Who makes time to film stuff like this, anyway?)
Make a yarn ball wreath
I would LOVE to create a yarn ball wreath with bright jeweltones! I think it would look so great for spring.
DIY Yarn Crafts - These videos show you how!
Since I crochet, I refer to crochet patterns, but most items can be made using knitting as well!
Organize and Store your Yarn
Keep small skeins and balls neatly organized, dust and pet-hair free, in plastic bags or boxes. Don't forget to label them clearly!
Don't forget to label your yarn so you know what is inside each box.
Horder kitteh claims hiz stash
Where else can you find recycled yarn?
Once you know what to look for, you'll see yarn everywhere!
- Garage sales - you can get basic colors dirt cheap here. Be prepared for small balls and maybe even some skeins in need of a washing.
- Thrift stores - sometimes you can find left over yarn from skeins or projects at thrift stores. Check for short pieces from plastic canvas or latch-hook rug making kits.
- Sweaters and afghans - if you see a sweater or afghan you really like, or at least the yarn part of it, you can pull it apart and make your own creation.
- eBay and other online auctions - yarn is a big seller on eBay. Find it in pieces, half-finished projects, or recycled balls.
- Crafter's clubs - swap materials with local crafters. You might have just what they want, and they might have something cool for you.