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Barbara Breiter's Knitting On The Net

Author of The Complete Idiot's Guide To
Knitting & Crocheting Illustrated (3rd ed.)

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Unravel Knitting And Use The Yarn Again

by Barbara Breiter

You know that sweater you knit and never wore because it didn't fit right? Or maybe there's a crochet project sitting in the back of your closet you'll never finish. Perhaps your taste in color has changed. Or maybe you made a terrific thrift store find and bought just for the yarn it used.

Time to unravel the piece and you can use the yarn again to work up a new project.

Make sure the yarn is washable by hand and not dry clean only as you will need to wash it to not only to clean it, but to get the crinkles out.

The first step is to undo the woven in ends. Use your large eye blunt needle or crochet hook to carefully pick them out.

If it's a piece that was seamed, you'll need to take the seams apart. Using sharp embroidery scissors carefully cut the yarn that was used to sew the seam and not the knitting or crocheting itself. If you do cut the piece itself, you will still have yarn to rework but you'll just have smaller balls.

After the seams are ripped out, you'll have the pieces as they were before they were sewn together. Begin to unravel at the end point where you finished off if crocheting or bound off if knitting. If you try to unravel from the other direction, you'll end up with a mess.

As you unravel, wind the yarn around someone's hands or the back of a straight back chair. Watch for weak spots and cut them out. When you've unraveled the entire piece, tie a loose knot with another piece of yarn around the unraveled yarn in two or three places to prevent tangling.

If you've ever ripped back a project after it's been worked up for some time, you'll know that the yarn is quite crinkly. You could go ahead and knit or crochet with it as is but it's best if you wash and straighten it first.

Making sure the yarn is securely tied, place the hanks in the tub or basin in tepid water with shampoo or your favorite yarn cleanser and wash the yarn. Do not towel blot but leave the hanks dripping wet. Now hang the yarn over a showerhead or slide it over a broomstick and lay it between two chairs outside until dry. The weight of the water will uncrinkle the yarn. After it is all smoothed out and dry, wind the yarn into balls or use a wool winder. Cut the yarn you tied around the hank and again use someone's hands, the back of a straight chair, or a yarn swift to hold it as you wind.


Need more knitting instructions?
Knitting Help: Learn to Knit



The Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting
& Crocheting (3rd edition)

by Barbara Breiter & Gail Diven



learn to knit
Available in book stores everywhere.

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List Price: $16.95 Amazon Price: $11.87




The Complete Idiot's Guide To Knitting and Crocheting, has been a world wide best seller. The third edition was published September, 2006 and is available in bookstores everywhere. Information on the book and a preview of the patterns included is available at Knit A Bit.