Reusing Yarn

Ready to unravel? Here is how to prepare used yarn and get it ready to knit again. Note – this process works for both animal fibers (wool, alpaca, etc) and cellulose fibers (cotton, linen, etc.). You may get different results with synthetic fibers. Synthetic fibers vary in the way they react, so the only way to know for sure is to try this technique on a small sample.

Information on things you’ll see in this video:

The sweater I’m wearing is my Ombre Dyed Sweater, pattern + video tutorial.

The sweater on the mannequin is my Zasio Sweater Coat, pattern + video tutorial.

Quality ball winders and swifts at good prices are available through Knit Picks. (Knit Picks is in the US, and I don’t believe they ship internationally. Sorry – I don’t know of a similar online yarn shop that ships worldwide.)

My nail color is by OPI, called “Every Month is Oktoberfest”.

The yarn I’m working with is Rowan Magpie Aran, color name “Tranquil”. (I do not believe that Rowan is making this yarn anymore.)

12 comments on “Reusing Yarn

  1. Hi Stacy! There are many sites out there with knitting help videos and instructions and all the stuff but I think yours is so much different. You have the unique gift to simplify everything, even the most complicated techniques. So, your site has become a “vocabulary” to me; every time I stuck I know where to “ask” for help. And every time I wonder “Was it really so simple?”.

    Now, I need your advice to a “dilemma” I deal with! I know that using animal fibres is the best choice, but sometimes, when I go shopping yarn, I feel the temptation to buy acrylic yarn (due to the much lower price comparing to wool, for example – thinks in Greece are a bit difficult as you know!!!). What would you suggest? Should I try or forget about it? And if I do, shall I block it the same way as wool? Any advice will be very helpful – thank you !!! (ups! thatΒ΄s a very long comment – sorry!)

  2. Hi Anna – thanks for the note.

    Different fiber types are good for different things. For example, I prefer to use wool whenever I can, but I stick with cottons and microfiber acrylics for baby clothes. So, I would never say “stay away from acrylics”, because there are very nice acrylics out there, and they have their use. Any yarn that you enjoy knitting with is a good choice for you.

    Synthetic yarns can be very different from one another. Some will block well like wool, others do fine with machine washing and drying. There is no set answer for that, since they are so different.

    Hope that helps!
    S t a c i

  3. Ms. Staci,
    Thank you for your help and info. I am I found your site, and hope to become a reg. user of all of your info and help. You have a beauty smile! I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

  4. Hi,
    did you ever used Eucalan Lanolin Enriched Delicate Wash or Eucalan No Rinse Delicate Wash for washing wool, please advise me if it is useful or not?
    thank you deena

  5. Hi Staci,

    At the moment I’m working on a cardigan and I’ve had to unravel some rows but the cotton yarn I used has ended up with lots of kinks in it. I don’t know if whilst I’m knitting the kinks will affect how the cardigan turns out. I’m not sure if I should wash the cotton or should I just carry on knitting?

    Thanks, Izzy.

  6. I need to undo a chunky wool knit (seed stitch cardigan). This was blocked very heavily – really really stretched, to try to make it big enough. Should this work to make the yarn re-knittable – should it return to its unstretched state?



  7. Clare – there is really no way of knowing…my guess is that it will shrink back a bit to it’s unstretched state, the question is how much will it shrink back. Just to be sure, don’t knit anything with the yarn that is a very specific size! No garments, just scarves, blankets, etc.

    Good luck!
    S t a c i

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