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Cashmere Recycling

Over a year ago I unraveled most of a thrifted cashmere sweater. Hooray, right? You'd think I'd be all over that yarn. Not so. I'd pull it out occasionally, but my love was still poisoned by thoughts of the unremarkable bag of a sweater that it started life as. So this weekend I decided to change things up a bit.

cashmere_family_pic.jpg
hello. we are impossibly soft (and not entirely color-accurate).

Once I got the whole thing unraveled and wound into balls (I heart you, ballwinder) I assessed the situation. I had about 150g of laceweight-ish yarn. So I rewound 4 strands of the yarn together, into 25g hanks (I heart you too, niddy-noddy). So! Six, 25g hanks of approximately fingeing-weight yarn ready for the dyepot.

cashmere_3.jpg
the end of the unraveling job

I dye fairly infrequently and, like most of you, I don't have the tools or the setup for the fancy stuff. So, once again, I pulled out my trusty bag of KoolAid packets and got to work. 12 flavors (and three empty vials of food coloring) later, I emerged on the other end of a Sunday afternoon with six little bitty bundles of colorful cashmerey goodness. I have to say, I'm rather pleased with the outcome.

cashmere_2.jpg
this is a more accurate representation of the colors

I got my best results when I dyed each skein multiple times with different (yet closely-related) colors. It gives a bit more depth of color. Also, the original aqua played a bit of a role in the final result. You'll notice that my attempt at yellow came out as more of a chartreuse, and the orange has some greenish notes to it as well.

That's it! Reject sweater + fruity drink mixes = vibrant yarny love.

Comments

OOh, this is great! What will you make with the dyed yarn?

That looks so cool! I love the spectrum of colors you were able to achieve. I've had dyeing on the brain for a while, you've just made up my mind for me.

Oooh, it's magically delicious!

I look forward to the rainbow objet d'knit that this lovely yarn will become! Great job.

this looks like fun! was the sweater originally knit with laceweight yarn?!?! unreal. can you link me to the original post in which you unraveled said sweater? what are your plans for the now-dyed yarn?

I love the new yarn! How inspiring. I'm eyeing those ill-fitting sweaters of mine, now.

Absolutely fabulous. I love this kind of stuff. I'm inspired.

this was the perfect thing to see just now -- I've got a whole crate-full of yarn that I spent a good month unravelling from several sweaters, but am totally uninspired to use. I think what it all needs is a good dye job ... and I love the way you dyed over multiple times with different colors -- the subtleties are beautiful!

How pretty! Makes a fall day feel like spring.

Those are flippin' beautiful! I'm not normally fond of kool aid dyes (too pastel), but those are great. I can't wait to see what you do with them.

Love it! a lot. :) What are you going to make? Beautiful colorwork mittens?

Pretty, pretty!
I'll bet they smell good too!

There's something seemingly sacrilegious about combining cashmere and kool-aid, a good kind of sacrilege, if that's possible, kind of along the lines of me naturally dyeing yarns that contain nylon. But, with fiber, I say anything goes, (almost).
Good call doubling the yarn. Turning that cashmere into a rainbowy lace shawl might have been a true sin!

That yarn looks great now. :)

The yarn came out beautiful! :)

Ooh, yum. What are you plans for the rainbow cashmere? (Rainbow cashmere!!)

Wow, this opens up all kinds of possibilities. Lots of old super bright-colored cashmere sweaters are slowly dying from neglect in my closet...

What a fun project! I can't wait to see what you do with it next :)

Gorgeous colours, woman!
I think I'm going to have to do some thrift store shopping. I've never reused yarn from a store bought sweater before so I'll have to give it a shot.
The red and the orange have me drooling! Fantastic yarn rescue! :)

So pretty! It's like skeins of cashmere skittles. Or something.

Wow! Love it! Such gorgeous colours - I love the slight variegation that overdying has given the colours. It makes them look deeper and richer. Sooo jealous of you with all that cashmere!

I am curious too what the brilliant colours will become?

Pretty! lovely colors!

Light bulb moment. I have given up on trying to find sweaters to unravel at thrift stores because the ones I've found that don't have problem seams all seem to be in blah colors. D'oh! That's it. There's a thrift store on my way home so I can ride the wave of sudden enthusiasm!

fantastic move. The new yarn is just delicious!

I can't wait to see what you do with the colorful recycled yarn. :)

Oh, that's beautiful. I want to feel it!

Okay this is the most inspiring post I've read in weeks! Something exciting and motivating from somthing haunted with negative vibes and unmotivating - I love it!

Total eye-candy! I can almost sense the softness through the screen ;)
Nice job!

What a great idea! I love the bright happy colors you chose to dye the yarn with.

Very ingenious of you. I would have never thought of doing all that.

How fun! The colors are amazing!

Hello! I just found your blog and am super-inspired already. I've heard of people frogging thrifted sweaters but never felt inclined to try it myself . . . until now, that is. Thanks!!

Genius!! I love the colors and love that its recycled, I'm dying (pun intended) to learn how to color my own... hehehe...