I hate throwing things away, especially clothes. This means I’ve got a closet stuffed with fabric scraps and old clothes that I’ve been meaning to turn into fabric scraps 🙂 The past few weeks, though, I’ve finally gotten around to doing something with them and started a quilt, which is going better than I expected but worse than I wanted it to. I’ll put up pictures soon! I also have a bunch of sweaters that are too big/too small/have holes in them that have been living in storage forever. I personally am going to cut them up and use them to sew other things, but that’s because I don’t knit. The first time I heard of someone unravelling sweaters to knit new ones was when I moved to Germany, and suddenly everyone knew about it. Then I came across this and thought I’d translate and post it for you all. Now the captions under the photo are more or less the same as what’s in the text, so I’ve numbered them, and they correspond like so:
1 2 3
When the text explains something in the photo, I’ve added which photo is showing that particular part of the process.
From Das Blatt der hausfrau 1935
“Old Wool into New Clothes”
We women have in the last years received something that was “knit”; wherever you go you see knitting and crocheting. But wool is expensive and often clothes that are now out-of-fashion or have holes in the elbows lay ignored in the wardrobe.
We take them out and come to the conclusion that the wool is actually usable if we handle it correctly, so that it looks “good as new”. The process is very easy, and every woman can learn to do it herself in a short time. After you’ve carefully found and unknotted the beginning thread, which was during knitting actually the end thread, you begin to slowly and evenly unravel the piece, winding it over a tablet of wood [pic 4] that has lots of room on it. After everything is separated and wound, you bind it tightly while it’s on the wood piece [pic 1], otherwise it will tangle during the washing. It’s good, especially for frizzy wool, if you dampen the yarn during the unraveling, so that it separates easily and is smooth before you undertake the following treatment:
Through the binding you’ve made skeins that are naturally even, must be fine and the binding thread must be tight so that the wool can’t warp or tangle while washing. Then you make a lukewarm bath using the best soapflakes, by putting the flakes into boiling water to dissolve them and then adding as much cold water as you need to make it lukewarm. The yarn should be sumberged and carefully swished around [pic 2 *]. Then rinse well it in clear, lukewarm water a few times and hang the skeins on a post [pic 3] –it can be a good broom handle — to dry. You can then wind the wool and use as if it were new. If the wool is still frizzy, you can smooth it by re-dampening it while winding [pic 6]. Very frizzy wool can be smoothed if you hold it over a steam bath before washing [pic 5]. In emergencies you can repeat the process, but usually the steam bath and the bath are enough.
*the caption also adds: you must not rub or press the yarn or it will felt.
Good luck and let me know if any of you try this!