How to Recycle Yarn

This is a guest post from Julie Crawford, and previously appeared on knittedbliss.com. We loved it so much we asked to repost it here so that Eucalan fans can learn all these important tricks for recycling yarn!

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

I don’t often do tutorials, but I have recently learned SO MUCH about how to reuse yarn from a knit that I had to share it with you guys. In particular because I’ve finally decided to turn my Delineate Tank into a Manzanilla Sweater, using the Spirit Trail Fiberworks yarn that I loved so much the first time around. I had almost two full skeins leftover from the original project, so this sweater will be a mix of unused yarn AND recycled yarn, which will have its own considerations. First, let’s recycle the yarn.

Types of yarn- the ‘stickier’ a yarn is, the harder it is to rip back. if there is any mohair or angora in it, it will be cling to the stitches, and not want to be easily undone. It can still be done, but you’ll need to go more slowly.

You will need:

  • the knit
  • wool wash (my favourite is Eucalan)
  • a crochet hook or blunt tapestry needle
  • some waste yarn
  •  a sink
  • a towel

A note about the wool wash, in case you are wondering why I’m declaring Eucalan as my fave: I’ve tried other kinds, but I always come back to Eucalan because I get a lot of product for the price, which means more washes. It’s totally biodegradable and made with natural ingredients, and I also really like that the cap and top of bottle seem to magically stay clean and never get gummed up or sticky. My favourite scents are Pink Grapefruit and Jasmine Wrapture, but I’m using classic Eucalyptus scent for this tutorial.

Step 1

If you look closely at your hems and where you bound off, and pull a bit at the fabric, you will be able to see the tiny tail of where the ends were woven in. You can use a crochet hook or a blunt tapestry needle to begin pulling it loose, until you can then undo the cast off. If at any point prior to this you can’t find the end or the knot you pulled when you cast off was so tight there’s no way you’ll undo it, then you can always get some scissors and snip out the cast on edge.

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

Step 2

Start pulling. You may need to pause now and then, especially with flat knitting, as the sides tend to be a bit stickier.

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

As the yarn comes away, you will need to wrap it into a ball. If you have a yarn swift you can attach the loose end to the swift and unwind the sweater that way. But you can also just use your hand, like this:

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

You will need to make a new ball for each section of yarn that you have. So, as you are winding and come to the end of the skein in the knit, put that ball aside and start a new one with the new end that you find.

Step 3:

Once you have unwound and have all the balls of crinkly, ramen-noodle style yarn, you will need to get it ready for a bath. You can use a swift if you have one, but I used the backs of two chairs, one of which had the high chair on it. And it had so much crusted baby food and weird stains that I couldn’t bear to snap a photo. So, it should look like the photo in this link, where the chairs are clean. Then, using the waste yarn, loosely tie 2-3 sections of it to keep all the strand of yarn corralled together. This will be very important for keeping the yarn from becoming a snarled mess later on. It will look like this:

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

Step 4:

Bath time! Pour a capful of Eucalan into a sink filled with warm (not hot) water. Immerse the yarn.How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

You want to ensure that the yarn is fully saturated, and not floating on the surface. Push it down until it’s absorbed a fair quantity of water, and let it sit for about half an hour to help the fibers get fully relaxed. After 20 minutes, take a look at the yarn – is it still a bit crinkly? Then it needs more time. Continue soaking. If it’s relaxed, then drain the water (no need to rinse), squeeze out the excess water gently, and roll in a towel to remove more of the water. Hang to dry away from heat or light, a shower is a good place for this.

Step 5:

You can then wind your yarn into a ball, or into a hank, both are shown below. Here is a 1 min video showing how to wind your yarn into a hank (the long one that looks like a pastry), which is ideal if you aren’t going to be using it right away.

How to Recycle Yarn | Eucalan.com

Hedgehog is just for visual interest. I was trying to get one of the cats to lay beside it, but when was the last time a cat did anything you wanted it to do?

Now, before you dive into your knit, if you have a mix of yarn you have recycled AND yarn that hasn’t been used (like me!), then you want to keep the following in mind. I would like to give a big shout out of thanks to Celeste, a previous commentor who emailed with me about this, and had wonderful tips to share.

  1. Cotton and acrylic might not change a lot in the process above, but wool, wool blends (and alpaca) can stretch a little or a lot.
  2. It could also have stretched a bit, if you hung your washed yarn up to dry, rather than laid it flat.
  3. Once a yarn is washed, it plumps up, filling in the space between fibers. Unwashed yarn won’t have done this yet. So you know that this will affect your….
  4. Gauge!! You will need to do a gauge swatch in both your washed yarn AND your unwashed yarn to compare, and see if there is any difference. There could be a very big difference, and you want to know before investing a sweater’s worth of time into a knit.

Then Celeste also suggested this brilliant step:

“Another way to do a quick check is to lay the two yarns parallel to each other. You likely won’t see a difference in thickness. If you do, then it’s a sure sign. What you’d want to look for is the twist of plies of the yarn. If you lay a ruler next to them count the times the plies curve over the yarn in 4″/10cm segment (like a swatch the larger the measurement the greater accuracy). Then do the same for the second yarn. If they match up perfectly you can choose where to go from there.”

Genius, right? So if your yarn is showing a difference, then simplest solution is to wash all of it, both the used and unused yarn. If it is treated the same way and more likely to behave the same from one skein to the next.

There you have it! How to reuse your wonderful, precious yarn. If you’ve invested all that time into creating a knitted piece, it should be something you love to wear. If it isn’t (once you have completed the 6 emotional stages of frogging a project) and you love the yarn, why not give it a new lease on life? You might knit something you can’t live without this time!

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Giveaway & Holiday Gift Guide: Yarn Lovers

Welcome back for another installment in our holiday gift guide series! We’d like to make your holiday shopping just a little bit easier by sharing some of our favourite products that are sure to delight the knitter or crocheter in your life. We also have three special prizes for our blog readers  – read on for more details!

 

YarnGifts

Wrapture Fragrant Balm comes in a travel-friendly tin that’s perfect for stashing in your knitting bag. The jasmine-scented balm will keeps hard-working hands moisturized in the dry winter months!

Clover’s Amour Crochet Hook Gift Set features colorful, color-coded hooks in ten sizes packed neatly in an attractive zippered case.

Knitters will love the Clover Getaway Knitting Needle Gift Set, which includes 7 useful sizes of highly polished bamboo single point needles in a lovely fabric case that’s perfect for gifting.

The Eucalan Gift Pack includes 100mL bottles in each of our 5 scents, making it a great gift option for prolific crafters.

The Coco Knits Sweater Care Kit includes everything you need to block handmade sweaters with professional results and includes a 100mL bottle of Unscented Eucalan Delicate Wash.

The Sirka Row Counter allows you to keep track of more than one number, which is great for complex patterns which require concurrent sets of instructions such as increases or decreases.

An adorable needle gauge such as this Mitten Gauge from Retromantic Fripperies is a great stocking stuffer you know they’ll use.

Inspire them each day with a Knitting or Crochet page-a-day 2016 Calendar that’s jam packed with great patterns (US customers, shop here).

Giveaway
Holiday giveaway!

We’re pleased to offer these great prizes for 3 lucky blog readers this month!  Comment on this post telling us which of the below prizes you would most like to win:

Be sure to mention your Ravelry ID or email address so that we can get in touch with you to arrange for the delivery of your prize. We will randomly select our winners to announce on our next blog post this Friday, December 18. Good luck!

Please note: one entry per person, open only to US and Canadian residents.

Essentials Tools, Tips & Tutorials for Fall

Fall is here! Now is the time to start bringing out your woolens, quilts and handmade items for the chilly autumn season. Eucalan is perfect for freshening up items which have been packed away for the summer – click here for free tutorials demonstrating the best way to wash and care for your specialty items such as quilts, woolens, furs, leather, and more!

CScocoknits

Sweater weather is once again here, and we recently spotted the Cocoknits Sweater Care Kit in the Fall issue of Knitty.com. This clever kit includes everything you need to keep your handmade (and store-bought!) sweaters looking their best – including a small bottle of Eucalan!

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Handknitters will want to check out a brand-new instructional video, Basic Finishing Techniques: Transform Your Knitting With Blocking and More.  Get answers to the most commonly-asked questions accompanied by detailed demonstrations (featuring Eucalan, of course!) from designer, author, and instructor Tanis Gray. This comprehensive DVD will help viewers achieve professional results for their handmade projects!

Layneau-using-Eucalan-Lingerie-Wash

Outside of the fibre arts world, Eucalan was recently featured on the Lingerie Journal as part of a feature by Kaaren Bedi, founder/designer of Layneau. In it, Kaaren shares her best tips for keeping luxury lingerie and heirloom pieces looking their best for the next generation. It should be no surprise that Kaaren prefers our delicate, no-rinse wash for preserving these special items; click here to read more of her sage advice over on the Lingerie Journal website.

More August Events: CurveNV & Twist Fibre Festival

Our next event is CurveNV in Las Vegas August 17-19, and this year, it’s being held at Magic!  Magic is an international fashion trade show which includes a comprehensive marketplace for Women’s, Men’s, and Children’s apparel, plus accessories, footwear, and more. CurveNV at Magic will be representing the lingerie and swimwear categories, and there are some very exciting events for attendees. We’ve exhibited at Magic before and are so happy to get back to the hustle and bustle and energy of the show floor! If you’ll be attending CurveNV, look for Eucalan in booth #77329 – or click here to book your appointment with us ahead of time – and don’t forget your comfortable walking shoes!

To get a taste of CurveNV, click here to view their photo gallery from past events.

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Eucalan is proud to sponsor the Twist Fibre Festival!Later this month, we’ll be sponsoring a totally different sort of event: the Twist Fibre Festival in Québec, Canada which will take place August 22 & 23. This annual event is the only one of its kind in our neck of the woods, and it features something for everyone: over 40 workshops, free activities for kids, a textile art exhibit, a gourmet local food fair, and over 125 exhibitors from all trades of the fibre industry.  This two-day event is open to the general public, and you’ll find fibre producers, fleece animal breeders, skilled artisans and casual fibre enthusiasts all rubbing elbows under the same roof.

Click here for more info about Twist!

 

What’s New for Spring

Springtime is just around the corner! We are celebrating a bit early with our newly redesigned website, which makes us think of sunny days and spring flowers – we just know that the weather will follow suit any day now! We hope you’ll click here to visit eucalan.com & let us know what you think. Visit Eucalan.com to see our new & improved website! Celebrating a quarter of a century is quite the milestone, and if you missed our last blog post, then we’d like to invite you to help us celebrate with a very special trip taking place this fall. We’ll be joined by celebrity guest Kristin Omdahl as we journey from Berlin to Paris, knitting and crocheting the entire way! Space is limited, so click here for more details & to reserve your spot. Interweave Yarn FeSt Next month, we’ll be sponsoring an exciting event that’s taking place at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Loveland, CO: the Interweave Yarn Fest is making its debut April 16-19, 2015! This jam-packed weekend will include workshops, a marketplace, plus other activities. It’s a “must” for any fiber lover – whether you knit, spin, weave or crochet, there will be something for everyone! Click here to view more details on the Interweave Yarn Fest website. instagram Last but not least, we’re pleased to announce that Eucalan is now on Instagram! We’re already loving this visual way to connect with our friends and fans, so we hope you’ll click here to follow our account and share your favourite Eucalan photos, too! Be sure to tag @eucalan and use #eucalan in your description so that we can easily find your photo – who knows, we might even re-gram it to share with our own followers!

25th Anniversary Knitting Trip: Berlin to Paris

We feel privileged to be celebrating our 25th year of business! Thank you for trusting Eucalan with your most treasured garments – new and vintage – and for sharing your stories with us.

Today we are thrilled to share the details of our upcoming knitting trip from “Berlin to Paris”, September 28 – October 9, 2015. Join me, Jennifer Edgar and celebrity knit and crochet designer Kristin Omdahl on this 12 day adventure.

We’ll focus on the artisan crafts, culture and cuisine that are woven through the fabric of both Germany and France from wools and wines to yarns, museums and monuments. Our tour guide is extremely knowledgeable, friendly and speaks the languages of our host countries. We’ll enjoy visits to two of our distributors – Steidl and Becker in Germany and Bergere de France in France. There will be plenty of time for knitting and learning new techniques as well as shopping!

Please join us for what is certain to be an engaging and fascinating tour. Contact Pauwels Travel Bureau at tours@pauwelstravel.com or call our office and speak with Lisa at 800-561-9731 or info@eucalan.com.  Please click on the link below for full details and application form.

Eucalan Berlin to Paris

Eucalan Title Page

Caring for Your Hand Knit Sweater

On today's blog post, we've teamed up with Johnny Vasquez and Lacie Lynnae from Yarn Nation to present our best tips for taking care of the handmade sweater you’ve spent the time and energy to create. You’ll want to take care of it so that it will last a long time and stay in good condition; today we’ll be looking at how to care for some of the most common knitting fibres: wool, cashmere and alpaca.

Washing

Some wools and animal fibers can be machine washed, but to play it safe we usually recommend hand washing. To wash by hand, place the garment in a sink or bowl full of lukewarm water with 1 tsp of Eucalan no-rinse wool wash per gallon of water. Let your garment soak in the water for about 15 minutes. Gently swish the garment around but be careful to not agitate the water too much.

Drain the water from the sink or bowl and press any excess water out of the sweater. Do not wring the water out as this can cause stretching and felting.

Drying & Blocking

SweaterdryingDO NOT USE A DRYER! We're sure you already knew that, but sometimes things get thrown into the dryer as a matter of habit and you end up with a tiny shrunken sweater. Never put wool in a dryer. Seriously, don’t do it.

After washing, squeeze the water out of your garment roll it in a clean, dry towel to remove excess moisture. When you’re picking up the wet garment be sure to support it from below. If you lift if from the top the weight of the water in the sweater can cause it to stretch.

Lay the item on a dry towel and shape the garment back into its original shape. Allow your sweater to dry completely, away from direct sunlight or heat.

Pilling

Sometimes even the nicest wools and cashmere may pill where there is friction on the garment (like the underarms or shoulders). Pills are the little balls of fiber that start to gather on your sweater, and can make the garment look shabby if not removed. These annoying little balls of fiber can be quickly taken care of with a small hand held electric de-fuzzer, a sweater stone, or if you’re feeling super patient, by picking them off. This keeps your sweater looking fresh and new.

Lint Removal

Garments have a tendency to pick up pet hair, people hair, and fluff. It is particularly obvious if your sweater is a dark color.  Keep your clothes neat and tidy by using Eucalan’s lint remover sheets to remove those unwanted particles. Keeping a few in your purse or car (once you’ve gotten out of the reach of your fluffy feline) might be a good plan to keep your sweater looking sharp.

Storing

EucalanscentsWhen you are finished wearing your sweater for the season, it is important to put it away clean and in a sealed container if possible. Pests like moths are attracted to body smells and will quickly eat a hole in your treasured garment if it is not cleaned before storing it away. Also, body oils, perfumes and deodorants can discolour fabric over time.

Make sure to wash your garment before storing it! It woulld be a good idea to wash the garment using Eucalan's Eucalyptus or Lavender scents to deter the pests. Allow to dry completely then wrap your sweater in several sheets of tissue paper and store in a sealed container.  For extra protection you can purchase sachets of lavender or cedar disks to put in the container with your garment. One great benefit of going this route is that everything will smell fantastic when you open the box to use your sweaters again. If you have concerns that moths may be in your knits, place the article in a plastic bag and put in your freezer for 2 days to kill moths and larvae.

If you’d like to learn about how to choose a great yarn and everything else that goes into preparing to knit a sweater, download the free Sweater Planning Guide from Yarn Nation. In this guide you'll learn about choosing a suitable yarn, how much yarn to buy and how to plan a sweater that you’ll love!

Click here to download


This guest post is a part of the 30 Day Sweater Challenge promo tour. This coming October, 5,000 knitters around the world will be knitting a sweater they’ll love in 30 days. To sign up just visit 30daysweater.com/eucalan and download your free Sweater Planning Guide. It will help you get started on the right foot! See you in October!

CurveNY & CurveNV

Summer may be winding down, but things are heating up for Eucalan! Our trip to New York City was fun-filled and inspirational. We were excited to launch our new product at the CurveNY Lingerie Expo (more on that later – stay tuned!), and our new booth design was a hit!

CurveNYnewbooth

The kind folks at Knitty City hosted a meet & greet while we were in town. Here we are with the vintage kimono scarves presented to us by the shop owner, Pearl Chin.

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We even had time to film a quick tutorial demonstrating how to tie a scarf:

For more photos of our trip, click here to read Kristin's New York City Recap.

We're looking forward to our next event in Las Vegas, the CurveNV Lingerie Expo. Look for Kristin and Jennifer in booth 509!

Boothbanner

 

Wrapture News & Events!

Summer is heating up, and our romantic new jasmine scent seems to be everywhere we look! The designer behind Wrapture, Kristin Omdahl, recently appeared on a free CrochetMe webinar, sharing her tips and tricks for crocheting a variety of edgings while taking you on a guided tour of her new book, The Finer Edge. She also talks about some of her favourite supplies (such as Wrapture!) and includes a free crochet pattern for webinar viewers – click here to check it out!

KOCurve

We've also spotted Kristin's interview at CurveNY with McPeteSez on YouTube! You can watch the video below to learn more about Wrapture and the entire Eucalan family of products!

Kristin was also interviewed on the Love-Drenched Knitting and Crochet Podcast; click here to listen to part 1 of the 3-part series featuring Kristin! This first installment focuses on her new crochet book, The Finer Edge, but Wrapture will be covered in one of the next episodes, so stay tuned!

Finally, we are headed to The National Needlearts Association trade show this weekend, and if you'll be attending, there will be plenty of chances for you to meet Kristin in person AND receive a free sample of Wrapture!
Kristin will be doing live demonstrations, book signings, and meet and greets all weekend long at the following times and locations:


Wrapture_podSATURDAY

Noon-1pm: Interweave #845

2-3pm: Deep South Fibers #146

3-4pm: Fiesta Yarns #509

4-5pm: Lantern Moon #532

 

SUNDAY

10am-Noon: Lantern Moon #532

Noon-1pm: Interweave #845

2-3pm: Fiesta Yarns #509

4-5pm: Unicorn Books #109

 

Are You Ready to Knit in Public?

Eucalan is proud to sponsor Worldwide Knit in Public Day (WWKIP), an international event which began as a way for knitters to come together and enjoy each other's company. It has now become the largest knitter-run event in the world! Events are taking place around the globe June 8-16. Your local yarn store or knitting guild is a good place to start when looking for an event near you, if you are hosting an event in your town, be sure to share the details on the Knitty Blog and in the WWKIP Ravelry Group

Since the point of this event is to socialize with your fellow knitters (and let's not forget about the crocheters!), you'll want to be sure to take a project that doesn't require too much of your concentration. For most knitters, it's probably tough to have a conversation while wrestling with a complicated lace chart or trying a new-to-you technique for the first time! 

If you are surveying your WIPs (works in progress) and discovering that you don't have a portable project that is just right for social knitting, here are a few suggestions from some designer friends of Eucalan, plus a few of their designs to try out when you're back at home base! 

Marly Bird

MarlyBird

Left: The Nightfall Scarf knits up quick in bulky-weight yarn; Right: The Huckelberry Hat is a great way to learn entrelac knitting in the round!

 

Kristin Omdahl


KristinOmdahl

Left: The Fer Sure Crochet Legwarmers are a quick project to take on-the-go; Right: The Come to Me Lace Caftan uses an all-over crocheted lace pattern for a striking wardrobe-enhancer. 

 

Jennifer Hansen

Jenniferhansen

Left: The Goddess top is knit seamlessly in the round in stockinette stitch; Right: The Rebel Lace Cardi incorporates the broomstick lace technique which Jennifer demonstrates in her Craftsy class.