Today, I made a trip to the frog pond that I’d been putting off. For those of you just joining this conversation, a brief explanation: I’m making my third Melbourne Pullover in Kathmandu Aran. The first two turned out well, but the back on the third one grew inexplicably huge during blocking — 3 inches in all directions — and yes, I did swatch, block, and measure, even though I’d made the pattern from the same yarn and needles (albeit different colorways) before. With the sweater back way too huge for the intended recipient, I had to re-knit the whole thing, and parked the too-large sweater back until I needed to scavenge the yarn to finish the sweater.
It was too much to hope that I’d have enough yarn to finish the sweater without the tedium of frogging the sweater back. I usually buy an insane amount of extra yarn for each project, as I never quite trust my knitting math, but not a ridiculously insane amount. So, I knit my way through the replacement back, the front, and the first sleeve before I knew that my dwindling supply of yarn would peter out, and I’d have to take a temporary hiatus from knitting to frog and recycle.
I’d just started on the second sleeve, and as that last skein diminished, put it aside while I figured out the best way to recycle the sweater back yarn. It had sat, knitted up, for months, so I knew it would be kinked up. I had most of a sleeve yet to go, plus neck and finishing, so it wasn’t like I could just deal with a few rows of kinked yarn and block it all out later. No, this was going to require some work.
Now, I do have experience with extensive frogging and re-use of yarn. Some years ago, I started an Estonian lace scarf, and arsed it up so badly that I ripped the whole thing out (and by that time, I’d completed about half of it, and yes, I think I’ll be psychologically scarred for life). I wound the cobweb-weight silk back into a ball, and parked it for months until I decided what to do with it. During that time, the yarn un-kinked and could be re-knit without any further treatment.
Not so here. The yarn was way too kinked up to re-knit as is, after I ripped it out and wound it into hanks over the back of a chair.
As you can see, way too kinked up to re-knit.
So, I tied up each hank — not too loose, not too tight — and gave them all a gentle swish and cool soak for about 30 minutes in just a smidge of fabric wash.
Then, I squeezed out the excess water with towels, and lay them out to dry on a sweater dryer.
So, now I have plenty of yarn to finish the sweater, plus probably extra, if I can stomach knitting anything else up in it. Many thanks to the Techknitter, whose blog post on how to re-use old yarn was very helpful to me.