Friday, February 4, 2011

Cashmere Bliss

I've been dabbling in recycling sweaters made of luxury yarns from sweater back to yarn for a few years now.  I've found alpaca, merino, silk, cashmere, even yak.  Cashmere is my favorite.  It comes from the cashmere (kashmir) goat that lives in some seriously mountainous, cold and rugged terrain.  It has outer guard hairs, but it is the soft downy undercoat that is the prize, it is what the luscious yarn is made of-super fine and extremely warm.  It is also very spendy - just the yarn for a sweater would be about $250.  I have frequently found and reclaimed cashmere sweaters in the past, and it is such a pleasure to knit with, but the yarn is very, very fine and can be difficult to unravel, I usually think the extra effort is worth it.

It is rare to find a 100% cashmere sweater made up in anything other than a laceweight or fine gauge yarn.  A dk or worsted weight is sort of the holy grail for cashmere loving sweater recycling yarn junkies such as myself.  After years of searching (and five dollars at the thrift store) I've finally found one, and it is mine, all mine!

This lavender cabled turtleneck is going to be transformed into about 1200 yards of scrumptiousness.  I wanted to get the photos taken first before I deconstruct it.  I don't know if I'll keep it lavender or if I'll dye it, but I know I want to make a wrap/shawl out of it-sort of an adult blankie to wrap around me when things get chilly, or hard, or I just need a hug.

This stuff is sooooo thick and sooooo soft.  It will be a treat to transform it into something I'll love forever (that would not be a too tight turtleneck sweater).

My best guess, before disassembling, is that it is worsted weight.  That's a nickel there, about an inch across, and it is measuring about 4.5 to 5 stitches per inch.


  1. Where can I find help on deconstructing a sweater like this? I would like to do this also.

  2. Hi Kristina! If you are on Ravelry, there are several groups devoted to recycling and unraveling and general thriftiness. Check out the Thrifty Knitters Group, the Unravelers Group. Also, online, do a google search for "recycling thrift store sweaters" and you'll find lots of tutorials.