This here is a pile of thrift store sweaters. One camel-tan, 85% silk/15% cashmere blend. One fuzzy periwinkle blue, 65% angora, 35% nylon blend. One just has a little angora in it really, but it's four shades of fair isle neutrals. Works for me. All of them are part of my recycled yarn experiment and all together cost less than $12.
I like the idea of recycled yarn. I figure that all three sweaters together would probably make a finer quality fabric than I would normally bother with, at an 1/8 the cost of any one skein of approximately the same blend. Besides, who doesn't like the occasional do-it-yourself project, right?
There were plenty of lessons to be learned however. To start, frogging angora is probably not the most wisest choice for instant gratification. While soft and smooshy, it's also sticky and difficult to spot the stitch definition below the gorgeous fuzzy haze. Which is needed when you are ripping side seams while trying not to the nick individual stitches so you won't have to splice or felt join them later. (Did you know angora felts? I do now.) At one point, I resorted to using children's hair de-tangler around the inner armpit areas, after pulling the matted balls from the surface. It helped a little.
Days....it took me days (ok, just three) to finish unraveling this baby. Mostly because of the number of felted joins it took to salvage the yarn into 4 skeins. It's a 3-ply yarn and I kept snapping an individual strand here and there. But worse than that, I nicked alot of stitches on the sides, particularly at the top of the shoulders where they put a safety stitch into the knitted join. I got so tired of trying to sort it all out, that I finally took a pair of scissors to it and sheared the seams off. That one little action probably lost me three or more yards. No biggie, just a pain more than anything.
The other thing, angora sheds a hairball the size of a small cat every time you pull on the yarn. I'll be washing little blue fibers from my clothes for months. I even pulled some from my son's ear. Yeah, his ear.
All in all, I ended up with four large-ish skeins of sport weight yarn, from a single XL sweater. I have no idea the actual yardage, nor do I really care, but I'd say one sleeve is probably enough for a pair of mitts or a set of baby booties and a cap. Heaven knows what I'll actually use it for in the end, but it sure is nice to know that some fuzzy blue bunny out there didn't give up it's fur for nothin'.