I am at the age of what most of society would consider the later part of mid life, ultimately I have reached a stage in my life where I have accumulated a large amount of crochet projects throughout my home. We all get to the point where, we not only have a closet full of handmade crocheted items, but there are items placed strategically in different rooms reminding me of the enjoyment (as well as their usefulness ) I spent crocheting.

One month, my fingers were really itching to start a new project and unfortunately my budget was not allowing for new yarn. This was how I discovered through some trial and error how to recycle previously used yarn.

Yarn can be recycled from old projects that are no longer being used or from thrift store, and yard sale sweater finds (although I have never personally used old sweaters, I know a few people who have). Look around your home for projects you are no longer using or maybe damaged. How about the sweater you have outgrown, or the afghan that is no longer in style? What about the things that are too dear to throw out but are not useable? This is when recycling yarn can become very beneficial. Just think, that sweater you made for your six year old daughter ten years ago can now become a hat or a scarf!

The steps to doing this require a little bit of work but are as easy as one, two, three.

Step One:

First, examine the piece. Is the yarn in good condition? Now look at your project from a crocheters point of view, where would you have started and finished? The ends will not be obvious where they are, especially if you did a good job at weaving them in. Sometimes if I have a very good idea where the end might be, then I will take the scissors and nip a string of yarn just to get started.

Keep in mind that unwinding the yarn could take some time depending on how large the piece might be. I usually unravel the project by rolling it into a large yarn ball.

Note: When you come to the end, you could either tie the ends together or start a new ball. I prefer to start a new ball personally.

Step Two:

Next, holding one end of the yarn between my thumb and index finger, I start to wind the yarn around my elbow and the back between my thumb and index finger. Continue in this way until you have your yarn in loosely wound hanks.

Step Three:

The last step is to clean the yarn and remove the kink that the last project has left in your yarn. You first immerse the hank into a solution of cold water and soap or gentle detergent. (I lprefer to use Woolite) Let the yarn set in the water for a few minutes, then you gently squeeze the skein a few times to get the yarn clean. Now dip the hank into clean cool water several times to rinse it thoroughly.

Repeat this process two or three time, with fresh water each time. The last step is to lay the yarn flat on a towel covered surface or a folding drying rack until completely dry.

Now you are ready to use the yarn for a new project!!! Some people will use the yarn from the hanks but I personally like to roll the yarn back into balls.

If anybody would like to add any suggestions, please share.

Until next week, keep those hooks flying.