I’ve been experimenting with making big fat yarn out of old sweaters and re-knitting it on giant knitting needles…
See? Isn’t it fun? I love it! (Click on the photos to get a better look at that delicious texture!) This light coral BFY (big fat yarn) is made from a fine gauge cashmere sweater that I spiral cut into long 1″ wide strips. Since sweater knit naturally wants to curl, the strips roll up on themselves like a tube. Next I gave the strips a little tug to stretch them slightly, stuffed them into a lingerie bag and tossed it in with the wash, which further tube-ified it. Afterward I knotted all of my lengths together and wound it into a ball.
These knitting needles are size #OMG, otherwise known as broomsticks. Seriously, they aren’t marked and I can’t remember the true size, but they are at least 1/2″ in diameter. (And I am just now realizing that you probably can’t tell how big they are in the photos because there’s nothing to compare it to. I’ll add a photo for scale when there’s daylight.)
Spiral cutting a sweater is easy. First remove the hem/ribbing. Then start at a side seam and cut along the bottom, about 1″ away from the edge. Cut the strip along the front, keep going cutting through the second side seam and cut along the back.
When you get to the first side seam (where you began) angle up a little to keep your 1″ width and keep going! You can make one long strip cutting all the way up to the underarms. Then do the same technique with the sleeves. You should be able to spiral cut the remainder of the sweater shoulders and “yoke” part up to the neckline.
The darker pink BFY is a wool blend and you can see that it rolled and felted a little. It’s less stretchy than the coral and just a bit bulky to knit with, but it is fuzzy and wonderful!
The blue sweater is a silk/cashmere blend. I haven’t washed it yet to see how it will come out. I’m sure you have seen plenty of things knit with T-shirt strips, so of course you could spiral cut your old t-shirts as well.
So, I’m thinking of making BFY scarves! The cashmere knit up like this is so cushy and soft. For the coral scarf I am alternating rows of garter stitch and yarn wraps. (I’ll have to figure out the proper knit-speak for that if anyone is interested!) The dark pink scarf uses the Veil stitch. I got the pattern idea from Slip Slip Knit who knit a scarf out of i-cord. (BTW, if you’re interested in how I make my felted wool i-cord, you can revisit a former post I did about it.)
Ok, back to knitting. I’ll let you know how they turn out!