Dying Recycled Cashmere

When we first moved down here, I bought several lots of wool recycled from old sweaters on eBay. We’d been living rather hand to mouth at that point so there wasn’t a lot of discretionary funds for ‘good’ yarn. I even ‘recycled’ a sweater or two myself. I haven’t touch the majority of that yarn, which is a shame because some of it really is nice. Such as this luscious cashmere frogged from a size XL Ralph Lauren sleeveless turtleneck (only in California!).

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The sweater was brand new and soooooooooooooo soft I almost cried. It was kind of expensive for a thrift store sweater but where else could you find 870 yards of worsted weight 100% cashmere for $15? And let me tell you, that bugger was a beyotch to frog! All those long fibers stuck to each other, making it a test of my patience but it was worth it.

Sadly, it’s been sitting in storage for a year and I still don’t have a clue what to make out of it. But one thing I do know is that I don’t care for the color. Oh, it’s nice and all, but just not me. Inspired by a Kool Aid dying group on Ravelry, I pulled it out last night and did some testing. Here are the results:

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I like the top row the best. The first Grape test was very short to achieve the almost lavender color, the second was to get a deep dark color. The next samples are Tropical Punch with Black Cherry right next to it. All of these are nice — I guess it’ll just depend on what I use the yarn for. Suggestions?

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I think I’ll take a little of the vintage mohair I bought on Ravelry (something like 40 skeins of the stuff) home for some testing as well. After Easter, I might just buy up some egg dye for further testing!

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “Dying Recycled Cashmere

  1. I really like the grape. My vote is for a shrug, not a full length sweater, something cropped. I just cast on for the Ribbed Lace Bolero tonight. Something similar but less lacey maybe? Also you have more yardage than that pattern calls for so something else that could maximize that awesome stuff.

  2. msperception

    i love the black cherry, but they all look great. if you could find a worsted weight shawl it would be soooooooooo soft, and it could double as a lap blanket.

  3. neato! I love the berry blue, but I like my colors bright. I think you have inspired me to give another go at recycled yarn.

  4. Nan

    I love the recycled cashmere and all, but I require a new blog to read soon. I’m bored.

  5. Reba

    Thank you for the laugh. (“And let me tell you, that bugger was a beyotch to frog! “) I vote for Berry Blue. You seem to be “a very vivrant thang” in the words of Q-Tip, and Berry Blue is a beautiful, vibrant color that would surely draw people to you. Thank you for your Schwartz and Randy Stocking cap patterns. I successfully started Randy, Sunday (1/25/09).

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