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CraftSanity On TV: Unraveling sweaters to grow your yarn stash and try this crochet bowl pattern

This Sunday my newspaper column will feature West Michigan crochet enthusiast, Kendra Wineman. After meeting Kendra and seeing her colorful stash of reclaimed yarn and cute, crochet nesting bowls, I decided to unravel a sweater and make some bowls for my daughters to organize trinkets in their room.

I bought a purple wool blend sweater from Goodwill and have no idea where it’s been, so I washed it on the hand wash setting in my machine before beginning to unravel it.

If you’ve ever knit a sweater, you know how they’re constructed and how to undo the stitching because chances are good that you’ve ripped out a few rows in your day.  If you have yet to stitch a sweater, no worries. Just turn the sweater inside out so the seams are exposed, I like to start by fishing out the yarn used to stitch up the seam of one of the sleeves. Once you undo the seam at the cuff end, rip it out with a seam ripper or pull it out with your fingers all the way up to the top of the sleeve where it connects to the body of the sweater.

Once disconnected from the rest of the sweater, undo the bind-off end at the top of the sleeve to reveal a bunch of vulnerable loops. Then rip!

I used a ball winder to roll the unraveled yarn into a ball as I unravel to prevent a pile of knotted yarn from forming. Keep detaching pieces of the sweater and rolling the reclaimed yarn up into balls as you go.

Reclaiming yarn is a great way  to build your stash without breaking the bank. And once your sweater is unraveled, you’ll have more than enough yarn to try out Kendra’s crocheted bowl pattern that she’s agreed to share with all of us. (Thanks, Kendra!)

Note: Below are the instructions to make the smallest bowl from her six-bowl nesting set pattern. (The smallest three bowl sizes are pictured above.) If you want to make the whole nesting set, you can purchase the full pattern in her shop.

Okay, lets get started…

Base Chain: Make a slip knot. Chain 3. Join with slip stitch to first chain. 

Increase Round 1: 3 single crochet in same chain and in each of next 2 chains (total of 9 single crochet made). Do not join or turn between rounds; you will be working in a spiral shape from here on out.  Side facing you is exterior of bowl.

Increase Round 2: Skip slip stitch.  Work [2 single crochets in next stitch] 10 times. If you wish, mark the beginning of each round with a piece of contrasting scrap yarn.  However, rounds will overlap or fall short by a few stitches.  This is okay!

Increase Round 3: Work [one single crochet in each of the next two stitches, two single crochets in next stitch] 7 times.

Increase Round 4: Work [one single crochet in each of the next three stitches, two single crochets in next stitch] 7 times.

Side Rounds (work 3): Work 1 single crochet in each stitch around.  Repeat round until bowl reaches desired depth.   Finish off and weave in ends.

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Below is the clip from today’s Take Five & Company segment during which I deliver a super quick demo on reclaiming yarn from a thrift store sweater.

Comments

Comment from Kendra
Time: June 18, 2010, 11:54 am

Thanks so much for the lovely feature, Jennifer! I had such a good time talking yarny goodness with you. :)

Comment from jennifer
Time: June 18, 2010, 12:22 pm

You’re very welcome, Kendra! Funny, I was just about to e-mail you the link, but you’re a step ahead of me. Thanks for sharing your pattern. I had fun working up samples for the segment. And now I have lots of purple and gray yarn to make more. Keep up the great work!

Comment from Emily Lindberg
Time: June 18, 2010, 3:21 pm

This is great! I’ve been wanting to take apart sweaters for a while now but haven’t had any success, maybe because I’m not much of a knitter and have never made a sweater myself. I’m very hopeful that your directions will help me greatly the next time I have a sweater that I want to unravel. The bowls are very cute too :)

Comment from Kate
Time: July 10, 2010, 8:00 pm

Making bowls out of sweaters is brilliant!

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