Oftentimes, we run into a financial calamity. This could be country-wide or just a single family situation. Whatever the case may be, this cuts into our ability to do the things we love; including crocheting. It may get to the point that even the less expensive yarn is too expensive for our budget and we’re unable to purchase yarns to do any crocheting at all. But, alas, there is a solution.
Reusable yarn! What is reusable yarn? Reusable yarn is yarn that is used in something that’s already made. This is usually a clothing item; sweaters, afghans, skirts, shawls, bedspreads, and any other item that’s crocheted or knitted with yarn or thread. The important thing to keep in mind is to look at how the item is made. If it’s one piece then is good to purchase. But, if it’s made in pieces that are sewed together, it’s important to pay close attention to these seams. Most often the seams have been stitched together with a serger. Sergers not only stitch the two pieces together, it also cuts off any material that is just past the serger allowance. This causes the yarn to be cut at the end of each row. Sometimes-depending on the project-it might be worth it to purchase this item. Such cases would be if there’s still a lot of good yarn that hasn’t been cut; such as a long body in a sweater and maybe in a large size.
But, if the item is not serged, you’ll see only the sewing machine stitches stitching the two pieces together and you’ll noticed the smoothness of the end of the knitted or crocheted row. These item need only some small scissors, such as embroidery scissors, to snip (starting at the very top of the garment) and then open the seam up and be careful to snip only the thread that is the stitching thread. Once this is done with each piece of the garment, you can proceed to unravel each piece and tie the ends together while working on small pieces-to make larger balls.
Where to find these special items? The best place to start is in a thrift store. Some of these stores offer special discounts on items with different colored tags. You might also look at yard sales and garage sales. In what I call the “high rent district” where you’ll find the nicer houses, you’re more apt to find sweaters made of mohair, alpaca, virgin wool, etc. Sometimes these sales will have items priced high. Don’t be afraid to ask if they’ll take less. Be prepared to suggest a specific price when you ask. For example, start by making sure you’re away from other shoppers and ask something such as this, “I really like this item, but I can’t see where I can afford this price. Instead of $5.00 would you accept $3.50?” This is quite a cut, but most often you’ll find that that they’ll either accept your price or offer a different price for you. You might lay the item down and continue to look around, but keep an eye roving back toward the sweater. There’s a good chance that when you take your to her, she’ll accept your offer then or suggest another offer.
Another place to shop is online. You won’t be able to see the seams (usually), but you can contact the seller and ask her to give you a close-up picture of the seams. Also check out www.Freecycle.com in your area. For purchases online, I prefer to shop for items that don’t have seams; such as afghans and bedspreads. I hope this helps you when times are difficult.