Purchasing quality yarns for your project can become costly. Many knitters have become resourceful in obtaining yarn for their projects by purchasing knitted items from thrift stores, yard or tag sales, or estate sales and reusing the yarn.
How do you decide if a knitted item is worth taking apart for the yarn? The [tag]KnitWit[/tag] site has a whole page devoted to the methodology of finding and reusing previously knit yarn. The most important thing she does is to avoid serged seams. When a seam is serged, the excess fabric is usually blade cut as it is sewn, thus each row of yarn is cut at both sides of the item and the yarn is in very short strands.
[tag]Ashley Martineau[/tag] published a tutorial and shawl pattern in the Spring 2005 [tag]Interweave Knits Magazine[/tag] about reusing yarn. The information is also available at [tag]Neauveau Fiber Arts[/tag].
Another source of how-to information can be found at this page at [tag]ebay[/tag]. This ebay guide writes very good information about purchasing recycled yarns at ebay and what information you need to for in the auction write up.
Bottom line is if you want to try expensive yarns, and have a beer budget, think about recycling yarn. At minimum, the largest expense will be your time.
By Laura Nixon