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What do you do when you find a sign saying "free yarn"?

 
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What are your creative ideas for unexpected yarn?

Sometimes yarn just appears in our lives and I love the creativity that comes from figuring out what to make from found yarn.  


in my case



please pop over to see the Free yarn to treasure video and leave a thumbs up to help my channel grow.


And the applepoll you've all been waiting for:

 
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Sorry r ranson, I'm getting picky in my old age. The "free yarn" needs to be biodegradable - wool, cotton, alpaca, flax - they'd all come home by the armload.

But I'm really tired of the stuff that winds up in the land-fill. No thanks, I'll pass. Even for the garden - maybe especially for the garden - I'll disassemble one of the organic coffee sacks I get from a local fair trade company, before I'd accept artificial stuff.
 
r ranson
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I definitely knew the source of this yarn was going to be wool or alpaca or goat.  It felt like wool (on the outside, there were sections of alpaca in it later on)

But you know what, not everyone is that lucky.  For a lot of my adult life, I had to make do with what little yarn I could get, with no choice of what fibre it would be.  Now I'm lucky enough to have a community and a spinning wheel, I can afford to be choosier.  
 
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I'm with Jay on this one. I'm getting picky about my dumpster diving!

I don't have infinite space and I'm kinda at the point of it had better be right or it's not worth the hassle.

That being said, if it was going free, I'll take a couple of kilos of this https://www.worldofwool.co.uk/products/york-stone-dk-yarn for my hoodie project.
 
r ranson
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I added an option
 
r ranson
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I also made it unlimited apples so those with more apples can influence the results (but a popular choice is still restricted to how many thumbs you have)
 
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I'm in the picky group. I don't want to contaminate my graywater system, and I've come to hate the feeling of icky fibers against my skin. But, even before, when I didn't have to community & resources I have now - back when we were forced to live from the food pantries - I'd do without, instead of accepting even brand new stuff that felt icky.
 
Jay Angler
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r ranson wrote:I added an option

Yeah! Thank you! After all, permies policy is "organic or better" for growies, so "at least biodegradable" seems like it deserves to be an option for those of us who are trying to be part of the solution.

That said, I am paying much more attention to labels in thrift shops. If I get to the point where I need some quality yarn, I'd consider buying a damaged, but natural fiber garment for disassembly. I understand there are thrift shops with large selections of wool garments, but I haven't noticed many near me.
 
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I love that you were able to make something beautiful with your freebie! That cloth you ended up with has a lot of character. I like the idea of a Japanese style with the weave too, although maybe a kimono jacket with smaller 'wings' - I think they'd get in the way a bit and be annoying.
It's difficult when the free yarn isn't necessarily what you would choose yourself. I've got some 'chunky' yarn I'm considering at the moment that I was given - it's the edges cut off woven scarfs to give them the fringes, so it's sort of woven wool, but only about 1/2 inch wide and also fringed. A whole mix of dark colours in it. I'll try and get a photo later so people can give me inspiration....So many projects, so little time...
 
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When I was a kid, I like to make these yarn dolls which is a creative way to use free yarn.  Since I no long have any yarn dolls I found these on Pinterest:


source



source



source


I had a friend who made Macrame plant hangers like this one I found on Pinterest:


source

I still have several crochet squares to set hot dishes on, similar to this:


source
 
Carla Burke
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r ranson, I love your cardigan - especially your weaving creativity! I know you weren't sure, at first, about wearing it in public, because of the newness of the style. Have you become more comfortable with it, yet? Seriously, you are an inspiration!

This July, in Lebanon Missouri, I'll be attending Fiber-U, and one of the classes I'll be taking is on finger weaving, Northern Indigenous American style. I think that would be a way uneven, yet lovely yarn like that could be put to good and beautiful use, too. I'm looking forward to the class, and in particular, to learning a very portable weaving style. Maybe someday, I'll graduate to a beautiful floor loom similar to yours.
 
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for me, it's everything, everywhere, all at once, YES!!!
I make a lot of stuff, and gift a lot of stuff, and I can guarantee a bit more utility for that yarn beyond getting landfilled..... There have been plenty of international trips where I have half a pound of baggage weight allowance left and I fill it with yarn from the thrift store.....
No, I'm not a yarn hoarder, but pay no mind to all these storage boxes and bags behind the curtain!! Mwuahahaha!!!

More seriously, many years ago I got a few cones of wool and cotton/silk from old mills in Massachusetts, not sure where they came from but one had a price tag that was so low I figure they must have been decades old. I used every centimeter of that yarn and it was glorious.

I like the weave and the sweater. I'm not a fan of the flap-open kind of cardigans, but I'll bet you have some brooches that can resolve that. As for the sleeves being baggy, mentioned above, when you wear traditional Japanese clothing (kimono, yutaka, happi) and work there is a way of tying back the baggy sleeves to keep them out of your way using a sash called a tasuki, you can find various videos online and it would solve this problem in a flash.
It is a beautiful sweater, overall.
 
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I originally voted "everything", but then I watched your video and remembered how much I dislike working with thick & thin yarns. (This is a little bit inconvenient for me, since as a beginning handspinner I haven't yet achieved the consistency I want.) I noticed that you have a vintage sewing machine and cabinet. Are you planning to make any videos about the care and feeding of your machine in the future?
 
Carla Burke
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Tereza Okava wrote:  As for the sleeves being baggy, mentioned above, when you wear traditional Japanese clothing (kimono, yutaka, happi) and work there is a way of tying back the baggy sleeves to keep them out of your way using a sash called a tasuki, you can find various videos online and it would solve this problem in a flash.
It is a beautiful sweater, overall.



I've also had a couple tops with buttonholed tabs sewn to the inside of the sleeves, and buttons on top of the sleeves, so you could roll/ fold/gather the sleeves, then button the tabs, to keep them up, out of the way. I miss having that option, and might add some to some of my existing tops, now that I'm thinking about it. I wonder if there is some of the fabric left over, that could be used similarly...
 
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not being a yarn person, (my wife fits that bill) but definitely on the picky side if i have a choice, i would only go for natural fibers. as that is my preference of clothing to wear when i can afford it. so free would definitely fall into that category.

i like the poll. it helps to see what others are thinking about stuff that i know very little about, really. other than the fact that i prefer wool, and cotton and linen clothing. just wish there is more of it in my wardrobe. so some of the ideas on where to look will come in handy.

thanks for the lesson
 
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Jennifer Pearson wrote:I originally voted "everything", but then I watched your video and remembered how much I dislike working with thick & thin yarns. (This is a little bit inconvenient for me, since as a beginning handspinner I haven't yet achieved the consistency I want.) I noticed that you have a vintage sewing machine and cabinet. Are you planning to make any videos about the care and feeding of your machine in the future?



Good luck with your consistency. Not sure I'm there yet but 1) it depends on the fibre and 2) 3 ply is more consistent.
 
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I was going to vote for the never take option as I spin my own. However, I did recently pick up a couple of cones of manmade fibre to use as warp thread. As the thread would potentially have gone to landfill if not used, it seemed a good idea to take what I needed for a specific project with a ramie weft.
 
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I think the new sweater is lovely and definitely appropriate for public wearing.
 
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When I see a sign saying "free yarn", I immediately go on the lookout for an elderly bewhiskered fellow in a rocking chair who will rock, gaze at the sky and sip lemonade while regaling me with a convoluted tale involving a schnauzer, a pumpkin and a jumping frog.
 
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Like many, I try not to take anything home that isn't natural anymore. Not only does the texture make for sensory hell, but its just bad for the environment. A project is better than the landfill though, so there is that. I was lucky and got (basically free) an entire tote of wool cones, cakes, and skeins. It was a steal. So I taught myself some basic knitting and I'm making a huge comforter for myself.
 
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Last vote in apple poll was on March 25, 2024
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