Upcycled Knitted Socks

Thrift Store Sweater Socks

I saw this knit sweater at a local thrift store and fell in love with the colors.   I had the idea in mind that I would look for cheap sweaters to recycle the yarn. The tag on this one claimed it to be 100% shetland wool. It is a little scratchy and it the sweater was stretched out, so I thought it would upcycle nicely into a pair of knee-high socks. I purchased the sweater for less than $10.

Step 1:  Find the Seams

On each side of the sweater, I stretched the seam to find the yarn that bound the front and back together.

Step 2: Remove the Seam Stitches

On this sweater, it was not too difficult to find the seam stitches, since they were done in gray, and there were a lot of other colors in the sweater.  I used a darning needle to pull out the seam yarn section by section, so I could salvage it, as well.

Once I got the seams separated, I looked for a starting point on the bottom hem of the sweater. Whenever I had trouble finding a starting point, I would simply sacrifice a little bit of yarn by making a cut at one end and pulling until I found where the yarn end had been tucked.

Step 3: Unravel Sweater and Wind Yarn Balls

All in all, it was a slow but steady process. This yarn was particularly fragile and broke in places. I chose to just knot it together, leaving long ends to weave in later. The yarn was also thin, so I used two strands together to knit. Actually, I wound 4 separate yarn balls: the front, the back, and one each for the sleeves. I wasn’t exactly concerned with making the socks to match perfectly, but because I used a front and arm together for one sock and a back and arm together for the other sock, they matched exactly.

I chose to make them long enough to be boot socks (knee-high). I used the pattern in Getting Started Knitting Socks by Interweave Press appropriate for the gauge. I altered the top of the sock to be the length of my shin, with an increase appropriate to the measurement of my shins.

I LOVE the finished product. That itchy thrift store sweater feels great (and looks cute) on my feet in the winter!


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