Upcycled Cashmere Sweater

This was such a fun project! I got totally obsessed with it and couldn’t work on anything else until it was done!

It all started with a trip to my favourite thrift store with my mom and sister. My mom brought me over a sweater she thought I might like, it was a Saks Fifth Avenue cream coloured cashmere sweater. I tried it on, but it was a pretty dated boxy shape, but I thought I could still cut it up and make a little cardigan out of it, since it was only 25$ and in perfect condition. When I got home I started to research how to dye cashmere, and came across a few people showing how they unraveled old sweaters and knit them into small things like hats or teddy bears. Yarn is so expensive, especially cashmere, my mind started to run with possible knitting projects. So I thought I would start to unravel a bit just to see if it would unravel easily or not. I also thought I should take a picture before I start, to have a before and after picture, but of course I got carried away unraveling and before I knew it I had unraveled the whole entire thing! It unraveled really easily, I just held the sweater in one hand and used my yarn baller in the other, and it all came out into 4 perfect balls of yarn. Although after the fact I realized it would be best to re-wind them into hanks for dyeing, so that’s what I did.

I didnt love the cream colour of the yarn so I first tried to dye it with Kool-Aid. Which was surprisingly hard since Canada doesn’t sell those unsweatened Kool-Aid packets anymore. So I ordered a bunch off of eBay, that were kind of expensive! But cheaper than buying the Jacquard acid dyes. I put 10 packets for 10 oz of yarn, which according to my research should have dyed the yarn a deep red colour using the black cherry flavour. But I ended up with a light bubblegum colour. So next I tried over-dying it with red gel food colouring, which worked really well.

Here it is after I dyed it with the Kool-Aid.

This sweater pattern is from the pattern book Enchanted by Kim Hargreaves. I doubled up my yarn to have a thicker sweater that would be half as big as the original. The pattern had a lower  section of the moss stitch, but I chose to just start the sweater at the waist ribbing. This sweater worked out so well I would definitely do it again if I found another cashmere sweater to unravel!

It’s a really pretty versatile sweater that I can pair with quite a few outfits, but I couldn’t help but style it with a vintage style skirt I whipped up from the book Gertie Sews Vintage Casual!

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