I have been clearing out my life a bit of late - and that included my crafting stash. Originally, I thought this piece of knitting was going to be a scarf of some type - but that was when I first started back into knitting, and as I knitted along I realised that basically it was... bloody horrible...the wrong colours, stitch, needle size - just look at it - argh!
Anyhoo, I've hung onto this - not to remind myself that I'll never be a knitwear designer - but more that the 100% wool could be recycled and used for something else one day - like one of Loani Prior's tea cosies (see here).
So how do you do this? If you've ever unravelled a knit project - you'll know that the wool gets all kinky and unmanageable (as the wool has memory and takes the shape of the stitches you've knitted) - this is where the technique 'frogging' comes into play. I'm guessing the term comes from soaking your yarn in water...
Firstly unravel the knitting: Do this gradually, otherwise it will be a massive mess and you'll want to just throw it away. Wind into a ball first - then wind onto a back of a chair, a friend's hands, a big book or a skein winder. You could also go straight onto the back of a chair to make skeins, like I did (bypass the middle man I say). The idea is to create a big, manageable loop. Don't wind too tight either - you need to get it off.
Tie the skeins so they won't tangle. Lay the skein flat so that it forms a circle. I used scraps of contrasting yarn to tie around so that it keeps it all neat and together. Tie the scraps of yarn LOOSELY (otherwise you'll just create more kinks) around the bundles in two to three places.
Soak the skeins. Soak in enough lukewarm water to completely cover the skeins. Soak for at least twenty minutes, long enough for the water to permeate all the fibers. Do not agitate or rub or mangle the skeins! If you have a small sink, like I do, then you may want to soak only one or two skeins at a time to minimize the chance of tangling.
GENTLY use a towel to pat/squeeze out excess moisture. Gently, gently, because you don't want to damage the fibers or risk felting woolly yarns.
Hang the skein to dry. Use a plastic hanger (I used wooden ones for the pretty pictures), and drape the skein around the neck of the hook; let it dry thoroughly out of direct sunlight. The weight of water and the yarn itself will straighten things out.
Once the yarn is thoroughly dry (and I mean THOROUGHLY), it is ready for its next project! For peeps who like to repurpose - you would do this for hand knitted items you might find at garage sales, thrift stores etc in order to reuse the yarn.