Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cashmere Coup

It's the holy grail of unravelers and I found it...a light-colored cashmere sweater with knitted seams! I had looked at the Thomasville Goodwill, Bloomingdeals Consignment, Oak Hollow Thrift Store, and finally found this one at the High Point Goodwill. Can't you even see the softness?

As soon as I touched it, I knew it was special. Then, I looked at the neck tag...Ann Taylor! Oooh, good sign. Then, I held my breath while I found the fabric tag on the side seam...100% cashmere! Then, I did a cartwheel (in my head). Then, I saw the sign above the rack of sweaters. "Management reserves the right to increase prices on name brand items." Then, I made a note to self: Do not gush to the sales clerk. Toss it on the counter as if it's nothing. Be cool, Carol. Be Carol Cool.


I think it's a DK weight yarn...a nice pale green color, suitable for dying whatever colors I choose!

It unraveled beautifully. This picture represents the entirety of the sweater. Very little waste yarn as you can see. In fact, I don't think I can bring myself to throw even that away. I'll use it for test dyes or maybe to have on hand in case I need an extra few yards to finish a project.

See the braided skein of yarn on the left? That skein alone would be about $15 retail! I think I've got at least $175 worth of yarn. I'm thinking 3-4 pairs of socks, a pair of fingerless gloves and maybe a hat or two. Or maybe a small scarf and 2 pairs of socks. Decisions, decisions!

There is one thing about unraveled yarn. It tends to be a bit unplied. That is, the four plys that usually make up a strand of yarn is looser than on new yarn. I've read about in on Ravelry and it seems the solution is to re-ply it with a spindle. They make it sound simple. I'm going to look into it.

Did I mention it was 100% cashmere?


  1. What a great find! It could have only been better if that size tag had been XL instead of S!

  2. This post was referenced on Ravelry. I've come in to some unraveled cashmere and am looking to overdye it and knit some socks and gloves for family who can't wear wool. Would you be willing to share about your dyeing experience and also pass on any tips about knitting things like socks with cashmere in regards to the differences between how cashmere and wool behave when knitted up. I've only ever used it in blends for lace scarves.

  3. Hi Marianne, Sure, I'd be glad to help all I can. (I'm taddiebee on Ravelry if that makes for an easier form of communication.) First, I think that cashmere is technically a type of wool, is it not? I'm just wondering if someone allergic to wool wouldn't also be allergic to cashmere? Anyway, I have two posts that told about dying wool with koolaid. ("Socks for Pos" in April and "Hat for Steelers Fan" in Feb.) I've since dyed cashmere with koolaid and it reacted just like regular wool. I would recommend just treating it as gently as possible, very little agitation when wet. I'm currently knitting a pair of socks out of a recycled 100% cashmere sweater. Their shown as a work in progress on my projects page (Cashmere Christmas Socks for Anna". Since cashmere is lots softer than regular wool, I am knitting reinforcement thread into the heels and toes of these socks. I got this reinforcement thread from It's made by Lang Jawoll. As far as the difference for how it knits up....cashmere and wool seem to knit up the same to me. Cashmere of course just feels like a very soft wool. The big difference to me is the feel of it. Hope this helps.

  4. thanks so much, I was afraid it would just grow and grow the way alpaca does! I'll check out the dyeing posts

    thanks again,