Can You Reuse Crochet Yarn?

Like many of us, we all have several unfinished and abandoned projects, the same way we also crochet items we do not love. 

You keep calm as it is possible to reuse that crochet yarn. 

Today, join me in the extensive details as you learn how to unravel and prepare your crochet yarn for re-use with the confidence that you do not have to worry about anything.


Can You Reuse Crochet Yarn? 

Crochet yarn is re-useable. Working with it is difficult and impossible, as the unraveling period makes the yarn look wrinkled. Here, there are several things involved in re-using crochet yarn. The details are below.


Steps Involved In The Process

Two methods are involved in the yarn recycling process: lukewarm water and steaming. The following are the steps to prepare your used yarn for recycling to crocheting a beautiful item of your choice:


This method involves using lukewarm water to get your yarn prepared for use.


What Materials Do I Need?

While you work with used yarn, the following are needed materials:

  • the yarn to work with 
  • the crochet pin
  • any container
  • water
  • soap or wool wash (optional)
  • a batch or drying towel



Unraveling is separating the knitted or crocheted item into a single thread. Begin to unravel the item and wind it into a ball at even, winding it around an object to form a loop (you can skip this process and wind the yarn into a skein). You can use the back of a straight chair, but the perfect and best way is to use a yarn swift during this process. 

When you get to the end of the yarn, loosely tie the unraveled bundle in about 3 or 4 places to prevent the yarn from knotting, tangling, or twisting. 

Then, remove the yarn from the device used in winding and repeat this process for each ball of used yarn.


Have your container filled with enough cool or warm water to cover the yarn. If you decide to wash the yarn, use gentle soap in the water- this is optional. When the water is ready, immerse the yarn. Do not be nervous; dip the skein into the water until it becomes saturated, and leave it to soak for a few hours, as this helps wrinkles in the yarn to straighten.



After the yarn has been soaked in water, remove the skein and squeeze it to reduce the water in it. Then put the yarn in a batch or drying towel and press to drain excess water out of the hank. Then, allow direct drying by hanging.



After it is completely dried, you can rewind it into a ball or skein and prepare it for use. Refrain from over-stretching when leaving the yarn intact during the rewinding process, do not over-stretch.



This involves using an iron or a cloth steamer to reshape the yarn:


What Materials Do I Need?

  • an iron or cloth steamer
  • an ironing board



To work on the wrinkles of the yarn, use an iron with a steam control.  You can also use a clothes steamer to allow the yarn to get back into shape.

Ensure that you’re careful while using hot irons, do not leave a plugged iron without attending to it.



To prevent damaging any surface, the wrinkled yarn should be placed on an ironing board or any other surface that resists heat and if using a cloth steamer, hang your yarn from any hook source.



To steam your yarn, you can use an iron or cloth steamer, placing it above or not too close to the yarn. Repeat this process over the yarn on both sides. If the type of your yarn is acrylic, keep the iron or cloth steamer from coming too close to the yarn to prevent it from melting.



After steaming, the yarn is ready to use. Decide whatever project you want to embark on and start work.



After the whole process, it is best to measure the yarn length and WPI -wraps per inch before working with it all over again.

To measure the yarn length, use the niddy noddy and counting wraps. 

  • You can count out a few yards and weigh using the digital scale.
  • You can use a calculator using the formula for grams in each yard  (per yard) is the total weight per yard. If the yarn weighs 20 yards and is registered at 4g, it means the yarn weighs 4g in each yard(per yard). 


To measure the wraps per inch, use a good old plastic ruler

  • Begin to wrap the yarn around the ruler without overlapping. Lay each wrap close to another. The number of wraps it takes to cover an inch is your wrap per inch (WPI).


This recycling process is used for animal fibers such as alpaca, wool, cashmere, etc., and cellulose fibers such as cotton, modal, linen, etc. But you likely get a different result while recycling synthetic fibers as they vary in reactions.

Reusing yarn is time-consuming, and note that it will take about an hour or even more, depending on the quantity of yarn you’re working with. If your yarn requires more work, you’ll have to consider blocking – this is the process of re-shaping the yarn piece to ensure it regains its size and shape.


How Do You Unravel Crochet Yarn For Reuse?

Unraveling a yarn is relatively easy but before you begin to unravel it, note that fabrics or items that fall into the category can be used if they have a high wool content. 

The following are the essential points to note:

  • Ensure that the item or fabric isn’t felted, but if it has, you can as well felt it completely.
  • Ensure the fabric or item has no holes, as this will prevent it from unraveling. 
  • Due to the texture of the yarn, Check to see if the stitches hold onto one another. 
  • If the item or fabric has a halo, it becomes impossible to wind it into yarn balls, depending on where the hole is found. 
  • Like it shouldn’t be felted, ensure it isn’t worn threadbare. This means a part of the yarn is faulty.


Properly follow the following steps to unravel a crocheted yarn for re-use:

Step 1: Loose the woven yarn end

Before you start, find the end of the work using a wool needle with blunt edges to avoid yarn splitting and loose the woven yarn end in the finished item. This is likely to be difficult and time-consuming if the yarn is a fine yarn class.


Step 2: Undo the seaming

If the fabric or item is stitched, you should undo the seams before unraveling. You can cut through the yarn and see the ends. Then unweave the ends.


Step 3: Begin to unravel at the endpoint

To unravel, ensure you start from the endpoint where the crochet was finished and not where it began. Unraveling from the beginning of the crocheted item will cause the yarn to twist and tangle, which becomes a lot of work to fix it back into place.


Step 4: Wind the yarn

While you unravel, be sure to have the yarn winded in a straight form. You can use a winding device, a chair with a straight design, or folded shoulder-width-apart hand of yours or someone else’s. 


Step 5: Wound the unraveled yarn

After it has been unraveled, wound up the yarn by tying it in about four places to prevent it from knotting, falling apart, or tangling.


Step 6: Wash the yarn

After unraveling, it’s time to wash the yarn. Dip the yarn into the water in a bowl of tepid water mixed with wool wash or any desired washing cleanser. Ensure not to stir or disturb it to prevent felting. Leave it to soak well.


Step 7: Hang to dry

Now, take the yarn out of the water. Then, hang to dry. You can use hangers, ropes, or any other hanging means. The yarn wool stretches on its own, and this helps it to loose all the wrinkles. Do not towel-dry the yarn but ensure to catch the water draining out of the soaked yarn if it’s for immediate drying.


Step 8: Re-wind the yarn

When the yarn is dried, re-wind it into a ball, this can be done using a yarn swift and ball winder or a straight chair or hand-winding.

That was pretty simple and easy! You can now re-use the yarn to crochet whether you decide on it with zero stress.



Now you know how to prepare a crochet yarn and the steps involved in the process. It is also necessary to know that it takes a lot of time to unravel till it is ready for use. 

Be sure to unravel with care to avoid a double work situation, as this tends to be frustrating and discouraging.

Note that all these details are likely to vary in yarn types, but it’s just slightly different that you do not need to worry about.

If you enjoyed this, kindly share it with your family, friends, and colleagues.

Happy Crocheting!