So you might find this surprising, but Christmas is only sort of a big deal to me. I don't celebrate it religiously (or irreligously, lol). I believe Jesus is God and was born, but historically and biblically we have no proof it was in the middle of winter. Being during a census, I kind of doubt it, actually. So I use it as a holiday to enjoy food, family, and innocent fun and happiness. :) So Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and all the rest to you!
On to the Goodwill sweaters... I bought two sweaters from there a while back to frog. One was 100% cashmere. I tried to frog it the other day andddd... heh. It was sewn in a strange way WITH THE YARN IT WAS KNIT WITH, a laceweight. Try as I might to decipher which strand was the right to cut, I kept making holes. So I decided to change my plans. It became recycled cashmere baby clothes! I got a lot out of it and learned a lot about sewing cut up sweaters. Like, super low presser foot pressure, and the simple knit overcast stitch were the best way to not stretch it more than I had to. (Some of the earlier things are a little funky, but the more inportant stuff turned out good) And how far a ladies M sweater can go! (See pictures at end) I got a dress, short sleeve pullover, longies, two hats, two coin purses, and stuffing for a toy ball out of it! Ribbon from my sewing basket and Lion Brand Amazing used on dress and crocheted ball, respectively.
The other sweater was 45% angora, 40% lambswool, and 15% nylon. It was softer and more beautiful than the other, and a ladies L in fingering weight. It unraveled nicely! BTW, for a good tutorial, what got me started, check out http://neauveau.com/recycledyarn.html . I got a decent amount of yarn out of it, but had to knot it a bit because it became unspun/unplied as I unraveled it. I think it is going to go for a whirl on my wheel soon. It had a neat collar that I edgestitched instead of unraveled, so now I have a soft neckwarmer I can pin all in a few minutes of work! Yay!
So both success and failure in unraveling can yield great recycled results! :D