Remember that awful ruffle scarf phase a few years back? Well, now that the flash-in-the-pan novelty yarn trend is over, many stores are closing out those ruffle yarns at low, low, prices. Some are going for 90% off, yet not a single taker. Yeah, I wouldn’t touch that stuff with a ten foot pole even if they gave it away.
But wait! There’s still hope for some of these yarns! You can actually unravel these monstrosities and get usable laceweight or fingering yarns for cheap! It sure beats digging through the thrift store for secondhand sweaters that may or may not have been worn by not-so-clean individuals. Trying to remove someone else’s body odor from a sweater is the pits! (pun intended)
Chainette yarns, as you may recall, are yarns that mimic an i-cord. Some examples include Louisa Harding Kashmir, Berroco Flicker, Rowan Lima, Classic Elite Chalet, and Cascade Eco Duo. Nice yarns but I wouldn’t unravel these since you’ll end up with SUPER thin strands which would be more suited to weaving and machine knitting. Doable but it will take a very long time to manually wind them up.
What you want is the super bulky stuff, preferably with a lux fiber content and even better if it’s low priced. Here’s where it gets tricky. (because, why would anyone sell luxury fibers for cheap, right?) Well, they’ll be highly discounted if nobody wants them and that’s where the novelty yarn thing kicks in.
Yes, there were many acrylic, polyester, nylon blends but some of the bigger yarn names like Rowan and Schulana jumped on the novelty bandwagon too. And they didn’t use the synthetics but went for kidsilk mohair and silk. Kidsilk Creation and Kidsilk Aura from Rowan, Kid Setair from Schulana are all super bulky yarns that can be found in your local yarn shop’s clearance bins. All are 50g skeins and all of them are super kid mohair-silk blend chainette yarns. If you check the going rate of Rowan Kidsilk Haze, it is $15/25g. Considering I was able to buy all these chainette “kidsilk” yarns for approx $6/50g. Let’s do the math – that’s a savings of 80%!
Another famous-for-novelty-yarns is Berroco (They always seem to include a novelty yarn in their lineup for some odd reason) and they had an “interesting” mesh tape yarn called “Glee” made up of 70% wool and 30% nylon. At only 6 yds/80g, this thing was asking to be discontinued. I picked some up when it was sold for a whopping $1/skein. This one yielded fingering weight yarn when unraveled.
Now to take these bad boys apart. Take one end of the chainette and pull on the laceweight strand which will begin to unravel the loosely knit i-cord quite easily. Now, using your ball winder, crank away! After what will seem like an eternity (since you’re winding approximately 458yds), you’ll have a nice caked skein of laceweight all ready to go. Now, repeat the process til you have enough for your project and feel smug knowing you got this quality laceweight yarn for cheap!