Use a Bicycle Wheel to Unravel Old Sweaters Back into Yarn

You've got your hat made from a rocking chair, and your scarf from a clock: now what to do? Unravel them and make something new.

And how better to do that than by using a bicycle wheel and a tea kettle. How very English.

Created by Imogen Hedges, a student at London's Kingston University, and noted in pfsk, this Rube-Goldberg-like machine is based on pedal power and steam. And an important environmental realization.

Her starting point for the project was the discovery that some charity shops devoted hours to unravelling home-made sweaters:

They can make more money out of selling the wool than they can from the sweaters.

It's funny but serious. Hedges won a prize for the un-knitting machine. The machine is made out of an old bicycle frame, a kettle, a spindle, and a stool.

The un-knitter (?) sits on a chair and pedals the bicycle wheel while the wool passes through steam coming out of a kettle. The wool is softened as it passes over the steam.

The wool is then collected on a spindle.

As she explains:

My grandmother spent the whole time knitting sweaters but my mum threw them all away once we’d grown out of them because she didn’t think anyone would want them. With my machine you’d be able to take them apart and knit something new.

Use a Bicycle Wheel to Unravel Old Sweaters Back into Yarn
Here's a way to recycle old sweaters into something new--using a bicycle wheel and a kettle.

Related Content on