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Converted Bicycle Unravels Old Sweaters To Knit Something New

This elaborate contraption recycles old woolen items by taking them apart and re-purposing the yarn into alternate creations.

Alice Chan
Alice Chan on November 16, 2012.

The National Center for Craft and Design has selected the un-knitting machine as one of the best student design projects of 2012. This highly unusual bicycle, designed to help recycle unwanted woollen clothes, unravels any clothing item back into its pre-knitted form.

Created by Kingston University’s Imogen Hedges, the student designer reveals the starting point for the project came from the discovery that some charity shops devote hours to unravelling home-knitted jumpers. The 22-year old from London’s Kingston University explains:

My grandmother spent a lot of time knitting sweaters but my mum threw them all away once we’d outgrown 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.

The un-knitting machine is based on pedal power and built around an old bicycle frame. The un-knitter sits on a chair pedaling and wool passes through steam coming out of a kettle before being collected on a spindle. The yarn can then be collected and sold in neat piles. Watch a video of this unique un-knitting machine below.

The Un-Knitting Machine

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