The Un-Knitting Machine turns your sweaters back into yarn


Throughout a lifetime it is possible to rack up a whole lot of sweaters. If you consider each and every holiday season you get around three, multiply that by 80 and you’ve got yourself a lot of cheesily-themed outwear(This goes triple if you are in the Cosby family.) What if you are tired of wearing sweaters you got at age 20 that feature cross-stitches of cats and Christmas trees? It’s not as if you can deconstruct a sweater and transform it into something else like so many Legos! Well, according to this new device, now you can.

Meet the “un-knitting” machine, a pedal-powered apparatus designed to recycle unwanted knitwear. This mysterious device is the brainchild of Imogen Hedges, a London-based product-and-furniture designer who found the process of unraveling sweaters by hand to be a most time-consuming one indeed. It’s built around an old bicycle frame and it works sort of like our favorite bipedal vehicle. The “un-knitter” sits on a chair on one end, unraveling the garment as it’s pulled along the circumference of the wheel. Pretty soon, voila, you got yourself a heap of usable fabric. It even gets rewound into a ball for easy knitting.

It is just a working concept design for now but should you be so inclined you can check out the machine as it will be on display at the National Centre’s roof gallery from November 10 to January 6. Let us know what you think and, more importantly, what you are going to do with all of your unused sweaters!