Something old, something new

Something old, something new. Something borrowed, something blue.

That something is a sweater. Yes… you read correctly: Sweater. Old sweaters. New sweaters. Borrowed sweaters. And—you guessed it—blue sweaters.

All kinds of sweaters. Now that it’s (unofficially) spring, you can clean out your closet and drawers and look for sweaters. Perhaps you received one for the holidays that just doesn’t fit quite right. Or maybe your ex-(insert gender)-friend gave you a sweater that you can’t stand wearing anymore yet can’t bear to part with either. And you probably lost weight and want to get rid of the last vestiges of your former, fatter self.

Whatever the reason, I know you have sweaters lying around. And it’s a good thing that you do, too. Because for a nominal price ($30), you can take that old sweater of yours and turn it into a hand-made, one-of-a-kind, specialty item, created with love from a mom. Haik’s mom. Who? What? How, you ask? It’s simple. It’s called Reknit.

I was able to ask Haik Avanian, creator and collaborator of Reknit, some questions about this exciting new venture unraveling with his mom, Mrs. Avanian, and his sister, Ani Avanian. Mrs. Avanian has her hands busy with yards and yards of yarn, each month coming up with a new, fun and utilitarian item made from old sweaters. Each month, 30 sweaters are unraveled and knitted into something new, voted on through the company’s website and the Reknit Facebook group (you can also check them out on Twitter).

Gaby in Green: Can you tell our readers a little bit about Reknit?

Haik Avanian: My mom and I have wanted to collaborate on a small business that would involve knitting for almost a year. When she got the idea of including the upcycling aspect, we sat down and created the site in about a week over the holiday break and launched in early January. It’s been going fairly strong ever since, now in its 4th month!

GiG: How did the idea come about?

HA: The idea was definitely my mom’s. Reknitting is more or less normal in our culture (we’re Armenian), and I think my mom realized that this idea could become popular here because it’s so simple and resourceful. I do the design and maintenance on the website, and my sister does all the product photography.

GiG: Do you also knit?

HA: I currently can not, but have asked my mom to teach me next time I visit her in Boston.

GiG: You mentioned that Reknit’s business model is based on upcycling. What are some other eco-friendly initiatives that you are currently doing with Reknit or are thinking about doing?

HA: We’ve gathered a fair amount of left over yarn from some past Reknit projects—some people choose to donate it for use in future projects, some don’t ask, so we’ve been trying to come up with something interesting to do with that.

GiG: Where do you and your mom envision taking Reknit? How do you plan on growing your business and getting the word out there?

HA: I think right now we’d like to keep it going the way it is. I’ve been contacted by many knitters who would like to join in on the “moms” side, but managing that situation would increase the complexity of this project too much. One potential way this idea could grow is via a separate site that would act as a platform between other knitters and potential re-knit customers.

GiG: Give me a haiku about reknit.

Knitting on the bus,
Knitting in the subway train,
I am sorry, mom

GiG: Any additional, thoughts, ideas or musings you’d like to share?

HA: I’d love to hear any suggestions for how to improve our project, or where it could go in the future!

Pictures used with permission from Haik Avanian, ReKnit
3 Responses to “Something old, something new”
  1. Gabby says:

    id never heard of reknit before! these accessories are so pretty in their own right, id buy them on looks alone even if i weren’t trying to shop green.
    this reminds me of a great blog ive just discovered from your side of the atlantic… danny seo? ( i love his ideas for ‘upcycling’ stuff 🙂

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