My first project was with two pairs of holey jeans. I wasn't sure what I was making, I just had a couple ideas in mind. I tried a couple different size needles and ended up having to use my size 50 needles because the jean was too thick for anything else. I was hoping to make a bag of some sort, but the jeans I had didn't go that far. I ended up with a longer cowl-ish, necklace-ish thing. Haha... I was thinking if I add some flashy embellishments it could fit in on Etsy. So, while not what I had in mind, it's certainly not a failure either.
Next I had a pair of PJs that were too small for my daughter. I was able to make a cute little lightweight scarf for her. She thought it was hilarious because she could have people touch what they thought was a scarf and then tell them it was her pjs :-)
So, after cutting and knitting a couple of items I learned some things about working with recycled materials. The most important is to cut out all the seams, pockets, and lumpy parts. I tried working with the seams on my first two and came across two problems. The first being that, especially with jean, it's just too lumpy. Secondly, with the pjs, the seams can become unraveled during knitting and leave you with a hole.
After I cut out all the lumpy parts I start cutting my strips. I try to make the longest continuous piece possible, using the "z" way of back and forth cutting. When I have all my strips I make a ball out of it, just putting ends of strips together, not knotting them together.
I've started on my first unraveling too. The yarn is pretty thin, it was quite difficult to find a starting point, and the process itself is very tedious. I'm not sure how many more unraveling's I'll be doing because my fingers are starting to hurt!