One of the hottest fiber crafts around these days is making felted items out of thrift shop wool sweaters. A few months ago I visited our local GoodWill store and actually had trouble selecting which ones to buy, there were so many fantastic 100% wool sweaters! I left with 7, some in solid colors and others with patterns, having left behind only $16.00. All of these sweaters were like brand new. I put them all in the washer and felted them together, and they came out great. Here’s how I did that part:
Since this was my first adventure in recycled felting, I started out with small projects, cases for cell phones, ipods, or just little purses. I made three cases but have since sold one. The other 2 are pictured here. Because I’ve worked with garments for such a long time, I was able to cut these without measuring or using a pattern, but if you prefer, you can certainly do that. Here are the steps:
- With a pair of sharp scissors, cut the sleeves off the sweater. (Yes, it’s true, you can actually cut felted wool without raveling problems.)
- Select the portion of the sleeve, which is a tube, with which you want to form the body of the case. I used the part right above the cuff because I liked the way it tapered.
- Cut to size.
- Sew bottom seam. On the blue case, I used blanket stitch on the outside. For the green case, I did an inside seam that doesn’t show.
- Choose a closure method. I used a loop and button on green, and a drawstring, for which I cut very small slits, on blue.
- Make a strap or cord. I braided heavy multicolored yarn for both.
- Trim as desired. I left the blue case plain, and made an extra long cord for the green one so I could trim the sides with it, and frayed the ends for tassles.
These unique little cases make terrific gifts. Have fun with this! Use your imagination and get creative. Using recycled sweaters saves so much knitting time!