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Honour the Child

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BTRT Patterns (on Etsy)

Monday, 5 October 2009
When I get the chance, I comb rummage sales and second hand shops for wool sweaters I can felt and recycle into all sorts of projects. Usually my projects involve cutting said sweaters into strips and pieces, sometimes with regret!

I found some real gems at a recent church sale, and I was loathe to chop them up. I think they were loathe to *be* chopped up and conveniently shrunk themselves from adults sizes (large!) to preschooler size! Woohoo!

So I only chopped them a little bit. ("Maybe little pinch?")

Removing the too long/ too warm sleeves left me with two sweet and kind-of-funky vests for Rowan. While the orange one requires some growing into (and I may needlefelt some embellishment on it) the spring green cable knit is *perfect*.

Easy peasy lemon squeezy!

1) Find an attractive wool sweater and count on shrinkage of 1/3 to 1/2.
  • look for 80% + wool
  • some wools have been processed and will not felt~ lambswool is about 50/50 in my experience and special fibers like mohair, angora etc. usually won't, but enough wool and you should get good results. Medium weight sweaters are your best candidates. The old Woolrich sweaters felt well and often have cutesy patterns. GAP and American Eagle also are good bets.
2) Toss in the washing machine on HOT and high agitation. Throw in a pair of old jeans (that won't mind the heat) for good measure and add a capful of dish soap.
Check when the rinse cycle begins (cold rinse is fine)~ if the sweater has tightened up enough (size wise) let the load finish out and toss it is the dryer (all the things your mother taught you NEVR to do to wool!). if it looks like it needs more felting, add more soap and restart the hot cycle. If you run it twice and it is still not felting, you have a dud on your hands!

3) Check the sleeve attachment~ if the sleeves have been sewn to the garment, just make a snip under the arm and pull the sleeve away by loosening the stitches. A raglan sleeve or one more integral to the body will require a judicious cut in the place of your choosing. Tidy up the edges (a run through wash again should felt up any loose edging). And there you go!

Warm, wooly and chic!
And they work well with upcycled tshirt dresses from CourtneyCourtney (pictured).


angela said...

Oh, she's just adorable!

And I've got an Einstein sweater that I'd love to use--have to think of an upcycle idea b/c it felted accidently too much and won't ever fit anybody. And contained handpaints from Brown Sheep...

FairiesNest said...

So cute!

Krystyna81 said...

such a great idea! I may have to try this with some of my old sweaters

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