Monday, March 03, 2008

Wooly Wooly

As a recent gift, I received a gift card to Border's. While there, I spotted the most delicious book by betz white. All about recycling old wool sweaters to make cute new things from them. As a self-proclaimed Thrift Shop Queen, I knew I was on to something here!
Above: Two sweaters before and after the felting process. You can tell how much shrinkage is going on.
How to "felt" wool sweaters? Pop them in the dryer with really hot water and 2 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid soap. The sweaters need to be at least 95% wool. Let them agitate for a couple of cycles, and take them out. They may be dried in the clothes dryer, but I hung mine out to air dry in the house.
On the left side is what the wild sweater looked like as the wearer wore it...isn't it jazzy? I toned it down by using the inside on the outside.
Once I got the pattern all cut out, it was time to sew, sew away. This wool is so soft to work with. And I also like to feel I am being "green" by using something old in a new way. It had been quite a while since I used a tissue paper pattern, and it challenged me to read a Simplicity pattern again...Their patterns are sometimes anything but.
Front and back view of the new backpack. That new mini spool knitting machine really made the green cording a was done in no time.
However, the large eyelets placed around the top of the opening were a huge pain. I hammered away as directed on the package containing the silver anvil and tool, but the eyelet just wouldn't get tight enough. Thank goodness for an antique metal marble coming to my rescue.
Can't wait to used my new wooly backpack on my next trip out when I need my hands free and don't want to lug around a purse that falls off my shoulder, and might be left behind when I get distracted. (Which easily happens!) Now that I know that I can do this, it's on to prettier sweaters that can be transformed into mittens, scarves, hats, cupcakes and such.


cellothug said...

Wow, I am amazed by your craftiness! Although by now, I suppose I shouldn't be. :)

Melissa said...

I have a handmade felted bag from our church's Crafty Angels group and always get compliments on it! Hope you enjoy yours. :)

The Witty Librarian said...

That's so neat- I think I might have to try it!
You are so crafty! :)

Jed and Anne said...

Wow, mom! That is so cool! I am so impressed with this craft of yours! I can't wait to see them in person!

Alli said...

Wow, I'm impressed too! That's so cute!