Repurpose, Recycle, and Reuse: Cutting Edge Creations From Cast-off Sweaterscomments (5) July 23rd, 2008
One of the hottest craft trends going are creating gotta’ have items from abandoned sweaters. Neglected and discarded sweaters can be transformed into both practical and fanciful items for pennies. Giving these orphan sweaters a new life is good for the planet and a tonic for the creative soul.
Felting (also known as fulling) will serve a dual purpose. First, by washing in hot water, you will dislodge dirt and odor which is especially critical with the thrift store treasures. 100% wool sweaters is the way to go as you will have wonky results if it contains a blend of synthetic fibers. I usually throw the sweater in the washer intact but there are some who swear by the dismantling method. They carefully take the sweater apart by the seams (when there is a sewn seam) providing them with finished edges on the pieces which will not unravel in the process.
Pack rat that I am, I don’t get rid of stuff and I often haunt yard sales and thrift stores, consequently I have a good stash of sweaters to experiment with. Remember this is not an exact science and results will vary during the felting process. Keep an open mind when you drop your woolies in the wash. If you initially have a distinct purpose for a particular sweater, it may not felt the way you envisioned. Don’t despair, you will find a use for it. When all else fails, the cat/dog will be delighted to snuggle with it!
The items you can make with felted sweaters are only limited by your imagination. Handbags, book covers, hats, toys, throw pillows, even “new” pieced sweaterjacks. There is a wealth of resources to get you on your way to recycled sweater heaven. Try your hand at this hot new craft and you may never knit again. NOT!
Craft Queen Stefanie Girard’s awesome new book, Sweater Surgery: How to Make New Things with Old Sweaters, about repurposing sweaters has just been released. Check out the accompanying website for a free pattern tasting and all kinds of crafty goodness. For more on Stephanie check out her other awesome blog.
Even More Resources!
- Second-Time Cool: The Art of Chopping Up a Sweater by Anna-Stina Linden, Katarina Brieditis Ivarsson & Katarina Evans
- Make a hat from craftster.com
- Beer cozies, quilt and so much more at instructables.com
- Check out Etsy for recycled felted creations you can buy
Knit well and often,