Sweaters, just like people, deserve a second chance in life. Right? Don't 'cha think? Forgiveness is a great thing. And so is recycling. 2nd chances are great all around!
Maybe that's why I loved the idea of this book I got out of the library last week. I just knew that I had to try it!! I didn't love any of the projects I the book, but I do love the idea - Taking old sweaters and turning them into something new. Mittens, scarves, cardigans, shrugs, purses, hats. I think it's one of those, "If you can imagine it, you can do it!" things.
So, here are the steps in case you want to try.
Yeah. In this case it isn’t, “Step one: Osh.” We are looking for sweaters people, not plants. So that’s what I did this past Saturday morning. I raided my local Goodwill and came away with three sweaters (and a cup and a very cute skirt) for $18.50. Not too bad. Not bad at all! Maybe I should hit up the Goodwill more often!
Another good place to look for old sweaters: Your cupboard. I found three sweaters in mine that I’ve either worn to destruction or that just aren’t in style anymore, but still have a lot of life in them.
So with six possible sweaters to work with I proceeded to…
Okay. I admit it. I'm a planner. Well, within reason. I like having a plan of action. I like knowing what the next step is going to be, even before I'm there, so for me this step was key.
So, while not necessary before going to step 3, I think this step helps immensely.
Wash ‘em! Felt ‘em! Block ‘em.
(So, why do you need to plan before you wash? Well, I didn't want to felt all of the sweaters I got, so you want to handle this step differently depending on how you are going to use the sweater.)
I’d never felted anything before, so this was a first time for me. I read the tips in the book, and a few online, and just went at it. I cannot imagine actually hand knitting something and then on purpose running it through the washer/dryer. I shudder at the thought. But something someone else made (or a machine made), I figured, why not. In this case I split mine half-sies. In any case, the book suggests if you don't know what you want to do, put the sweater through the washing machine on a gentle setting.
Yup. Wait. While the sweaters are washing, blocking, and drying, you have to curb your enthusiasm. This is also a good time to revisit Step 2 and do some more planning. Get the patterns ready. Depending on what you are doing
(Or it’s a good time to make yourself some lemon cupcakes! Or rice pudding. Or homemade pita chips… Or something like that…not that I did any… or, err… all of those. Nope. Not me...)
Take a deep breath and start cutting!
And then cut some more. And some more. Cutting up the felted material isn’t so tough. Just cut around the pattern. But on sweaters you didn’t felt, I tried to rip the sweater apart at the seams. That’s what I did on the grey sweaters, and although it was a little time consuming, it worked out well.
Sew it up!
Remember how I said I can’t sew well? It’s still true… But I tried. And I'm working on my sewing skills. Hopefully I'll get better with practice.
Wear it, share it, pair it.
Wait. Where's the picture for this step? Well... I'm only mostly done the projects I've been working on. The results from this sewing expedition will just have to wait for the next post... Or the one after that. We'll see how it goes.