Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Felted Sweaters

tongfengdemao commented on my post about recycled yarn with this:
Do you know if this will work on a sweater that shrank? I have a cardigan I loved and it shrank and I bet there'd be enough yarn to make a vest that fits.

Unfortunately, the answer to this question is No. When a wool sweater (or any knitted item) shrinks in the wash, the individual fibers get matted together and become impossible to pull apart without ripping.

This doesn't mean that a shrunken sweater is garbage. If you don't know anyone small enough to wear it, you could buy an inexpensive teddy bear or doll, dress them in the shrunken sweater and you have a gift.

Or you could cut big squares out of the front and back and stitch them together to make a pillow. Repeat with the sleeves for a smaller pillow.

Ellen of the long thread has done several recycled crafts, including some that involve shrunken sweaters (scroll down). two kitties has quite a few felted sweater projects.

Google "felted sweater" and you'll get tons more ideas.

Any other suggestions?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Recycled Yarn

I have several projects of my own in store for you as soon as I can get my act together. In the meantime, here's a link to one of the basics.

Maybe you've unraveled a store-bought sweater to re-use the yarn. Maybe you've heard that such a thing could be done, but had no idea how. Ashley of Nouveau Fiber Arts has an excellent tutorial on how to unravel a sweater to recycle the yarn. I followed it myself to turn an XXL Ralph Lauren men's sweater into yarn, which I then turned into a cream-colored cardigan for the office. I got the original sweater at The Salvation Army and I call the sweater I made my $4 sweater. I have several others waiting for the recycling treatment. 

Ashley is having a sale on wool roving and locks and recycled yarn right now, so even if you don't want to do any yarn recycling yourself, go visit her and do a little discount shopping.

Whether you need yarn for knitting, crochet, weaving or children's art projects, recycling yarn is a great and frugal way to increase your yarn stash. 

Thanks, Ashley, for a great tutorial!