October 12, 2009

Fun with Felt(ed sweaters)

I have a bad track record with wool sweaters. I love them. I love wool clothing in general. Have you ever watched "To The Manor Born" I'd take every outfit Penelope Keith wears in that show, well, maybe not the disco era evening gowns, but all the wool sweaters and tweed skirts, ahhh, I love them. The problem is, I'm a lazy laundress. I have a hard time convincing myself that some things just can't be washed. Between a husband who thinks something worn for an hour or so is dirty to a daughter who turns out all her drawers every night, changes clothing three or four tines a day and doesn't understand that the laundry basket is for dirty clothes and not a re-shelving cart, I have enough sorting to do without worrying about wool.

So it's fair to say I've shrunk a decent number of wool sweaters in my time. And I cant help but hang on to them Because someday I'll use them, I'll stretch them back out by some miracle and wear them again, or they'll fit one of the kids. Something. Because I can't just throw them away!

And so when I was poking around doing some research for another writing project and came upon recycled sweater fingerless gloves I realized I'd hit the jackpot. I know, I'm late to the reuse-an-old-sweater craft thing. Who knows, maybe it just wasn't my time, maybe I needed to shrink more sweaters to stuff in the back of my closet so I'd be ready for it.

The fingerless glove thing went off without a hitch (and really, how can you go wrong with cutting the sleeve off and making a slit for your thumb?) but I was left with almost a while sweaters worth of felted fabric.There had to be more.

The Internet is a great thing. Did you know that if you type "felted sweater" into Flickr you get more than 5,000 photos? In fact, there is a "made from recycled sweaters" group! I know! Crazy!

So off I went.

I made a flower pin for my jacket.

A headband.

A coffee sleeve just in case I'm at the coffee shop (almost never) and they are out of wimp wraps (really never). The scraps got smaller and so did the projects.

Bows for Evelyns hair.

A bracelet made from the hem end of the sweater.

A dog bone for Nigella.

And with the tiniest scraps, some little felted acorn to tie on Christmas gifts. Or, you know, to just set in the window. At the end I was left with a pile of teeny little bits.

In a fit of craftiness I almost saved those too to stuff something at some unknown future date. But since I do not have a desk or storage for my in progress craft projects and I was kind of getting tired of little bits of grey felt, I decided I could let a few buts and pieces go. After all, there will be more sweaters pulled from the washer and cursed over. Sad but true.