Saturday, November 10, 2012

Happy Saturday!

Well, elections are over and my guy didn't win, but life will go on.  It may not be life as we know it, but it will go on.  Since the last few years have been occupied with political websites by my hubby (and to a somewhat lesser degree) me, I am finding that I need to throw out the old and bring in some new.   I've cleaned up my computer of lots of the news sites that I was following and have been delving into some new things. 

When not blogging or reading tweets, I go to the craft web sites.  As you know I have a page on Pinterest and I like to browse on Craftgawker and Etsy. If you aren't on Pinterest and need an invite, please let me know and I'll "hook you up" as they say.  I'm not sure if anyone still says that, or if it means the same thing these days, but that's another story altogether.

Keeping all this in mind, me looking for something new to try and such, I have been researching recycling sweaters.  I love to sew and I thought it would be fun to work with sweaters.  I have always wanted to felt a sweater but never realized that you could do it in the washing machine.  I recently got a new top loading washing machine (my old faithful front-loader finally needed to be replaced due to an unknown mold problem) and this top loader is great for felting because you can stop the wash cycle and look at the garment.

I hit the Goodwill several times looking for 100% wool sweaters and there are not as many as you would think.  I found a mohair monstrosity and a small cashmere twinset.  Almost all sweaters are cotton or acrylic.  Who would have known?  I did find a striped wool scarf/muffler that looked promising and something I was willing to cut into.  It's hard to destroy a perfectly good garment in order to makes something else out of it.  But anyway, onward and upward.

If you aren't familiar with felting (not to be confused with needle felting, btw) here is a quick tutorial.  The one thing I wasn't prepared for was the smell.  Remember that "wet dog" smell that your sweaters got when you came in from playing in the snow as a kid?  Yep, that's what hot wet wool smells like, even with detergent added. Not my favorite aroma.

Long story short, I felted my items and got the scissors and went to work.  There is a learning curve, to be sure.  After several hours I finished a felted sweater pillow and I kind of like it.

I have been seeing lots of sweater items with the seams on the outside for texture, so I mixed it up and little bit with some seams showing.  I made the star simply by placing a star template on the sweater and basting around it before sewing it on the machine, then I cut out the star shape.  Much easier than trying to sew around a pre-cut shape.  Learned that trick from making doll appendages.

While the last sweater was in the dryer I made two pin cushions that were fun.

The fish is simply cut out from a printed piece of fabric, sewed right sides together and turned. To do this, I split the back of the fish, turned it right sides out and added fiber fill, then whipped stitched it closed.  I attached an additional piece of fabric and ran a wrist band from an old pincushion and there you go.  The little hat shaped one is made with a jar lid as a base and a circle of fabric stuffed and tacked on to the base.  A bit of ribbon hides the boo-boos and it's ready to use.

While I haven't found the stash of sweaters one would need to make something like this...

I'm happy with the direction I'm taking.  Speaking of that monstrosity of a mohair sweater, a very large loosely knitted sweater when felted, turns into a dense heavy piece of fuzzy wool.  I didn't know about taking the sweater apart first, so this is what I ended up with.  What's next for it? Any ideas?

That's all for now.  Have a great weekend and stay healthy and happy.  I do have another project in the works and that will probably be next week's post. 

xoxo to you all.


Countryfolk Keepsakes said...

What fun!!! Ooooh... Make mittens out of old wool sweaters and sell them on your blog.
Hubs bought me an awesome pair a few years back at an art show. She even embroidered a lil' Christmas tree on each of the cuffs. I LOVE those mittens!
Your pillow is great. Love the colors. The pin cushions are too cute.
As far as the election goes, the pic in the upper right hand corner of my blog says it all.

Have a terrific rest of the weekend. Semper Fi, Darlin'!

Peri said...

Greetings from the land of "The votes have not all been counted in the 52nd Congressional District". Yikes, will this madness never cease?
I am so surprised that you would "get into" felting, because I just bought some yarn to make an item and then needle felt it! Don't know why, but decided to try it out!
Like the items you did, but doubt I would have the guts to felt a sweater!! As for the mohair sweater, how about making it into a felted purse and then making a beaded handle? You could probably get a cute little felted clutch with a beaded chain out of it.
Just a thought.
Your projects are always "cool" to me. Keep making stuff!!
Looking forward to the next post!

Beth Dunn said...

That pillow is so cute! Great job

Tina said...

Looks like a lot of fun to play with. The pillow is really cute.
thanks for your comment about Etsy. I'm giving it a respectable shot this time.

Carol said...

I just wanted say "HI" and thank you for commenting about the bald eagle on my blog. Our guy didn't win the election, either. Probably the same guy, but none the less, I'm glad it's over. I'm a former home economics teacher who had three sons and no daughters. Somewhere along the way I quite sewing for myself and now only sew for the house. Love Pinterest!!!

Kristen said...

I love that pillow, Susan! That dress would be a huge undertaking. I also cannot imagine how heavy it would be. Whew. I saw at the craft store a bunch of products that wool could be added too... slippers, purses, and other little things. Looks like a fun new offering to our crafty repertoire. Happy crafting and have a great weekend!