Friday, December 3, 2010
Woolen Mittens from Sweaters
Making mittens from sweaters is a project I have wanted to try for a while, but just never did. Until recently, when Christy sent me Martha Stewart's how-to link with video instructions. After watching, I thought, what could be easier? And cuter?
A perfect reason to take a trip to my favorite thrift stores in search for good wool sweaters. I found one that I was excited to try. It was 70% lambswool and 30% cashmere (the more wool, the better) from Land's End, and it was practically new. I liked how dense yet soft the blend was. I specifically looked for a sweater with a ribbed bottom edge, which would make a perfect mitten wrist.
I paid $3.98 for it. Even Chancho couldn't believe that deal.
I washed the sweater in HOT water, then put it in the dryer. It definitely shrunk, which is what you want it to do.
I traced my hand on a piece of card stock, then cut it out, adding about an extra 1/2 inch seam allowance or so.
I traced the mitten template onto the sweater.
Then it was time to do the unthinkable: cut a perfectly good sweater! I hesitated. I kept telling myself it would be worth it. Just cut it! Make sure to cut out two layers at a time. Then I pinned the mitten pieces, right sides together.
I was too impatient to sew them by hand, so I sewed them on my machine. I should have let the tension out a bit more because they got a little wonky. Is wonky the right word? Bumpy? Not perfectly smooth all the way around. But they weren't bad for my first try!
Andrew teased that they look like lobster claws because of the color and shape. They are a bit pointy instead of rounded. I definitely plan on making more and perfecting my technique. They really are warm and soft and I love wearing them!
What do you think? Isn't this a great way to recycle old sweaters and turn them into something new and useful? I love the beautiful mittens and hat that Alli at One Pearl Button made, shown below.
Go dig out those old wool sweaters that you never wear but can't bear to part with, and make yourself a pair of mittens. Or better yet, make a Christmas gift...