Sunday, February 11, 2007

Goodwill is Great

I have never had the heart to intentionally felt my own knits. Part of the appeal of hand knitting, to me, is being able to say, "I made that!" for each and every little stitch. The thought of rubbing those individual stitches -- worked so carefully by my own hands -- into undefined oblivion is, well, unbearable.

The crafting potential of felt, however, is quite bearable and even delightful. Betz White's work is full of felted cuteness.

So why is the Goodwill store great? Because you can get 100% wool, non-hand-knit sweaters for cheap. In other words, knits that can be felted without grief!

I got these two beauts for just $10 total:

The gray ribbed cardigan started at 21.5 inches across at the bust and 25 inches long from the shoulder to bottom seam. The fair isle pullover started at 24 inches across and 27 inches long.

After one run through the washing machine on hot with an old pair of jeans for extra agitation, they looked like this:

The parts around the seams and zipper felted unevenly and buckled badly. It looked like they had felted enough to keep from unraveling, so I cut out the seams and zipper to give the fabric a chance to re-felt as flat pieces.

It was interesting to see the anatomy of a raglan cardigan when the side and sleeve seams were cut:

The pieces are back in the wash right now. I can't wait to see how they turn out.

Now to decide what to do with all this felt. Cute is not enough. It must still be practical. A cupcake pincushion would be fun. My iPod could use a sleeve. A bag or scarf would be quick and easy to whip up.

Have any of you made stuff from felted recycled sweaters?

Do you have any ideas to share?


Mozilla said...

ohhh la la! I love that colorwork sweater. I am dreaming of a bag with that. Wish I had the stamina to go goodwill shopping.

Oh well, another example of vicarious living through whatever you make with that

Christy said...

Seeing that gray sweater laid out like that is definitely interesting. I like the idea of making something for your iPod. You could make a small embroidery or button embellishment on it that would look really nice.