Fallon County Timely-Tips

Timely Tips: Recycled sweaters make wonderful mittens

Timely Tips: Recycled sweaters make wonderful mittens

By Sherry Vogel

Somehow that wonderful wool sweater got tossed in the laundry with the machine washables on the hot cycle.

As it comes out of the dryer it is three times smaller than it was.

Don’t worry you have just completed the first process that a mitten maker intentionally takes to create a pair of up cycled mittens.

In fact, even if you haven’t accidently shrunk wool or 100 percent Shetland wool sweater you can choose to shrink a favorite old sweater that you or your children have outgrown and recycle it into a pair of cozy warm mittens.

Follow these easy steps.

1. Choose an old sweater. Tip: The thicker the sweater the thicker the final felted product.

2. Launder sweater in hot water on your washing machine’s “normal’ cycle, using a normal amount of detergent. Dry on high heat. The final product will be a significantly, tighter-knit garment with visible felting.

3. Using your scissors, cut along both sides of the sweater to produce two easy-to-work pieces of felted wool.

4. Make a pattern. Trace the hand of the person you are making the mitten for on a piece of paper.

5. Arrange the paper pattern on the sweater according to the desired layout. Tip: Line up the palm piece and the back piece with the sweater’s hem.  Pin in place and cut out. Remove the pins and flip pattern pieces to cut out shapes for opposite hand.

6. With insides facing together, align each mitten’s finger and palm pieces with the thumbs pointing up. Pin in place. Using steel yarn needle (size 16) and worsted-weight yarn (approx. 5 feet for child; 7 ½ feet for adult mitten) blanket stitch along the seam where the top and bottom pieces meet the thumb, stopping at the base. When finished stitching across the seam and around the thumb, tie off your row of stitches with a knot tucked inside what is now the thumb.

7. Now with outer sides of fabric facing together, align palm and back pieces, and pin in place. Blanket stitch around the outer seam of each mitten. At the points where the top and bottom palm pieces meet, take extra care to ensure that your horizontal stitch (i.e. the yarn threaded through your vertical stitch) runs snugly over the beginning and end points.

8. Now when you are finished stitching around each mitten, tie off your row of stitches with a knot tucked inside the wristband.

(The instructions for sewing the mittens came from the Nov/Dec 2013 issue of Hobby Farm Home.)