Wednesday, 21 December 2011

Recycled Jumper Mittens

Can you tell that Patty just bought the Hipstermatic app for his new i-phone?! I love how he has managed to make this image poignant and contemplatory, when actually all that was going through my head was, 'Shit I'm freezing, where's the poxy train?'!

What it does show is how genuinely useful my recent mittens creations are. My boss bought this pattern from Etsy with an eye to finding a use for all the felted up and moth-eaten knits we receive. Oh, how we have used and abused this pattern! We've made a stack of them in all different colour/pattern/texture combinations.

This particular pair is my own. My boss gave me this felted up leopard print cardigan ages ago, knowing how into animal print I am. I was planning on cutting it up and using sections 'cut-n-shut' with other knit or sweat to make a new jumper or cardi. However, I haven't got round to that and the inspiration for how to approach that has been lacking, so most of the cardi became these mittens instead.

The outer mitten is made from three main pieces, plus the ribbing harvested from the initial cardi/jumper/sweater. The lining is made from the same three main pattern pieces, but stitched together with a slightly wider seam allowance so that the lining ends up a bit smaller and therefore fits better inside the outer mitten part. I used parts of a purple cashmere jumper that moths had attacked for the lining which makes them soooo soft inside. Because these don't use very much fabric and the pattern pieces are quite small, it's quite easy to harvest the usable parts from stained or moth eaten woollen garments that would otherwise be heading to the textiles recycle bin.

As you can see, my leopard mittens are made by using just one garment for the outer sections. But you can have lots of fun messing around with different combinations if you have a few unwanted/unwearable woollen garments at your disposal. Here's a small selection of the pairs of mittens I've made over the last few weeks:

The pattern also includes mens and childrens sizes. I'm really into making these as gifts, because people tend to be a bit more open to wearing crazy mittens when the flash of colour is limited to a small part of their whole outfit.


If, like me you are skilled in the art of unintentionally felting woollen jumpers, then you're in luck! You can give me new life to that unwearable garment whilst being comforted by the knowledge that shrunken, felted wool makes for warmer and more weather-proof mittens than unfelted wool! My felted leopard ones are so toasty. I'm never going to discard the results of my shrunken laundry accidents ever again!

12 comments:

Tors said...

Hahaha, finally something I can show my mum so when she felts everything she can still use the ruined fabric! She's killed many an item of mine (last year she killed my Nora Batty socks) and I regularly used to buy clothes a size too big as she'd not only felt but shrink stuff too.

Loving your leopard skin mittens, they are very you dahlink! Maybe I can get mum to make me a pair from the next jumper she ruins ;)

guionbajo said...

been there, done that! now buying second hand woollen sweaters intentionally to felt them ;-) greetings from Poland from a keen reader :-)

Magia da Inês said...

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°º♫✿ ♪FELIZ
°º✿ NATAL!!!
º° ✿♥ ♫° ·.

molly said...

Such a good idea for gifts! I'll have to store this idea away for next year, as I've already made and given all my gifts for this year. I might need to have a look around the sweater section of thrift stores more now.

AvaTrimble said...

That looks like a great pattern? Where would one go to purchase it?

Jo Campbell said...

Have added that Etsy pattern to my favourites for buying later - will definitely be trying these out.

charlotte said...

Utterly the BEST!! I am heading to etsy now to get that pattern.

Bunnykins said...

What a good idea! I have a zip front cardi of boiled wool that the cleaners shrunk. Knew I should have washed it. It's the most glorious colour of orange, so I've hung onto it waiting for inspiration. I was going to trim a navy jacket to wear over my navy with orange paisley (not that loud, really) and just might have enough to do that AND make mittens. Perfect!

Alessa said...

Haha, how totally cool! I love the striped ones and the fair isle ones! This would also be a cool idea to use up leftover wool scraps from my teal wool dress...

Len said...

These are brilliant! I know the face in that first photo all too well... Arriva Trains Wales causes me to make that face all too often! At least the mittens came in handy :)

Thank you so much for the lovely comment on my blog the other day, it made my day! Hope you have a fantastic Christmas and hopefully I shall see you at the forum next year :D xxx

lathelize said...

Love your mittens! Who did I already finished my christmas presents! I'll keep the idea for 2012

mienkintoshfairie said...

Such cool mittens, and stylish to boot

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