I've been having great luck at the thrift store here lately. Last week I found a 100% cashmere sweater that some poor soul had either tried to launder or had accidentally laundered. It was already partially felted, and since it was only $3.00, I decided to get it. I already had plans for it before I even got it home! I decided to make myself a pair of fingerless mittens for when I'm stitching or surfing the net and my hands get cold. So when I got home, I tossed it into the washer and washed it in hot water and then dried it in a hot dryer to felt it even further, and then I got busy making myself some mittens. Here's how I did it.
First, I tried it on for size by sticking my arm in and measuring about how long I wanted them to be. For me, this was about 8 inches. Next, I marked where I wanted the thumb opening. I cut the hole at the point where my thumb knuckle bone sticks out, and it was perfect; but this is largely determined by how much of your fingers you wish to cover.
I ended up turning them wrong side out because the outside got all nappy looking during the felting process. The inside remained nice and smooth and looked so much nicer, but now I had to deal with a seam. I decided to dress it up with a little blanket stitch. I also finished the cut edges and the cuff with blanket stitches as well.
Then I dressed it up with a sweet little flowery heart of lazy daisy stitches.
So there we have it! A pair of super soft, warm and cozy cashmere mittens made from a recycled felted sweater. I would have modeled them for you, but it's awfully hard to take a picture of your own hands! If you discover you have accidentally tossed your wool or cashmere sweater into the washer and dryer, why not recycle them? I think I even have enough left over sweater to make myself a cozy hat and maybe even some ear warmers or a headband. Then I'll have a matching set!
Happy stitching! (and recycling) :)