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Warm Fuzzies - using felted sweaters for amazing projects...

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 
The book is _Warm Fuzzies_, by Betz White. She's also got a blog with tutorials: http://blog.betzwhite.com/

I just got this book for Christmas, and I'm just in heaven. It's all about felting (intentionally shrinking) old sweaters and using it as beautiful wool felt to make toys, clothing, and gifts. I've tried several, and they're so wonderfully quick - once I'd found and shrunk the $2.50 thrift-shop sweaters, it took me 30 minutes to make a pair of mittens that are warm, natural, and really cute.

I'm surprised by how much I like this book. I used to be a purist - I can take a sheep and turn it into a pair of mittens, by way of the spinning wheel and knitting needles/loom, with the best of them, but I'm just delighted by how quick and attractive these projects are. If you want, you can make/needlefelt all sorts of embellishment. But I don't seem to have time to be the purist anymore, and this book is letting me get wearable things made, as opposed to just started.

I posted a picture of my finished projects to http://flickr.com/photos/25995446@N00/ - they're nothing spectacular, but I'm really pleased with them. Has anyone else made anything with felted sweaters? Now I'm wanting more inspiration!
post #2 of 27
Thanks for the link to the book and blog. As I said before, your work on flickr is just wonderful, a joy to browse through.
post #3 of 27
That book looks like so much fun. I need to add it to my ever growing list of books.
post #4 of 27
Very cute! Can you point me to more info or elabourate about the overdyeing?
post #5 of 27
I love all of the wonderful playthings that you have crafted, and those felted mittens are fantastic! I recently began making some wool felt play food from felted sweaters. There's a picture of some spaghetti and meatballs on my blog here.
post #6 of 27
Thread Starter 
Oooh! I LOVE those, Crunchyparent! :

And your blog has just amazing ideas! What a great resource!

I'm impressed....
post #7 of 27
Thread Starter 
For overdyeing:

I felt the sweater first. Then I cut it up into manageable pieces - an arm, say, or half the body (how gory!). I soak the piece in water - felt repels water, so it takes a while to saturate it. In the meantime, I have a big pot on the stove with hot water. I put a little vinegar in (half-cup or less) and a bit of dye in, maybe 1/8th tsp (I use Dharma Trading's acid dyes). Then I wring out the wet sweater piece, dump it in the pot, and stir with the heat on until it's soaked up most of the dye. Then into the washer for the spin cycle. If there's a lot of dye left, you'd need to rinse & spin one more time.

Kool-aid dying might well work too. Anything that works for silk playsilks (and there's a ton of discussion threads on those) will work for sweaters.
post #8 of 27
Thanks!
post #9 of 27
I'm going to have to check out that book.

Just a note on felted/fulled wool fabric. You don't have to stick to just sweaters or just knitted items. I've had a lot of success using woven wool skirts. I shrink them in the washing machine just like you would a sweater and go from there. I like skirts as there is usually a nice open expance of usable fabric.
post #10 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by isaberg View Post
Oooh! I LOVE those, Crunchyparent! :

And your blog has just amazing ideas! What a great resource!

I'm impressed....
Aw thanks! You made my day. I actually just recorded some video tutorials for crafts like felting soap and making wet felted/needle felted wool balls that I hope to get up on the blog very soon. DH and I are just trying to figure out the editing software. I'm always looking for new ideas and Mothering just has some of the most creative and crafty mamas around!
post #11 of 27
i'm looking forward to this book arriving at my library...
post #12 of 27
Love the hat & mittens isaberg and the spaghetti/meatballs crunchyparent!

I made a felted sweater mouse puppet and have instructions/photos on my blog.

I've been meaning to make some more things with the rest of the sweater, I think I'll check out that book for more ideas.
post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclectica View Post
Love the hat & mittens isaberg and the spaghetti/meatballs crunchyparent!

I made a felted sweater mouse puppet and have instructions/photos on my blog.

I've been meaning to make some more things with the rest of the sweater, I think I'll check out that book for more ideas.
Thanks...and I stumbled upon your blog (and bookmarked it) last month
post #14 of 27
Wow, there are some cute ideas in this thread! I am so sad that I've always given my wool sweaters away. I have had some really fun, colorful ones. I can't wait to scope out our thrift stores. I want to make a few little puppets or animals for V-Day.
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eclectica View Post

I made a felted sweater mouse puppet and have instructions/photos on my blog.


I love the felted mouse tutorial! That's next on my list, now. Thanks for sharing it with everyone!
post #16 of 27
I love seeing other craft mom blogs
here is mine to share
http://teachinghandwork.blogspot.com/
post #17 of 27
Very cool link! This past Christmas I went a little crazy making all sorts of things out of wool sweaters. Now I stalk all the thrift store sales for the pfect sweaters. Unfortunately I haven't posted any pictures yet on my blog, but some of the things I made are:

-misc. vegetables, fruit and cupcakes for ds's play kitchen
-a Christmas tree skirt (this project was actually my favorite & most inspired)
-garlands and ornaments for the Christmas tree
-a handbag complete with felt-orchid appliqué

I can't wait to check out that book for other great ideas!
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by slsurface View Post
Very cool link! This past Christmas I went a little crazy making all sorts of things out of wool sweaters. Now I stalk all the thrift store sales for the pfect sweaters. Unfortunately I haven't posted any pictures yet on my blog, but some of the things I made are:

-misc. vegetables, fruit and cupcakes for ds's play kitchen
-a Christmas tree skirt (this project was actually my favorite & most inspired)
-garlands and ornaments for the Christmas tree
-a handbag complete with felt-orchid appliqué

I can't wait to check out that book for other great ideas!
I really really want to see pictures and instructions for the Christmas tree skirt! That sounds so neat.
post #19 of 27
I made cupcakes! yummy!


http://teachinghandwork.blogspot.com/

I guess I should put them on flicker to show you, but for now you can go to my blog

and have you seen this? you have to click on the video part to see the show on your computer....very cool
http://www.marthastewart.com/portal/...ps&rsc=image_1
post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bradley method mom View Post
thank you!
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