1001 uses for a wool sweater - Let's brainstorm! - Mothering Forums

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Old 11-15-2005, 07:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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My addiction to recycled sweater pants has turned into a problem - a storage problem. I have at least two large totes of wool sweaters, sweater bodies, sweater arms, sweater ribbing....Ack! Yet I can't bring myself to throw any of it away. I thought if we put our collective creative brains together, we could come up with some uses for the wool sweater leftovers, other than the obvious pants, shorts and soakers.

Here is my list so far:

1. Wool patchwork blankets I these, no real pattern required.
2. Stuffed animals Hmm, wonder what pattern I could use?
3. Playmats for bendy dolls. Selena's detail is amazing.
4. Cut sweater into strips, wrap into ball, and use as core for wool felt balls. Points for frugality.
5. Wetbag
6. Purse
7. Slippers/soft shoes
8. Hats and mittens. Link for mitten pattern.
9. Mama pad holders
10. Bean bags
11. Potholders
12. Braided rug. patchwork rug
13. Diaper bag
14. Backpack
15. Bags eg satchels/nappy bags - these wear really well
16. Toys/animals - teddy, sheep is good, depends on colour really
17. Rugs - pathwork or otherwise - again, if well-felted, should wear well
18. Jackets - think of those ones made out of woolen blankets with
blanket stitch around the edge
19. Growbag type sleeping bags, sleep sac or nightgown
20. Wool diaper liners
21. To co-ordinate with wool longies, try a square (or other shape) patch
of the felted fabric sewn to the front of a sleep top eg t-shirt or flannel
PJ top. Or as a trim eg around the hem.
22. Gnomes & stuffed pocket animals (and for the pockets!)
23. Sewing 'cards'-- cut two identical, simple shapes and give to
pre-schooler with a blunt needle and thin wool and let them whipstitch
together.
24. Baby's wool ball-- cut twelve pentagons and sew together with wool or
cotton floss, then stuff with unraveled wool sweater leavings...
25. Unravel them (the un-felted ones) if you knit, and they're gorgeous!
Directions at www.nouveau.com.
26. Nursing pads
27. Appliques for soakers, pants and shorts.
28. Wool skirt
29. Felted coasters
30. Felted beverage holder
31. Wool changing pad or mattress pad
32. Hot pads
33. Cat bed (my 1986 hand-knit-by-me mohair sweater has met this fate.)
34. Biodegradable plant mulch/weed barrier
35. Dog sweater, sheep sweater, goat sweater :-)
36. Gag gift: sew scratchy wool sweater into a negligee for a bridal shower.
37. Tea or coffee cosy
38. Tacky cover for kid's bike helmet
39. For a fly fisher, fly-tying material
40. Cage liner for a hamster :-) Mouse nesting material
41. Christmas stockings
42. Christmas ornaments

Ok, so I admit that I am better at finding other people's inspiring uses for wool than coming up with my own ideas (see item #4) , but it's a starting point.

So what ideas do you have? I'll add them to the list as mamas post!
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Old 11-15-2005, 08:07 PM
 
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Wow those are really unique and special! Good idea for a thread!

All I can think of are purses, wetbags (patchwork and non), slippers/shoes, hats and mittens. Mama pad holders. All things that are talked about here regularly. Oh. I don't have a pattern but I was going to use my smaller scraps for bean bags for a toss game.
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:58 PM
 
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I don't have any ideas to add. I am just glad to see that you have more than I do, Kari_mom. My favorite use for them so far has been obsessing about the best way to use it all for covers (longies, wrap styles, color combos, thread).

I guess if you get desperate, you could cut patches from each sweater and make a blanket. Then every time you look at the blanket you will remember this time in life. OOPS! I see that was your number one item. See how well I read?!?

BTW, do you make matching shirts to go with your longies to make "jammie sets"? I really like the longies I have made, but they do not really co-ordinate with DS's other clothes (yet).

Potholders?
Rugs? I remember my mom ripping strips of fabric (HUGE piles of fabric) a while back and braiding it (?) into rugs. It the sweaters are really felted, would they be "fray resistant" enough to do that - by cutting strips? Of course, who wants to put that great wool on the floor and walk on it??? And that would be really hard on your hands.

I have never known what Waldorf dolls were. But those playmats and waldorf dolls...if I ever show those to my MIL - she'd have 10 of them made by the next time I saw her. She would go crazy over those!

I guess I need to see what ideas others have. I have rambled on and don't have any of my own to offer.
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Old 11-15-2005, 09:59 PM
 
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Felt that bad boy in the hot wash and make it into a purse, diaper bag, backpack...holiday presents!!!
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:17 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Wow, see, everyone has great ideas, I forgot about slippers and wetbags. A rug would be awesome! I'm going to edit my list to add what everyone else posted.

our3boys, I look for plain color shirts, maybe with an applique or silk screen, at thrift stores for my son to wear with his longies. He pretty much wears longies anytime he is at home and to sleep in as well. I dyed some dharma t-shirts last year, but he still mostly wore just regular non-onsie shirts. I also look for plain neutral sweaters, I was excited to find a khaki sweater and an orange sweater for a little excitement. If I can, I make two pairs of pants from the same sweater so I can swap them all day and Jack's shirt still coordinates. And Selena's bendy dolls and playsets are amazing, aren't they?
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Old 11-15-2005, 10:24 PM
 
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A bit out there on this forum, but you can unravel the wool and use it for knitted projects!

Otherwise:
Bags eg stachels/nappy bags - these wear really well
Slippers incl. Robina type infant walkers
Hats
Toys/animals - teddy, sheep is good, depends on colour really
Rugs - pathwork or otherwise - again, if well-felted, should wear well
Jackets - think of those ones made out of woolen blankets with blanket stitch around the edge
Growbag type sleeping bags
Wool liners for nappies - heard this one somewhere, not sure how it would work

Also, for the co-ordinating aspect of wool longies, try a square (or other shape) patch of the felted fabric sewn to the front of a sleep top eg t-shirt or flannel PJ top. Or as a trim eg around the hem.

Cris
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:34 AM
 
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Wool liners go between the diaper and the cover for extra absorption.

I've felted sweaters and used them for--

Gnomes & stuffed pocket animals (and for the pockets!)

Sewing 'cards'-- cut two identical, simple shapes and give to pre-schooler with a blunt needle and thin wool and let them whipstitch together.

Baby's wool ball-- cut twelve pentagons and sew together with wool or cotton floss, then stuff with unraveled wool sweater leavings...

Duh! Unravel them (the un-felted ones) if you knit, and they're gorgeous! Directions at www.nouveau.com. My current hat and scarf are knit from a chic boutique sweater that I frogged.

I like the rug idea in pps... what about felting, cutting them into strips stitching the ends to make the right rug length, then weaving the strips and tacking by hand?

Another mama on the board sews them into sleep sacs or nightgowns for infants and toddlers with matching hats.
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:38 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kari_mom
And Selena's bendy dolls and playsets are amazing, aren't they?

Ooooh.... I just skipped over to her site, and the gnomes house looks like a great project for the next oatmeal carton I empty!
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Old 11-16-2005, 01:24 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Awesome! The list is growing! I might have an excuse to buy more sweaters.

Cris, what is a pathwork rug? I like your coordinating trim idea too.

klondikesky, thanks for posting about the piece wool ball, I think that will be a great Christmas present for my nephew. Did sewing your longies work out?
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Old 11-16-2005, 02:08 AM
 
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don't forget nursing pads and appliques for soakers! This is a great idea!

Mama to my little "autie", Jackson (2/02), Evie (5/03), Charlotte (6/05), Simon (11/07) and grieving our sweet Lily Dawn, lost at 18 weeks 9/4/09 , & having a little girl July 2010
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:20 PM
 
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The book, Mothers and Daughters at Home by Charlotte Lyons has instructions for a patchwork blanket and patterns for stuffed animals if anyone is looking for these. Here's a link: http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg...=1TUMGI7Y1SR2I

I love that crispina site! Soo inspiring!
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Old 11-16-2005, 12:23 PM
 
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StrawHatBrat made a gorgeous wool skirt and show set from a sweater. I think she posted it under serge, sew, embroider.
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Old 11-16-2005, 04:29 PM
 
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what about felted coasters, hot pads, felted mittens (trace around hand, leaving enough room to sew together, whipstitch or machine sew together), felted beverage holder (cut a rectangle to go over can, bottle, etc, and sew the seam) hmmm, that's all I can think of for now.

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Old 11-17-2005, 12:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kari_mom
klondikesky, thanks for posting about the piece wool ball, I think that will be a great Christmas present for my nephew. Did sewing your longies work out?
I've been down with an evil cold virus and so has the baby (along with several days of very angry teething), so sewing hasn't much happened yet... hopefully tomorrow. Thanks for asking.
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Old 11-17-2005, 12:59 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by klondikesky
I've been down with an evil cold virus and so has the baby (along with several days of very angry teething), so sewing hasn't much happened yet... hopefully tomorrow. Thanks for asking.
I hope you have a chance to sew soon, and those pesky teeth stop being a bother!

Yay! Glad to see more ideas! I added them to the first post. Thanks mamas!
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:12 AM
 
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Oooh, all the great ideas! I've been amassing a collection of wool sweaters from the thrift store to make into longies, but have been trying to figure out what to do with the leavings. Great ideas mamas! I think the wool ball will be my first!
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Old 11-17-2005, 01:59 AM
 
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childrens vests done with the same finishing as #18
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Old 11-18-2005, 02:14 AM
 
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Cat bed (my 1986 hand-knit-by-me mohair sweater has met this fate.) Matches our dear cat, too!

Biodegradable plant mulch/weed barrier

Dog sweater, sheep sweater, goat sweater :-)

Paper making (better for linen, rayon, cotton or hemp)

Gag gift: sew scratchy wool sweater into a negligee for a bridal shower.

Tea cosy

Coffee cosy

Tacky cover for kid's bike helmet

For a fly fisher, fly-tying material

Cage liner for a hamster :-) Mose nesting material
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Old 11-18-2005, 06:01 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SleeplessMommy
Cat bed (my 1986 hand-knit-by-me mohair sweater has met this fate.) Matches our dear cat, too!

Biodegradable plant mulch/weed barrier

Dog sweater, sheep sweater, goat sweater :-)

Paper making (better for linen, rayon, cotton or hemp)

Gag gift: sew scratchy wool sweater into a negligee for a bridal shower.

Tea cosy

Coffee cosy

Tacky cover for kid's bike helmet

For a fly fisher, fly-tying material

Cage liner for a hamster :-) Mose nesting material

I like how you think Mama!
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Old 11-18-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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Lat year I made Christmas stockings out of felted sweaters. You could make ornaments too(if christmas is your thing)

All the other idea's are great too.

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Old 11-18-2005, 12:49 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Sleeplessmommy, I can see you spend your nights thinking up crazy but resourceful ideas! I added them to the list!

Mavis, I would love to see your Christmas stockings and ornaments. Any chance you could share a picture?
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Old 11-20-2005, 11:16 AM
 
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Sure! I have to work today( and get them out of storage) but I'll link some pictures tomorrow.

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Old 11-20-2005, 02:37 PM
 
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Share them!
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Old 11-20-2005, 02:46 PM
 
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I just made a cat toy for my brother's cat out of felted sweater scraps. I cut two pieces in the shape of a fish, sewed them together and stuffed with organic catnip.
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Old 11-21-2005, 02:27 PM
 
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Hopefully the links work. There wasn't a lot of sun when I took the photo's.
I couldn't find the ornaments but I found the stockings. I didn't post my husbands stocking because the picture was bad. I guess that's what I get for snapping quick pictures....

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mavis77/65541620/

http://www.flickr.com/photos/mavis77/65541624/

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Old 11-21-2005, 05:51 PM
 
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OOhh Mavis those are beautiful. them!!!

great ideas ladies

:

natural birthin', baby catchin', cloth addicted, intactalactavist mama of 12/00, 6/03, 10/07, 8/10 & our angelcubs three
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Old 11-22-2005, 11:01 AM
 
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Thank you!

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Old 11-22-2005, 11:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Mavis, those stockings are so sweet! Great job! I posted this yesterday, I thought, the computer must have hiccupped.
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Old 11-23-2005, 12:28 AM
 
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Mavis, are the designs on the stockings your own or also recycled from other sweaters? They're beautiful!
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Old 11-23-2005, 10:54 AM
 
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Thank you!
My own designs.


What about making pot holders or oven mitts ?

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