Need advice on recycling a sweater

About 15 years ago I bought a sweater that I LOVED. It’s all wool, a cardigan, and has teacups knitted on it (I collect teacups). The colors are gorgeous. It had become pretty snug (I washed it and it shrunk a little) and has been on a shelf in my closet for awhile. Last night I had to dig in the closet to dispose of a mouse corpse (trust me–we knew there was one in there somewhere) when I found that my beloved sweater had been chewed some on the neck. First I pitched it but I felt sick about it because I really love that sweater and it bugged me all night. Today I saw on Martha Stewart that she had felted an old sweater and cut something out of it. I went outside and recovered my sweater, but I’m not sure what I really can do with it. Can I really safely cut it after it’s felted? Any suggestions at all for the use of it then? Maybe a small pillow? A bag? Anything? Any advice or words of wisdom or ideas at all concerning this is welcome!

Luckily you have a lot of options. Yes, you can cut a felted item very easily. You could make it into a beautiful purse or knitting bag. Depending how crafty you are & how much fabric is available,you might even be able to get a sewing pattern for a vest. Then you lay out the vest pattern pieces on the felted sweater & treat the sweater like fabric. If that sounds too daunting for you, maybe you could find quilter or sewer who would be willing to trade their work for a knitted item from you. Keep me posted on what happens. Julianne

You might want to felt it some more, so it is completely felted so the stitches won’t fall apart when you start cutting.

I did the same thing with a sweater I had made - it slipped itself into a wash and dryer load somehow. The end result was shocking to say the least! While I was pretty mad at myself (there was no way to blame anyone else) I had to admit that while the sweater (before washing) was the same size I’d knit it some 25 yrs ago, I have grown considerably heavier and it didn’t really fit well. Plus, being 100% wool it was too hot to wear so I hardly ever wore it except for long-term outside activities.

I pitched it in the good will box. Several days later realized I was half way thru knitting a purse to felt on purpose so I pulled it out and stuck it in with my yarn stash. I shopped around a long time looking for the perfect handles and soon will get started cuttinig it up and making a purse/bag. I think I can use the sleeves to make a 2nd bag, too.

It will be a nice cabled & bobbled purse. I expect I’ll use it way more then I ever wore the sweater!

How about felt it, cut it and make a pillow or purse!

Thank you all so much! First I thought of a pillow but now I keep seeing it as a bad. I know I can’t throw it away. I was pretty grossed out when I did before. I don’t know if there is enough for a front and back of a bag unless one side had the buttons, but buttons might be cute. I’m excited now! Thanks!!! I do have two bags on my needles that I intend to felt but I can’t wait to fix this one!

Love your name, Julianne! It’s the most beautiful name I’ve ever heard. I gave it to my daughter.

I’m not telling you to commit gross copyright infringement or anything, but before you felt it, while the individual stitches still show, you might be able to figure out the teacup pattern and put a version of it on something else.

By the way, the sleeves and ribbing make interesting bag straps. If the bottom ribbing will felt hard enough, you might not even need to sew it onto webbing.

Here’s to many more years of togetherness for you and your sweater, I have stuff like that, too!

I know I have an article out of a magazine on how to felt a sweater and turn it into a market bag but I can’t find it! I did google “felted sweater purse” and found lots of different styles of bags you can make from your beloved sweater!