Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Hidden Benefits of Spring Cleaning

I've been doing a little spring cleaning around Geddesburg and part of that task that involves cleaning out the closets and deciding what clothes stay, gets sent on to others, or have officially been worn out and hit full retirement age. But I have decided that there may be another category that I have yet to fully explore; recycling and re purposing.

I do some recycling now; old worn out t-shirts hit our rag basket and get used for general household cleaning until they are just too tattered to go any further. They do make nice soft dusting cloths. But this time I came away with two stacks of wool sweaters that might have other possibilities. I don't have any intention of unraveling any of these sweaters for the yarn itself, but I've been wondering about felting them down and using the felt for projects like bags, pillows, or even stuffed toys.

First up are the men's sweaters. I'm not sure how well these will felt. They are all wool except the bottom sweater, which is alpaca. Based on the fiber content, they should all felt. But the green sweater is really thick and the top two are color worked so they are thick in their own way too. I have a feeling that these sweaters will make their way to new homes or at least the local Salvation Army drop off point.

Now my sweaters might offer a little more promise. I think the striped sweater on top would make a fun project. A couple of them have very small holes that make them bad candidates for donation. I'm thinking that the striped one will be fun to felt and use to make a bag or hot pads. The sweater on the far right is pretty thick and I'm not sure that the color work will felt well, but I might just give this one a try. The white sweater is one of those with a small hole but it is 100% cashmere and it just seems wrong to throw it away or felt it.

I'd love to hear about any old sweaters you used or seen used in fun projects. I'm open to ideas. Let me know what you think should happen to this pile of old sweaters. Realistically though? These sweaters will most likely remain in the back of the closet until the next spring cleaning attempt.

9 comments:

Andi said...

That top men's sweater looks like it would make a great tote bag
1

Deb said...

Oh this is going to be so much fun to follow!!

turtlegirl76 said...

I'd end up doing the "realistic" choice. But felting is fun! Maybe the cashmere sweater could be the liner of a hat or a bag or something?

cpurl17 said...

I have a purse made out of an old sweater and a secret pal once made me a cute Christmas stocking out of a felted red sweater.

Bezzie said...

I'd try one of the husband sweaters. I think you might be surprised how easily they'll felt. The key might be to pretend like you really love the sweater in earshot of your washer and dryer...once they hear this they'll felt them for sure!

Zonda said...

I agree with Bezzie on hubby's sweaters LOL! Felt them down and see what you have. Or make cushions/pillows too. I do like that striped one of yours though, could be interesting!

Jewel said...

I can't wait to see what all you make!

Sara said...

I want to make aprons out of old wool sweaters. Can't wait to see what you come up with!

Jeni Q said...

Transform your sweaters into loveys:
http://teddylux.com/