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Topic: Ugly Sweater -> Manly Mittens  (Read 2065 times)
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Andi.Devine
« on: December 29, 2009 12:20:37 PM »

Unnecessary back-story (feel free to skip!): So, every month my church hosts an "In-Town Movie Night" where we show a movie and serve a meal to the homeless in our community.  In December, we also give a "gift-bag" which consists of a scarf, a hat, gloves, some toiletries and some little snackies.  So I generally make a scarf or three but this year I decided to make a hat and gloves too... despite not having the foggiest how to do either.  The hat was easy, brown yarn, crochet in a spiral, bam.  Gloves though?  So I'm reading about felted wool (http://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=59849.0) and thinking "oh man yeah! goodwill, here I come!" because that sounds perfect for my gloves I want to make.
So I spend a long time reading every tag in every mens' sweater in the place (because the homeless men will NOT wear unmanly gloves, we've learned through trial and error. fine.) and I find one (and only one) that is 100% wool, and a nice ugly tan/brown blend.
Ok so, I take it home and toss it into the washer, set to superhot.  But when the cycle finishes... this thing doesnt look terribly... felted.  It does stink, though.  Loooord, does it stink.  So I toss it in the dryer on superhot.  But, um, it doesnt felt?  I try the whole process again.  I end up with tons of washer lint and a really funky-smelling apartment, but no felt?  What have I missed?

So anyway, in the end, I decided that being felted was not entirely essential to being a glove (ok a mitten. sheesh.) so I trace my hand with a white eyeliner pencil (dont judge me) and use the existing edges of the sleeves and the bottom hem to make two glove-shapes.  Then i just sew along my white line, through both layers of ugly man-sweater, and viola: gloves.  

Ok then I realize the gloves are not the same shape, but it's cool, cuz I have plenty more hem to trace each of these two gloves and make them matching mates.
and so!:


They look a lot like oven-mitts! But they fit like mittens, and they were well-received by the people packing the gift-bags, and so I got to brag, and give a little mini-lecture on how to reuse ugly sweaters.  

Maybe next year I'll plan in advance and make a whole slew of them.  Also, what can I do with the middle parts of the sweater (un-felted, remember)?  I mean, I could sew my own hem, But that would make it bulky, and also not nice and snug-fitting.  Whachoo think?
« Last Edit: December 29, 2009 12:48:49 PM by Andi.Devine » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2009 01:06:08 PM »

How wonderful that you crafted for charity! Those mittens turned out just fine!

I find that I need to go to the Goodwill at least once a week to get 100% wool sweaters. They seem to come in bunches....plus, the men's section is the best!  I use every inch of the sweater from the cuffs to the neck ribbing!

It probably is a good thing the sweater did not felt all the way for you--the bulkier the yarn the thicker and stiffer the felt becomes--maybe too stiff for mittens!

Did you add any soap to your machine?  I find the combo of soda soap (like arm & hammer) and super agitation (no gentle cycle!)...works best...also takes out some of that smelly sheep smell!

I use the middle parts for hats, scarves, purses, ipod cases, flowers for embellishing other things...sometimes I felt them and sometimes I don't!

Good luck next year--make sure to collect sweaters all year long for your December projects--I find the sweaters are harder to find right before Christmas and usually they are really cheap right before spring!! I get them for about $3 each!
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« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2009 06:38:04 PM »

those are wonderful manly mittens!  Good for you for crafting for a charity.  You know those wonderful mittens will be well recieved by the men who get them too. 
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« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2009 12:33:22 AM »

Only manly mittens? Wow I'm thinking about a gift horse, but I will hold my tongue. You are such a super cool chick, you could have gone to target and got a 2 pack of crappy black gloves for under $2. And you made awesome mittens. Go you!
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NancyLM
« Reply #4 on: August 04, 2011 12:17:15 PM »

This is great.  I got a whole bag of wool sweaters from a friend when he moved from Canada to Mexico and was wondering what to do with them.  I will now make them into mittens (maybe hats too) for the local Mustard Seed (homeless shelter) in town.  The winters here can get pretty cold.  Thanks for the idea!
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Andi.Devine
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2011 12:48:11 PM »

Oh, NancyLM, please post photos here when you do; I'd love to see!
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