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.
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?