I am taking a master class online. The class is being taught by a woman who makes and sells blankets and throws from felted sweaters. I have admired her work online and while I already have some experience at this type of fiber art, I want to learn some of her techniques.
I love working with natural fibers….especially wools and cashmere! Of course, the thought of deliberately shrinking and cutting up a cashmere sweater is a bit daunting, but if they come from the Goodwill or Salvation Army store and the price is right, it’s a little easier to take the scissors and make that first cut.
Living in Southern Oklahoma makes finding 100% wool or cashmere a bit more challenging. Our winters are simply not cold enough to warrant owning lots of warm sweaters. This makes the thrill of the hunt even more fun. I’ve found lots of absolutely beautiful fabric to work with. Cashmere is my favorite. It’s so soft and makes a beautiful, light weight throw or blanket.
The “Felted Wool Blanket Master Class” requires the use of wool or wool blend sweaters. I decided not to purchase additional sweaters for use in this class and hunted through my stash of sweaters to come up with a selection of wools. I was inspired by the sweater in the center of this photo. The background is a pretty dark gray with a colorful abstract design in bright pinks, chartreuse green and turquoise. Here are the sweaters after they have been machine washed and dried in the dryer.
The cutting process in completed. Sweaters are cut apart at the seams, steam pressed flat and cut into 6 inch wide stripes of random length. Next comes the “fun” part….laying the pieces out in a design. I tend to like a random look, but there are endless possibilities. I make a point to not let two pieces of the same sweater touch each other and to use a brick-work or offset style between rows.
Beginning to pin pieces together. The photos and numbers help me keep pieces in order! Starting the sewing process is exciting…..this one is beginning to come together. Lots of pressing in the future! This is a really fun process and I love creating something new from something that was going to be thrown away!! I will be continuing the class and hope to post the finished blanket soon.