Today I started working on a lap blanket made from recycled wool sweaters. I have quite a large collection of sweaters, so I just selected one I liked and pulled several more in colors that I thought would go well together. When I purchase sweaters for blankets, I wash them as soon as I bring them home, but I decided to wash these again, thoroughly felting them before cutting them into the pieces for the blanket. As I cut, I began to think about where each sweater might have been before it came to me. If they could talk, I’m sure they would have great stories to tell!
For instance….the chocolate brown, boiled wool TravelSmith sweater in a women’s size 1X. When I purchased it, it looked like it might fit a 10 year old. Obviously while traveling to Istanbul, the owner had it laundered and it came back a shrunken shadow of it’s former self. It had great buttons which I cut off and will save in my button jar for some future project (or just because).
Then there was the Aran fisherman’s sweater labeled “handknit in Ireland.” Someone had a lovely trip back to the old country and purchased this sweater as a memento of their journey. It’s difficult to cut this one, but it will make a beautiful addition to the blanket.
I’ll have to work especially hard to get large pieces from the sweater with the darned holes. Someone loved this sweater so much, they couldn’t give it up and just kept mending and mending it. Perhaps it was a gift from someone special in their life. Perhaps they couldn’t afford another sweater right then, so they kept wearing what they had. It’s seen better days, but then, so have most people. This sweater will find new life and new purpose!
The plain light brown sweater probably went with everything and was worn often. Perhaps it hung in it’s owner’s office waiting for those days between seasons when the air-conditioning made the room a little chilly.
The hound’s-tooth check was worn by a large man with a large personality. It would have taken a certain type of guy to get away with wearing this sweater. He might have been a comedian or at least someone with a great sense of humor!
Where have they been? Were they given as gifts? Did the owner love them or hang them in the back of the closet until they were put in the bag to be given away?
No matter warm wool sweaters…..you have found a new purpose now…you will join with other sweaters in an entirely different format and become something beautiful again. You will warm and comfort someone else and add a new chapter to your story!