An Adventure in Design

In an earlier blog post, I wrote about several sweaters I was working with and reflected on what the sweaters meant to their previous owners, why they were purchased, or where they might have been worn. I’ve finished one project using the sweaters, so I want to share with you the story of the sweaters in their recycled form. When I purchase sweaters for making into other items, they don’t have to be perfect. I’m going to wash them and cut them up anyway, so a few holes do not matter to me. I’m more interested in the colors and textures. I decided to make several lap blankets, so choose some neutral color sweaters and set to work. I treat the sweater as if it was fabric; cutting it apart, pressing the pieces, cutting the pieces into useable sizes, laying the pieces out to create a pattern, pinning the pieces, sewing everything together and adding a binding. Between almost every step there is pressing, pressing, pressing. If this sounds a bit tedious, it is, but it is also so much fun and because the compulsion to create is so strong, it is something I truly enjoy!

I like to use a sweater made of merino wool for the binding. They are usually lighter weight and do not felt as much as other types of wool. The binding is made from a continuous strip cut on the bias. Here is the story of the sweater for the binding: This sweater is a chocolate brown men’s XL merino wool. It was purchased by a woman as a Christmas gift for her husband. While he appreciated the thought, he really wasn’t a “chocolate brown merino wool sweater” kind of guy, so the sweater sat in his closet for many years. His wife cleaned out the closet and tossed it into the pile of stuff to go to the Goodwill. I shop the Goodwill on “bargain day” when all clothing is half-price and this sweater came home with me. Now it has been reborn as the binding on this beautiful, warm lap blanket!

I often incorporate the original details from the sweaters I use. I love using things like pockets and necklines. You never know when a pocket in your lap blanket might come in handy!! I will be posting this sweater lap blanket on my Etsy site, DianeHamillFiberArt. Thanks for reading!!

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