Monday, June 15, 2009

Rug up and be happy

Hello again loves! Again, I have to apologise about my self-enforced hiatus over the last month, but exams end next week, so hopefully you will be hearing a lot more from me then! I had forced myself not to blog until the end of the exam period, just as I’ve attempted to barricade myself inside the house for the past month, but alas, both of these turned out to be impossible. And being inside the house so long has basically made me a facebook addict, so decided that blogging wouldn’t be so bad either!

Anyway, there’s something about winter, whether it be the cold, the rain, the greenhouse junkie heating or the inability to leave the house most days of the week (which is great if you need to study!) that makes me want to start on some cosy craft project. Every winter I take up knitting again (despite the fact that I can only ever make scarfs and gloves), only to abandon it in the spring. I never seem to have the attention span, or the talent, for long or detailed projects. But if you’re like me, are looking for am easy craft project this winter that doesn’t involve pearling, or are simply cold, slightly poor and in the mood to recycle, this next project should keep you happy!

Ever chucked a woollen jumper in the wash only to discover its shrunk so small you can’t even fit it onto your cat (if you were in the mood to try)? I made these lovely mittens last winter from a jumper that had sadly undergone that transformation. You can also make these by felting a woollen jumper from an op-shop. And best of all, they’re oh so simple to make!

Felted Mittens

You will need:
- An old, shrunken or op shopped jumper (make sure its 100% wool, synthetics wont felt)
- Paper, scissors, pens, pins, needles and thread

Step 1: If your jumper is not pre-shrunk, washing it on a high heat setting should do the trick. You will need to felt it so that the wool will not unravel on cutting. To do this, the jumper should be about half the size after washing. You may need to wash it more than once for this to happen. To test the material, make a cut somewhere on the jumped and test for fraying. If it starts to fray, you may need another wash.

Step 2: Trace around your hands on a piece of paper, leaving about a centimetre around the edge. You will only need one template for each hand, as your jumper has two sides. Cut out both templates.

Step 3: Lay the jumper down in front of you. Using the templates, work out where you are going to cut the mittens from. For mine, I lined the templates up along the bottom edge of the jumper. This way, the pattern around the bottom edge became the wrists of my mittens!

Step 4: Pin the templates to the jumper, making sure you pin right through the front and back of the jumper. As your jumper has a front and back, each template will produce both sides of the mitten.

Step 5:
Cut around the templates, then sew around the edges. I hand sewed a running stitch which I left on the outside of the mittens (I think it looks cute like that), but you may like the use a machine or a different stitch. As the wool has been felted you may need a larger needle, as it can sometimes be difficult to cut or sew through.

Try them on, and you’re done!! The only downside to this project is any wasted water if you have to shrink the jumper yourself. Luckily, mine was pre-ruined.

I hope that made sense! If you’re confused, shoot me a comment, and I’ll try my best to help. Otherwise, I’m sure some talented person on the web has thought of this before me, so Google should do the trick.

Hopefully I shall talk to you soon! Stay warm!