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How to Repurpose Wool Sweaters

by Nikki Willhite


Repurposing, recycling and living green are presently very popular words. Repurposing items use to be done because of financial necessity. Now it is done by choice. It is now considered a valuable and admired skill to be able to repurpose items.


Sometimes it is very easy to repurpose items. Wool sweaters are one example.


Unless you live in a very warm climate, you will either have old wool sweaters in your closet, or they will be readily available at thrift stores and garage sales.


Sweaters are often given away because they get holes in them, or have stretched out of shape.




- If the yarn is bulky, you can pull it off the sweater, roll it into a ball and use it to knit or crochet another item.


- You can felt the wool to make hats and mittens. When you wash wool it shrinks and becomes dense. This means you can cut shapes, and it won't ravel.


To make a pair of mittens, make a pattern by drawing around the fingers and thumb. Place the pattern on top of 2 layers of sweater fabric, pinned together. Be sure the top of the mittens is placed on the ribbing from the sweater.


Sew the wool pieces together by sewing around the pattern, and then cut on the outside of the sewing line with a scant 1/4 inch allowance. Turn right side out, and you have your mittens.


- Trace around the bottom of your boots, and make some liners for the inside of your boots.


- Cut the wool into large squares, and use it to make quilts. I am presently making a mixed-media quilt with 6-inch squares made from different fabrics. I'm using up some old yarn to knit some of the squares (which I will attach to fabric for stability), and some of the squares will be from corduroy, and other fabrics with different textures.


It is like a crazy quilt, but uniform in patch size and without all the ornamentation. The different fabrics, colors and textures will make it interesting. Using wool fabric will add to the warmth of the quilt.


- If you like making Christmas stockings, you can use it for the body of the stocking, or take advantage of the ribbing on a sweater by using a piece at the top of the stocking, either going up or folded over.


- You can make lots of small projects with felted fabric. The fabric will not ravel, so it is easy to make items with buttons as all you have to do is make a slit in the felted wool for the buttonhole. You can make all kinds of small bags, carriers for cell phones and mp3 players, as well as holders for eye glasses.


- Attach some batting to the back, and make covers for your hangers to protect your clothing.


- Cut wool felt appliqués for other fabric projects.


Wool is a great fabric. Have some fun with it and save some money.


About the Author: Nikki Willhite, mother of 3 and an interior design graduate, has been writing and publishing articles on the topic of frugal living for over a decade. Visit her at - where you will find hundreds of frugal living tips and articles. Frugal Happy Families- more than just money!








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