Needle Felted Upcycled Sweater – Shhhh… It’s a Secret

This sweater is for Chloe’s birthday, so I’m trusting you all to not tell her about it.  I just know she’s going to love it and I really couldn’t wait to share it with someone.

Several years ago I began collecting wool sweaters from Salvation Army and garage sales hoping to make a felted wool quilt.  For a number of technical reasons, I couldn’t get the pieces to come together neatly, so I let that go and the sweaters sat in the barn.  Until last week.  When I had this great idea to re-purpose all of these sweaters into up-cycled clothing.  (Okay, the spell checker is saying that ‘repurposed’ and ‘upcycled’ should be hyphenated.  I’m not so sure as I think they are now real words, but I’m going to hedge my bets and write them both ways.  Ha.)

This sweater was a woman’s medium before I felted it, so it should fit Chloe pretty well.  I cut off the cuffs because the sleeves would have been too long and now it’s a three-quarter sweater and I have the cuffs which will become fingerless mittens.  I then needle felted the tourquoise wool in the designs you see here.

Annie
Feelin’ crafty

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11 thoughts on “Needle Felted Upcycled Sweater – Shhhh… It’s a Secret

  1. I do felting as well…..yesterday I discoved a favoriate cashmere sweater that had been chewed by moths. I needle felted over the spots and now I have made it really my own……….its so much fun to do, its hard to know just when to stop.

  2. Annie- Loved reading about your felting project. I am new to the world of felting but have really enjoyed learning about the process. I recently spent 4 days with our son who is a Peace Corp volunteer in Costa Rica. Knitting is the “universal language” (I don’t speak spanish & they do not speak english but “free translation .com & Blake got us thru)for the ladies in his host family & me. I took several knitting projects but also introduced them to felting. We started with a hot pad & also felted bars of soap. it was such a hit!!! I cannot wait to see where they go with this. They are very creative & love new projects. Instructions for the felted soap below if you are not familiar with it. Great project for all ages (the children loved doing it). Thanks for sharing your projects! Sandy what a great trip we had on the Riggin this year!!! Loved it!

    Felted soap

    Bar of soap (Dollar tree great source or homemade even better)
    Wool roving ( I bought at Hobby Lobby)
    hot water
    wooden spoon
    nylon “knee hi’s”

    Separate the roving into very fine (almost like a spider web) layers & wrap around the soap. alternate each layer to form a criss cross of the layers of webbing so that it will fuse when heated. Should use at least 6-8 layers.

    Place the wrapped bar into the nylon & secure by tying tightly. This will hold the layers in place.

    Place the wrapped bar into a pot of really warm/hot water & press with the back of the spoon to soak well.

    Remove the soap with the spoon. Cool until you can touch & press the water out & begin the felting

    Pick up the soap & rub the bar very fast to create friction & again start the felting. I rub it fast but with light pressure to not disturb the roving layers.

    Return the soap to the hot water & repeat the process
    several times

    Rinse the soap bar with cold water

    Untie the nylon & gently start to peel the nylon away from the felted bar.

    Air dry.

    The felt will shrink with the soap as it is used. works well also to braid some wool yarn,place on the soap in a loop before the roving layers & create “soap on a rope”. Let me know if you give it a try!

    1. I’m going to suggest this method at our next Fiber Frolic (just a bunch of friends playing with wool). I’ve not soaked it in hot water, but just started felting with my hands. Most of our soap at the house is felted and we just love it.

  3. Annie- Loved reading about your felting project. I am new to the world of felting but have really enjoyed learning about the process. I recently spent 4 days with our son who is a Peace Corp volunteer in Costa Rica. Knitting is the “universal language” (I don’t speak spanish & they do not speak english but “free translation .com & Blake got us thru)for the ladies in his host family & me. I took several knitting projects but also introduced them to felting. We started with a hot pad & also felted bars of soap. it was such a hit!!! I cannot wait to see where they go with this. They are very creative & love new projects. Instructions for the felted soap below if you are not familiar with it. Great project for all ages (the children loved doing it). Thanks for sharing your projects! Sandy what a great trip we had on the Riggin this year!!! Loved it!

    Felted soap

    Bar of soap (Dollar tree great source or homemade even better)
    Wool roving ( I bought at Hobby Lobby)
    hot water
    wooden spoon
    nylon “knee hi’s”

    Separate the roving into very fine (almost like a spider web) layers & wrap around the soap. alternate each layer to form a criss cross of the layers of webbing so that it will fuse when heated. Should use at least 6-8 layers.

    Place the wrapped bar into the nylon & secure by tying tightly. This will hold the layers in place.

    Place the wrapped bar into a pot of really warm/hot water & press with the back of the spoon to soak well.

    Remove the soap with the spoon. Cool until you can touch & press the water out & begin the felting

    Pick up the soap & rub the bar very fast to create friction & again start the felting. I rub it fast but with light pressure to not disturb the roving layers.

    Return the soap to the hot water & repeat the process
    several times

    Rinse the soap bar with cold water

    Untie the nylon & gently start to peel the nylon away from the felted bar.

    Air dry.

    The felt will shrink with the soap as it is used. works well also to braid some wool yarn,place on the soap in a loop before the roving layers & create “soap on a rope”. Let me know if you give it a try!

  4. One of my favorite sweaters (Mountain Hardwear?)has extra long sleeves with a hole built in for my thumb (kind of like a buttonhole). I just slide my thumb through the hole and it’s like a sweater and fingerless mittens all in one. And I never wonder where my fingerless mittens are!

  5. One of my favorite sweaters (Mountain Hardwear?)has extra long sleeves with a hole built in for my thumb (kind of like a buttonhole). I just slide my thumb through the hole and it’s like a sweater and fingerless mittens all in one. And I never wonder where my fingerless mittens are!

  6. This gives me a great idea, Brenda, for another sweater for the girls. I could do that with a felted sweater and swank up the thumb holes for them. Ella loves anything with longer sleeves and its a little harder to find good salvy sweaters that fit her because she’s still so small. Thanks!

  7. This gives me a great idea, Brenda, for another sweater for the girls. I could do that with a felted sweater and swank up the thumb holes for them. Ella loves anything with longer sleeves and its a little harder to find good salvy sweaters that fit her because she’s still so small. Thanks!

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