Monday, November 11, 2013

"Upcycled" Wool Mittens

I love living in Michigan and the change of seasons that we get to enjoy. The beautiful flowers peaking through the still brown ground in early spring... the long warm evenings and clear star filled skies of summer... the crisp cool autumn air and turning leaves of fall... and of course the excitement of the first snow of winter... That is until I start freezing! The older I get, it seems like the colder I am in the winter and I am not ashamed to "bundle up" to go outside!  

My daughter Jessy and I first saw these upcyled wool mittens at a local high school craft show a few years back (and you know I am all about making something new out of something old!)  They are very cute, and really warm. They are made out of old wool sweaters that have been felted, and have warm soft fleece for the lining and a little button on the cuff for some homey bling.  I have been wanting to try to make some ever since we saw them and now I finally have time.  I think they will make nice Christmas gifts, who wouldn't want a cute pair of warm homemade wool mittens!

One of the best parts of making these mittens was scouring the local thrift shops for used wool sweaters. I think they look good when you have 2 or 3 coordinating colors for each pair of mittens.  
I wasn't sure my old sewing machine would still work, it is an old singer, and I have had it since I was a teenager.  My mom bought it from two little old neighbor ladies used at a garage sale, and after I got it out and blew the dust off that puppy worked like a charm!

There are all sorts of good tutorials and patterns on how to make these mittens on the internet.  The best way for me to learn, was to watch a you tube video. Below are some good links if you want to give it a try yourself, and a few pictures of some of the ones I made today.

Youtube mitten instructions

Mitten Pattern

The pattern has 3 basic pieces

You cut out 2 of each piece (right sides together) of the sweater
and 2 of each piece of coordinating fleece for the lining  (right sides together)
for a total of 12 pieces!

And then you need a cuff which can be the end of the sleeve, 
or sewn from the bottom finished edge of the sweater

It say's it is best to use at least 80 to 100% wool sweaters that you felt
which is washing them in hot water and drying them in a hot dryer on high 
(they will really shrink up!)

I tried to coordinate at least 1 pattern with 2 coordinating solid pieces 
for the outside of my mitten and just used 
1 solid color non pill fleece for the lining

Use the cuff off the sleeves for the cuff of your mitten, I made so many 
that I had to improvise and make some extra cuffs 
out of the finished edges at the bottom of the sweaters!

Aren't they cute!

They are super soft & warm too!

I added a button on the cuffs of the 
mittens to add a little extra something ;)

Another neat way to make something old new again! These will make a great addition to my craft show items for next Saturday! When the weather outside is frightful, you will be warm and delightful in a pair of these cozy mittens... let it snow, let it snow, let is snow!

Stay Warm and Recycle,

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