Sunday, February 20, 2005

Recycling Sweaters That Can't be Frogged

When shopping for sweaters to recycle, we look for garments that have been 'fully fashioned', that is a sweater that has been made to the shape of the pattern pieces by knitting rather than cut out of a larger piece of knit fabric and sewn together with a serger.

Sometimes I goof and buy a sweater that can't be frogged. But that doesn't mean I can't do what the manufacturer originally did and cut and sew the fabric into something else. Why not, I do that with woven cotton shirts for quilting all the time, I can do that with knits too.

A few weeks ago I bought some sweaters at my local thrift shop. Some of the sweaters have been cut and sewn from knitted fabric, so they cannot be frogged and reknit, but they have interesting patterns and textures that make them good candidates for recycling.

This one, in a fine gauge cotton, has stripes of contrasting textures and a color scheme that would make for a great tote bag for summer trips to the beach.

The fabric is very dense without a lot of stretch, so if made into a tote it wouldn't stretch out of shape.

This fairisle patterned sweater is a really pretty one, and I had originally intended to wear it, but even though the yarn feels soft in my hands it feels very itchy and scratchy when worn. The label reads 69% acrylic 17% cotton 7% wool and 7% other fibers. Makes me wonder just what those 'other fibers' really are.

Still, it's a great looking design that can be cut and sewn into a bag or pillow. I will come up with a good use for this.

This tunic is made of a fine gauge cotton in a seed stitch pattern using stripes that makes a nice pebbly texture. It is not a flattering sweater for me to wear, but it would make a great handbag or two.

The scale of the striped pattern is very small and reads as almost solid at a short distance, so I think the bag will need some embellishment. Perhaps some leather, metal and beads?

I will post as I work on these projects.

1 comment:

African Kelli said...

Are you using the pattern out of Alterknits? I have a sweater I am just waiting to use for this project!