BRAD     |     EMILLIE

Thursday, November 08, 2012

If you want to destroy my sweater

I am so glad that winter has set in. It gives me an excuse to fulfill my desire to sit around the house.  I have been suffering from a good deal of pelvic pain which started in early July, but really impacted my life as of September.  Given that we don't have a car, I'm still walking for all of our outings and chores, so it's not like I'm having a sedentary pregnancy.  In fact, I officially exceed the "exercise guidelines" for a fit pregnancy, simply by getting Nikolai to and from preschool. 

Anyways... the point I am getting to, is that we really haven't been doing that many exciting activities outside of our home.  However, I am not a person to sit still for long (and I imagine that not having access to a television is responsible for that).  So as we count down to the Due Date (7 weeks!) my blog will be filled with recipes and crafts.

This week's theme is Reusing Old Wool Sweaters.  And it begins with a story... of a cashmere sweater that Brad NEVER wore (both because it was too posh for his student lifestyle, and because it was too valuable for his student lifestyle).  The side effect of not wearing the cashmere sweater was that we had a infestation of wool moths in Brad's sweater collection. 

Since I'm a believer in the motto "waste not want not", I saved the sweaters for future sewing projects.  So here's a quick tutorial on sewing with old 100% wool sweaters, followed by some photos of some projects I've completed.

1. Wash the sweater in hot water with a load of towels.
2. Tumble dry the sweater with a load of towels.
3. The goal is to "felt" the sweater, so repeat if necessary.
4. If you have properly felted the wool it shouldn't unravel, so you can use raw seams, and sew close to the edge for any project you want.

The first thing I made was a cover for our hot water bottle out of Brad's cashmere sweater. 
Nikolai LOVES the hot water bottle... even when it isn't filled with water.  He just loves using the bottle like a pillow and would carry it around the house with him if I let him.  So for Christmas I decided to use the remaining scraps of the sweater to create some gothic-styled stuffed animals. 

Here's my general design for the animals:

They required a bit of patching to work around the moth holes, but I think they'll be well liked even if they aren't that pretty.  (Apparently I need to learn how to embroider... but I so dislike it, that I've decided to re-brand the dolls as a trendy-hipster stuffed animal).
I've also sewn Nikolai a patchwork sweater (pattern-less, cut following the lines of one of his pre-existing sweaters). More recently he got a pair of slippers following these instructions from Martha Stewart.  They were so ridiculously easy that I can't imagine EVER knitting a pair again!
Lastly, I took an old Aran Knit sweater and turned it into a blanket for the baby.  It's rather small... but it will serve nicely for it's intended purpose.  When the baby is born it will be cold outside... and I will also have a very active Nikolai on my hands... so I imagine I'll spend a lot of time baby wearing.  However, my winter coat currently doesn't close around my belly, so it certainly won't close around my baby.  My plan is to use this blanket to cover the gap in my coat by tucking it into the sides of the carrier.  I hope it works!
I started by cutting out 6" x 6" squares.
And I sewed the right sides together. (Here's a view of the backside).
 I do have loftier plans for this small blanket... as you "may" have noticed the satin binding hasn't been well sewn... and this is because I hope to expand the blanket as the baby grows older.  So if you have an old "fisherman's sweater" or "Irish sweater" sitting unworn at the back of the closet (I know you do... because they always seem like a good idea until you realize how warm and bulky the sweaters actually are) send it my way!

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