Saturday, February 27, 2010

so...what do you do with them?

When friend chat these days turns to my felting wool obsession, after I detail the great end-of-season deals and share how-could-you-not-want-them? hints on felting technique, after the polite (and sometimes enthusiastic--those are my good folk!) nods, I get some version of "and so what do you do with them then?"

Good question. Not really enough to currently justify the quantity I'm working into the stash right now. I'll probably use them for just 5-6 projects in the next couple of months (it's birthday season in the Frandsen family. Plus I have lots of babies I love who are overdue gifts), but don't really want to try to stock the shop with woolens right now.

I keep coming back to 2 things:

(1) I am a miserly hoarder (who is working to quell that inner nasty, inviting friends to use my shears and a grocery bag and dig in)

(2) Now, end of season, really is the time to buy woolens, what with $3 and $2 bag deals and other half-price lovelies. Plus, I feel less guilty about felting and chopping what is sometimes a quite nice sweater, knowing no one wanted it all winter long, and I'm genuinely saving it from the landfill, not swiping off the back of a would-be sweater wearer.

And also this: I really love working with this material. It's thick and soft and warm for winter crafting. Happy fuzzies all around.

My first finished project: a case for my sister's GPS unit.I started with an internal pocket of a thickly felted green cardigan. I cut it out with a flap on both bottom and top, boxed the corners, and turned it inside out. The top flap became the over flap of the finished pouch, and the bottom flap I used to cover the hardware I used as a clasp (recovered from another sweater). One part of it needed to be inserted through a slit in the fabric before being stitched in place, and the flap (later sewn down) covers it nicely, for both aesthetic and practical (protective) purposes. I cut the other pocket for a future use. I needle-felted in a vine-y swirl on the side, added a be-leafed belt loop on the back, and covered the top-flap hardware with a blanket-stitched leaf, cut from a felted green blazer. With the birthday girl's initials.

I tied it all up with another upcycling project, a golden blossomed poppy headband. I added a couple of citrine beads with the black to make it blingy-er, but think I just prefer the black. My holding-the-baby photo:

7 comments:

sallyavena said...

Here's what I've done with felted sweaters: http://daisy-chaincreations.blogspot.com/search/label/upcycled%20wool Something bigger would use up your stash/hoard faster:)
I never thought of doing smaller projects, but will have to start thinking on that as well. You are always full of ideas! And I have to admit, that I have to show will power by the sweaters now if I walk into a clothing thrift store.
(I just love it when the verification word goes with the theme...this time surplus)

sallyavena said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
stgraham said...

I deeply thank you for quelling your inner nasty and allowing me to dip into your stash. I can't wait to get started on something cute. So many possibilities I can hardly contain myself.

Braden Bell said...

Mere and I are commenting to each other on how much we admire your creativity. By the way, there is something deliciously ironic in the new fangledness of the GPS being nestled in the hand-crafted, refurbished item. That juxtaposition is really wonderful. I think you could market those holders, by the way.

cfm said...

Can I say I LOVE IT!!!! so so so so so so so so so so amazed with your talent dear Valerie! Happy Birthday to me!

gonzolady said...

What a great idea! I recently found this blog with ideas for using all those sweaters. www.resweater.blogspot.com

vimahi said...

You make the cutest, best goods. WISHING YOU A HAPPY BIRTHDAY - THINKING OF YOU