Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Martha Stewart Need Not Fear Me...

The other day I bought my son a knit, red woolen sweater. Except I didn't realize it was wool and threw it into the washer and dryer. I'm sure you all know the result of that. Though it was a bit smaller than pre-washing, I had him wear it one day anyway. But I soon realized that woolen sweaters and kids don't mix (didn't want to have to dryclean it or hand wash it after one wearing). So since it was a bit small on the boy anyway - I decided to do a little creative recycling.

For a few weeks I've been hunting for red mittens. Mittens. Not gloves. They are not the same. Seems like most stores around here carry mostly gloves. I did find a few pairs of mittens but they were not red. And most of the mittens were rather pricey.

So I decided to make my own red mittens. I read some article online about making mittens from an old woolen sweater, so I set out to give it a try. But at first I didn't have an old woolen sweater (the shrunken sweater not yet purchased) - so I tried an old knit sweater. Too floppy. Thought about using fleece - but realized it was way too thin and floppy (at least the stretchy thin fleece I had). So actually the sweater shrinking was rather fortuitous.

The mittens only took about an hour to make (looks like it some might add). I don't have a sewing machine and even if I did, it wouldn't do any good b/c I don't know how to machine sew. In junior high sewing class I picked one of the easiest projects - a light bulb shaped pillow. So these mittens were sewn by hand - not with even precise stitches, but in my usual I'm- in- a hurry- to- get- this- project- done, method. It took a little extra time on the 2nd mitten as I accidentally cut one of the thumbs off when I was cutting out the fabric. One of the woolen thumbs I mean, not my own. So I had to stitch a patched up thumb part onto one of the hands.

I'm not Martha Stewart. I like crafts - I enjoy reading craft blogs and do try to imitate some of what I see - and most of it turns out looking like, well, like something an unskilled 40 yr old would have made. But sometimes that's OK.

I've come to realize that mediocrity is sometimes just fine. Even if my scrapbooking pages don't look like the ones in the magazine, I can still enjoy scrapbooking and be creative.

These mittens might be described as mediocre at best.

They actually look like oven mitts. These mittens would fit best, a person with short, thin thumbs and rather misshapen hands. Or young children playing outside in the snow - when gloves just aren't warm enough.

Here is a tutorial for instructions on making your own mittens - or just google (mittens sweater tutorial) and you'll probably come up with a whole lot of different sites you can check out.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips - go on over to Rocks in My Dryer.

As Maria once sang, "Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens; Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens; Brown paper packages tied up with strings; These are a few of my favorite things...."


CanadianGrandma said...

I would not of thought to make mittens from an old sweater! So much easier and quicker than knitting!

Heather said...

Glad I am not the only one. The sleeves make really cute leg (or arm) warmers as well. I can't do wool at all so I have to stick with other knits which aren't nearly as good for such things. There are tons of wool tutorials online though--you can felt the sweater and make all sorts of fun things from the rest. Oh, and the mitts I make look much the same.

Blue Castle said...

I think your mittens look fine. Martha Stewart has an army of people to help her and do her work for her. :)
Great idea. I will be keeping my eyes open for wool sweaters at the thrift store.

Jennifer said...

If I had that sweater I would use it to make dryer balls... as of right now, I am using wool yarn I bought at the store.