Three years ago, my youngest daughter opened an old copy of the now-defunct Cottage Living magazine to an article about Caroline Unruh and her company called Sweet Felt Goods. The “sweet felt goods” are her incredible blankets made from recycled sweaters. I’d never heard of such a thing before! My daughter said, “I think you’d like doing something like this.”
The blankets in the article and the mentioned website (no longer active) were beautiful, colorful, intriguing. It piqued my interest to try to figure out how to do it. So I went online and found out about all the things people were making out of recycled and felted wool sweaters. I really had no idea!
I studied other people’s work for some time, then went around the house and collected all the old wool knit things we no longer wore. I picked up a couple more from a thrift store. And then I set about felting my very first batch of wool sweaters.
In there was a sweater I had bought for my soon-to-be husband on my last trip with my family just two weeks before our wedding, on the Greek island of Mykonos (the cream with brown detail):
Also in there are the hand-knit woolen long-underwear made for my husband when we lived in the People’s Republic of China and taught English for two years early in our marriage. Winters indoors were very cold where we lived, and long underwear was a necessity. In the photo below, can you see the four teeny holes lined up along the lower edge of the brown? That’s where the drawstring threaded through those long-johns to keep them on my hubby.
I cut everything in strips by hand with my old fabric scissors, laid out the pieces until I liked them, and finally sewed them together. Oh my, and how could I ever have known how I would fall in love with the wool and how addictive the process would become??
This blanket has become very well-loved and well-used in these three years. It keeps us warm for movie night, snuggles well for Sunday afternoon naps, has gone on sleep-overs and retreats, and is often being hunted down because it moves from room to room so frequently.
It’s also huge, about 70″ by 90″, which makes it great for two on the couch and provides extra coverage on top of a queen bed.
With affection, I present the blanket that started everything:
The Original (size: 70″ x 90″)
The blanket happily belongs to the owner of this blog and her family :)
9 thoughts on ““The Original””
I have tried to do this and I cant get the thick felted wool pieces to stitch together. How did you?
Heather, it sounds like you are ending up with very thick pieces of fabric after you felt the wool. I’ve made slippers out of thick wool (and it IS difficult to sew), but I don’t use that for blankets. The sweaters I use often are not 100% wool but more like 80%. They still generally felt well and are soft too.
Please tell me about the binding you use. Is it purchased, or do you make it from strips of wool?
Hi, Ruth! I see you emailed me as well, so I’ll respond there. (Sorry to just get to this now — circumstances caused me to be away from the blog for a couple of weeks.)
absolutely fantastic Joanie. Love getting the emails.
Love, Aunt Mary.
I wish my first blanket looked that good! I’m glad to know that that wasn’t your first attempt at binding… it’s too good!
Love it! Thanks for sharing how you got started.
Is the binding on that one new? It looks so put together that way :^)
I forgot to mention that! Yeah, we lived with that blanket with a RAW EDGE for nearly three years, and I finally put a binding on it a couple of months ago. I like it even better. Thanks, G :)