I have been driving around with a bin full of donation items to take to the thrift store for about a month now. Today while I was out and about I decided to drop them off. It felt great to let that stuff go, however I just couldn’t pass up a quick stroll through the store. I had to go in and see if they had any “good” used wool sweaters for all my upcycling projects. I am afraid it is an addiction.
It’s not very often that I find a lot of “good” wool sweaters, but today was my lucky day. Not only do I rarely find a lot of nice sweaters to felt, but GREEN ones. I love green, and a green wool is even better! Shades of green just come in handy for so many of my upcycled projects and designs. Today I hit the jackpot.
The best time to pick up sweaters is in the summer at garage or tag sales. Stores will start putting them on sale in the spring.
So what defines a “good” sweater?
Well on my terms, a good sweater is:
- One that has at least 70% wool content. (This allows them to shrink up real nice and tight).
- Has unique, rich colors
- The bigger the better (Men XL size sweaters give you more yardage).
- Has fun stripes or simple designs on the sweaters.
Don’t forget to check out the children’s section. Sometimes you can find a really cute child sweater. You don’t get much yardage, but it can be worth it.
Things to avoid when purchasing sweaters:
- Look out for holes. Especially when purchasing wool sweaters.
- Really bulky sweaters. When you felt the sweater it will get even bulkier. Depending on your project, too bulky sweaters can be hard to work with. However, sometimes there may be a need for a real thick nap).
- Too thin of a sweater. (Again, depending on your project) Cashmere sweaters are usually thin and very soft. This type of sweater is great for hand warmers and ponchos, but not so great for a pair of slippers.
- Think about your inventory. Don’t overspend on colors you already have a ton of or on sweaters that are just so, so. Resist the need to buy every wool sweater you find or you will end up with bins and bins of sweaters. (Believe me, sweaters take up a lot of room).
If you are not familiar with how to “felt” (shrink and tighten the fibers of your sweater), here is a link to a FREE online course that I teach. You’ll love it!
This is such a great time of the year to get out your felted sweaters and make something fun. If you live where it is cold right now, like I do, there are tons of things to make with felted wool.
Don’t forget to save your scraps when cutting out your felted wool projects. There are a lot of fun things to make with this crafting gold!
So get out your wool sweater stash. (If you don’t have one yet, after one felted sweater project you soon will have one). An upcycled sweater is fun stuff to work with!
Get out your scissors, sewing machines and turn on some soothing music, or a good podcast, and enjoy a day of creation!
The patterns to make most of these projects can be located in my Etsy shop or here on my website.
Let me know if you have any questions or any great tips to share.