Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

DSCN3830Recycled Sweater Christmas Stocking

When I see old sweaters at yard sales I have to buy them. The fact that yard sales in my area are often held when the temperature is over 100 means sweaters are practically given away. These sweaters are a cheap craft resource for holiday crafts. In my opinion, this Christmas stocking design looks much more upscale than the original sweater it came from. Can’t you just see a bunch of these hanging over a cabin fireplace, or down the rail of a pine garland clad staircase? Depending on the size of the sweater and the size of your stocking pattern, you should be able to get at least two stockings from each sweater. Three, if you open the sleeves and use the cuffs as the top edge.

Things You Will Need:

Adult-size sweater
Stocking pattern
Straight pins
Sewing machine
Measuring tape
2-inch pompoms (two)
Hot glue gun

DSCN3812Turn an adult-size sweater wrong side out and lay it on your work surface. Align the bottom edges of the sweater. Place an existing Christmas stocking, or a paper stocking pattern on the sweater. Align the top edge of the stocking shape (pattern) with the bottom edges of the stocking. Pin the pattern through both layers of the sweater. Cut around the pattern. Note: The top of the stocking (bottom edge of the sweater) is not to be cut. It will be the finished edge for the the top opening of the stocking.

DSCN3820Remove the pattern. Pin the side and bottom edges of the sweater stocking shape together. Sew the pinned edges using a straight stitch and a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Sew around the edges once again using a zigzag stitch on the seam allowance. This will finish the raw edges and prevent the knitted stitches from unraveling. Turn the stocking right side out. Press the seams with a warm iron.

DSCN3828Lay the stocking flat on your work surface. Measure across the width of the stocking at its widest point. Double that and add 24 inches. Using your new measurement, cut a length of rickrack in a color that coordinates with your sweater.

Measure 1 inch down from the top edge of your stocking. Starting on the front seam of the stocking and 12 inches from one end of the rickrack, pin the rickrack around the stocking. The rickrack will meet again on the front seam of the stocking. Both ends of the rickrack will have approximately 12 inches extending. These tails will be ties. Top stitch the pinned rickrack around the stocking.

Tie the rickrack tails in a knot against the seam, then tie into a bow. Trim the tails to the desired length.

Burrow a hole on one side of a 2-inch diameter pompom. Apply hot glue in the hole. Place one end of the rickrack in the glue. Squeeze the edges of the pompom hole around the rickrack end. Repeat with the remaining pompom and and rickrack end.

Cut a 5-inch length of rickrack. Fold the rickrack in half, matching the two cut ends. Place the ends inside the stocking, against the back seam. Sew across the cut ends of the rickrack. This is your stocking’s hanger.

Other trims and tassels handmade with yarn can be substituted.


Little Fabric Stash Bags-Tutorial

08-small wool bagLittle Fabric Stash Bags

01-small wool bagA few years ago I purchased a huge barrel at an auction for $1. It was full of old wool suits and dresses. I have been attempting to make use of the variety of colors and textures since I bought it, and the pile inside the barrel is slowly going down. The barrel is currently in a storage unit across town, but while moving I grabbed a bunch of wool to play with.

10-small wool bagThese little wool bags are the product of my play.

02-small wool bagI used gingham/checkered fabric for the linings…

09-small wool bag…and the front of the flowers.05-small wool bag

Trim is also something I have an over abundance of. The handles were made from bias tape and I hand-stitched rickrack around the top edge using floss.

The tutorial for these little bags has now been published on FaveCrafts.

You can find the tutorial here.


Woolie Bird Stuffies

1-DSCF0473Another project completed!

2-DSCF0474My drawer of felted wool sweater pieces was calling to me for inspiration. Seriously! I mean there is just so much organizing and unpacking I can do before I gotta be creative.

4-DSCF0478I wasn’t quite sure what I was going to make until I began sorting through some old applique patterns. I had a couple of bird patterns that I thought would look a whole lot better if they were enlarged and stuffed.

7-DSCF0487I was right. The boring flat appliques came to life with their transformation.

6-DSCF0486I think they have a primitive quality that I love.

5-DSCF0482Check out the whole flock!


T-Shirt Crochet Coffee Mug Wrap-Pattern

Mug Wrap 4T-Shirt Crochet Coffee Mug Wrap

Do you need a quick gift? This Christmas season has been crazy-busy, but I promised I would share the pattern for the t-shirt crochet coffee mug wrap, so here it is. Finally!

Mug Wrap 3The thick cord of the t-shirt yarn works up big and fast, making this project a simple project to tackle while watching Christmas movies. Please tell me I am not the only one addicted to them.

Things You Will Need:

One adult-size t-shirt
Crochet hook, size N
Straight pin
Large button
Needle and thread


ch = chain
sc = single crochet
sl st = slip stitch
st = stitch
sk = skip

Preparing the T-Shirt Yarn:

04-DSCN7390Step 1
Lay an adult-size t-shirt on your work surface. Cut off the hem. Cut across the t-shirt body from one armpit to the other. Set the top of the t-shirt aside. The remaining tube from the body will be your yarn.

05-DSCN7391Step 2
Cut 1/2 inch into one cut edge of the tube at a slant. Cut a continuous 1/2-inch strip around the tube until the entire tube has been cut.

Step 3
Starting at one end of the yarn strip and working to the other, stretch the strip. The stretched t-shirt strip will curl naturally into a yarn cord.

Crocheting the Mug Wrap:

Ch 28

Mug Wrap 6Round 1:
2 sc in second ch from the hook. Sc once in each of the next 25 chs. 2 sc in the last ch.

Working up the other side of the foundation ch, 2 sc in the remaining loop of the first ch. Sc once in each of the next 25 chs, 2 sc in the last ch. Do not join.  You will work in continuous rounds. Attach a safety pin to mark the beginning of the round.

Mug Wrap 8Round 2:
2 sc in the back loop of the first sc. Sc once in the back loops of each sc to the end of the first side. 2 sc in the back loop of the last st on the end. Ch 2. Sk one sc, 2 sc in the back loop of the next sc. Buttonhole made. Sc once in the back loops of each sc to the end of the round. 2 sc in the back loops of the last sc of the round.

Mug Wrap 9Round 3:
Sl st in the back loop of the next sc and in each sc of the round. Sl st to the first sl st made and finish off. Weave in the beginning and ending tails.

Mug Wrap 10Place the wrap around a coffee mug, threading it through the handle. Stretch the wrap and overlap the ends. Place a pin on the end of the wrap that is directly below the buttonhole to mark. Remove the wrap from the mug. Choose a large button from your button collection.

Mug Wrap 5I use large buttons recycled from vintage coats and dresses. Hand sew the button to the marked end of the coffee mug wrap.

Note: Variations in individual tension can effect the size of the wrap. If the wrap is too short to wrap around the mug, stretch and block the wrap to fit the mug with an overlap for the button. If the wrap is too large a bigger overlap is fine.

Mug Wrap 4Place the wrap on the coffee mug and button to secure.


Crocheted T-Shirt Yarn Dishcloth-Pattern

01-DSCN7393Crocheted T-Shirt Yarn Dishcloth

This crocheted t-shirt dishcloth idea was posted a couple of weeks ago, but I didn’t have the pattern written up at that time. Yay, me! I have finally finished it!

It is really very, very simple (blush), but simple is good when life gets busy and complicated. :)

Things You Will Need:

One adult t-shirt
Crochet hook, size N


ch = chain
sc = single crochet

Preparing the T-Shirt Yarn:

04-DSCN7390Step 1
Lay a large adult-size t-shirt on your work surface. Cut off the hem. Cut across the body of the shirt just below the sleeves. The body is now a tube that should produce enough yarn for one dishcloth. If the t-shirt body is not enough for one dishcloth, cut and add smaller strips from the yoke and sleeves of the shirt.

05-DSCN7391Step 2
Cut 1/2 inch into one cut edge of the body tube at a slant. Continue to cut a 1/2-inch strip around the tube until the entire body has been cut.

06-DSCN7395Step 3
Starting at one end of the t-shirt strip and working to the other, pull the length of the strip to stretch. The long, side edges of the t-shirt strip will curl naturally into a yarn cord.

Crocheting the Dishcloth:

Ch 21

Dishcloths 4Row 1
Sc in the second chain from the hook and in each of the remaining chains. (20 sc)

Dishcloths 5Row 2-14
Ch 1 and turn. Sc in the back loops of each sc in the row.

Dishcloths 6Finish off and weave in the ends.

Tips and Ideas:

Stretch and block the dishcloth as you crochet each row, as well as when the dishcloth is complete.

T-shirts with no pictures or design graphics are recommended for t-shirt yarn. Use two or more t-shirts in differing colors to crochet a dishcloth with stripes.

01-DSCN7393Crochet two dishcloths and present them as gifts. Fold each dishcloth and stack them together. Cut a 36-inch length of ribbon or lace. Wrap the ribbon or lace length around the stack and tie it in a bow on top. Trim the ends as desired.


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