Featured Rug of the Month--
Sweaterfelt Design 31"x26"
Oval with flower pot
Created by Judy Taylor
Ever eager to try something new, I've recently been enjoying something I call Sweaterfelt Designs. These can be rugs, blankets, pillows, scarves, hats, purses, but they are made with 100% wool sweaters from the thrift store.
I wash the sweaters in the washing machine, once, twice, or however many times it takes to get a firm fabric that can be cut without fraying or falling apart. Some sweaters felt down to a thick fabric, those ones are perfect for rugs. Some felt down to a softer, lighter fabric, save those for blankets and scarves.
I cut the oval from a large men's white sweater (it was quite a bit larger before it went through the washing machine!). I used small pieces from six different sweaters for the patchwork border. I cut them originally into 4"x4" squares, then I adjusted the inside edges so they would be smaller on the inside.
I hand sewed the pieces together from the back, using sewing thread, taking fairly "meaty" stitches, but trying not to come through to the front (so my stitching didn't show from the front). I gave the assembled piece a good steaming with my iron at this point, and let the wool "learn" the shape.
I pulled out little scraps from several sweaters, and made the applique flowers and flower pot. I stitched them to the oval, trying to avoid the stitches showing. Then I did my cross-stitching around the inner edge, and the stitching separating the patchwork rows. I used acryllic yarn for this detail, because believe it or not, these rugs are MACHINE WASHABLE (as Craig Ferguson would say, "I KNOW!!!") so I didn't want to add any details at this point that might shrink in the wash. I used washable polyester felt for the backing, and did my cross-stitching all around the outside edge, stitching the rug to the felt backing.
I am having so darn much fun with this Sweaterfelt thing, you will definitely be seeing lots more designs and ideas to come! These projects are so easy and fun, and the great textures you can get from different kinds of knitted sweaters gives so much interesting texture. So far I've been having fun with sweaters as I find them, but soon I'm sure I'll be overdyeing sweaters so they look like they were made for eachother!! And knowing that they can be washed allows me to use them in heavier wear areas, like the kitchen sink, or by the bathtub, or anywhere that our dogs, cats and ferrets play!
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