The leaves are really starting to change in our part of the world. There’s a sort of buzz of excitement in the air as fall seems to have finally arrived. And with it comes all sorts of wonder – from the vibrant colors and crisp air to hay rides, hot chocolate and pumpkin patches. And how could we leave out that favorite pair of boots and chunky sweaters.
Yet, as we dig out our clothes for this new season, we find those items that for whatever reason, we simply won’t wear. At that point, we can choose to pass them on or get creative. Felted wool sweaters are one of my favorite redeemed fabrics to work with. Whether by accident or on purpose, felted wool has a unique look and texture that is thick and yet somehow supple.
A few years ago I picked up a striped cardigan in the deep rich hues of autumn and decided to felt it and make hot pads and coasters. The best tutorial I’ve found for felting is here on makezine.com. It’s a simple and the best source for felted wool around.
As easy as the felting is, stitching up a hot pad and simply cutting out coasters is even easier. I see you doubting me! Just watch and you’ll see.
Step 1: Rescue your clean but sad, pathetic looking hot pad from the kitchen.
Step 2: Lay it in the center of the right side of your felted wool – I made one hot pad out of each sleeve and two more out of the back of my cardigan, for a total of four.
Step 3: Fold up the bottom edge of the sweater about 3/4 of the way up the hot pad.
Step 4: Fold the other edge of the wool over the hot pad to completely enclose the old hot pad
Step 5: Pin both sides of the folded felt, remove the old hot pad and stitch along the pinned lines.
Step 6: Turn the hot pad right side out and insert your sad old hot pad. Now go test it by whipping up a pot of potato soup or some other yummy fall treat.
One of the nice features of this style of hot pad is that you can slip you hand into the pocket that is formed in the back and it almost works like an oven mitt, but it takes up much less room. That and the fact that it can be tossed in the washer as needed. Well plus the fact that they are the prettiest hot pads I’ve ever had and never get confused with others when I take them to a potluck. Yeah, I kind of like them.
So as your digging through your sweaters this weekend, don’t throw out that wool one that’s a little too small. Whip up a couple of hot pads to use at home. Or make some as a hostess gift for all the holiday festivities that are just around the corner.
Whatever you do, enjoy the weekend ahead!