From fiber to garment and back again, I’ve been crocheting like there’s no tomorrow.  Say hi to Thistlehair, the little scratchy, chubby bear, still waiting for eyes and a nose, at least!


I haven’t decided if I want to use vintage beads in dressing her, or embroidery.

  I’m considering putting a piece of wool felt inside her ears, too.  What do you think?

I call her Thistlehair, because she’s made of needlepoint wool that I found at a second-hand store a few years ago.

It’s scratchy, and I may send  her into a hot water wash and dry, before finishing her, just to shrink her a bit.

  She was fun to make.

Chillin' while I wait to be finished.

What’s that underneath Thistlehair?

Why, it’s a granny square afghan, in progress!

I started this project when  my daughter gave back a perfectly good sweater.

Here’s how it’s coming along –

Classic Granny Square Style

Classic Granny Square Style

Before I moved north, I had collected sweaters of high quality natural fiber yarns, such as silks, cashmere, good wool, cotton for repurposing, and even an acrylic sweater, because I liked the colors so very much.

The gray sweater was inexpensive., the sleeves seemed too long and I’d guess that’s why it got discarded.

  A bonus was the buttons and snaps, and exceptional quality wool and construction. How could I say no?

  This is all that’s left, to prove that my afghan was once an unwanted misshapen sweater.

Not sure if I'll be able to ravel this piece.

Not sure if I’ll be able to ravel this piece.

Here’s another with the yarn, gleaned from the sweater.

Don't think I'll be using the remnant.

Don’t think I’ll be using the remnant.

The sweater pattern was complex, and because I don’t knit, I’m not always sure where to start raveling.

The first sweater I took apart, I ruined from so much cutting, guessing and digging at it.

Some detail.

Some detail.

I use a tapestry needle to stitch them together as I prefer the look of stitched, rather than crocheted together.

It’s neater, and flatter.

More detail, more color.

More detail, more color.

The pale orange/rust yarn was a small amount of  an old white wool sweater I raveled and used for other items.

The brighter, deeper yarn is one I spun out of wool fiber and dyed myself with yellow onion skins I’d been collecting.

It’s thicker and heavier than the sweater wools, but not so much that it seems awkwardly placed.

The wool I spun, was the first use of the dye bath.

I reused the dye bath the next day with the leftover bit of white sweater wool and got a lighter color.

Pretty and fun to crochet with.

Pretty and fun to crochet with.

I’ll be adding more of my handspun yarns as I run out of my gray sweater yarn.

For anyone wishing to know how to ravel a sweater for the yarn,

there are many websites which instruct how to choose a good sweater for the project and how to go ahead.

It’s not difficult, and it’s very rewarding to create something out of  not much.

Now what do I do with these beauties?

The BIG buttons and snaps from the gray sweater.

The BIG buttons and snaps from the gray sweater.

I’m glad I took the time and effort to shop for sweaters while I still lived in a very populated area of the desert.

 The second-hand stores always had hundreds to choose from.

Here, they’re hard to find.  Even in summer, sweaters are worn regularly.

Check the links for other uses for old or unwanted sweaters.