do you have to baste felted squares or can you just go ahead and sew them on a machine????
I use the sleeves of the sweater to make mittens. Trace a mitten shape as big as your hand (or whomever you are creating for) on the inside of the sweater sleeve using the cuff of the sweater as the wrist of the mitten. Cut out the shape, sew along the edges and turn inside right.
The best way I've found is to take the sweater apart and unravel it into a ball keeping it very loose. I take the arms off first, then find the connecting yarn and open them up. Usually, the thread runs from the wrist to the underarm. I cut off the wrist piece & work from there. Then, detach the neck piece & discard, or save for emergency scrap material, Last, separate the shoulder seams.
The front and back pieces will have a few inches of cut yarn, usually. I trim these, and then pull the pieces until I reach the first row that goes all the way across, and ball from there. If you save each piece in a separate ball and use one arm and front or back first, you will know when you've used half of your material, and be able to gauge how much more you have to work with.
I've found that 2 mens XL sweaters will make a nice sized afghan.
If you shop at thrift stores, (of course, wash first) you can find some wonderful quality yarn for just a few dollars. Sometimes, if the garment in the store is damaged, it sells for pennies, You might also ask the manager if you can buy (by the bag) the sweaters that they don't deem fit for sale. Some will be unusable, but most can at least be used for granny squares. Have fun : )
If they are wool, wash them in hot, hot water and run them through the dryer to shrink them. Place your hand on top of the sweater and cut the mitten shape out around your hand (leave some wiggle room for your fingers); sew two together with a blanket stitch (I like to use contrasting colors of yarn). For an afghan, I've just cut the sweaters into squares and used contrasting yard to connect the squares. If the sweaters are not wool, you don't need to wash them, but you do need to baste around any edges you've cut to keep them from unravelling. When you cut your mitten shape, leave about 1/2 inch all around for basting; the best way to keep from unravelling is to run it through your sewing machine. If you don't have a sewing machine, hand basting will do, but make your stitches fairly close together. hth
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