Sweater Mittens

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Sweater Mittens
Total Time afternoon or evening Ages all-ages

These mittens -- made from old sweaters that have been "felted" (shrunken into a dense, nonraveling material) -- are soft, toasty and very colorful.

What you'll need

  • Old wool sweater (use only 100 percent wool; tight weaves work especially well)
  • Paper and pencil
  • Pins and scissors
  • Yarn
  • Tapestry or yarn needle
Helpful Tip:

If you don't have any old wool sweaters, check at a local thrift shop (they rarely charge more than two or three dollars per sweater). Keep an eye out for old Fair Isles; the intricate patterns shrink into pretty designs.


Save any leftover felt to make purses, eyeglass cases, doll clothes, or even a fuzzy collar for your dog.

How to make it

  1. Wash the sweater in the hot cycle of your washer three or four times with regular detergent. Then pop the sweater into the drier for about 45 minutes, or until it shrinks and becomes feltlike in texture. Certain sweaters shrink better than others, and the drying time will vary depending on the sweater's thickness.

  2. To make a mitten template, trace around one of your (or your child's) mittens, leaving an extra inch or so around the edge for sewing. Pin the template onto the felted fabric, then cut out four matching mitten shapes.

  3. Pin two of the mitten sides together. Using a contrasting color of yarn, stitch around the edges (a blanket stitch, as used here, looks especially nice).

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