Friday, December 11, 2009

How to wear a sweater... on your head

In which Truffula makes short work of a new-to-her sweater by parking it on her noggin...


With the weather having taking a turn for the colder, I've been keeping a hat close at hand.  My favorite has turned out to be quite a conversation-starter.  One of the more amusing exchanges I had was on the subway platform on a commute home.  A fellow passenger wondered where I had gotten said hat; she was looking for a similar one for her son.  Little did she know that the hat had begun life as a...sweater!

It had been my sister's sweater.  After a round of closet cleanup, she gifted me with a box of her discards, which I was delighted to receive.  The sweater was the right size, only it had a number of holes in it.  Sure, I could have tried to patch the problem areas, but I was "in the market" for a wool hat.

Of course, I could have pulled out my knitting needles.  The way that would have worked, though, is that I would have obsessed over which pattern to use, and then over which yarn to buy.  I might have gotten as far as procuring the yarn, which would have then gathered its requisite layer of dust over the following months (those cold months, during which I could have used the hat).  On the hottest day of the next summer, I would have thought about coming back to the knitting project... Or, I could have used the nice, already knitted piece in front of me and repurpose it, which is exactly what I did.

My first step was to snip off the arms.  What to do with a pair of sweater arms?  When you have a then-little guy who spends a lot of time in a back carrier, which hikes up his pant legs, exposing those cute, chubby ankles and calves to the frosty air, you slip on sweater arms as leg warmers.

Time for the main event: the cutting of The Hat!   Capitalizing on the ribbed edge at the bottom of the sweater, I made that the bottom of my hat.  I measured the width needed to fit comfortablely on my head (about 22 inches), and determined how long I wanted the pointy end of the hat to be (about 20 inches), and took the scissors to the sweater's front.


Now, I needed matching "thread".  And, I knew I wanted a pom-pom on the hat's tip, also matching.  The best way to accomplish that was to recover yarn from the still unused portion of the sweater.  I started unraveling.  This is quite fun when it's not associated with pulling out work you've just spent hours on.  Because of the way the sweater was made, each row yielded one piece of yarn.  Still, it was long enough for my purposes.

I folded my cut "fabric" in half, with the wrong side facing out, and used the unraveled yarn to stitch up the cut edge.  Big, ugly stitches are fine here!  No one will see them!  Here's a closer view of part of the seam:



One step was left, and that was to make the pom-pom. There are many ways to do that.  I sort of made it up as I went along, but here is one set of pom-pom-making instructions.  (The unraveled yarn remains kinky even now.)



Here's a view of the entire hat, with the pom-pom sewed on:



The last thing to do is to plop the finished product on your head, and to head to a mirror to check out your handiwork!

11 comments:

Eco Yogini said...

lol, LOVE the drawings! so clever :)

JAM said...

I love this too. A few years ago I donated a purple and green wool sweater that I loved but was too small. At least it went to a good cause, but now how I wish I had saved it for something like this or for felting. I'd love to try to make a felted wool hat with a roll brim...

Green Bean said...

Whoa, this IS cool! I need to go scour the back of the closet.

Erin aka Conscious Shopper said...

Ingeniuos! The sweater doesn't start unraveling when you cut into it?

And I'm with EcoYogini - love the drawings. Nice touch!

Kirsten@Nexyoo said...

Brilliant! What a great way to reuse a sweater. I like the arm-warmer idea too.

The Raven said...

What a great hat! And I too love the illustrations.

panamamama said...

Awesome!

concretenprimroses said...

this is a great idea! Good tute, well illustrated too.
Thanks
Kathy

Daisy said...

Love the illustrations!

Truffula said...

Glad you like the illustrations. :-) I just realized that the "cut out hat" image got left on the cutting room floor by mistake, and have edited my post to include it. Sorry for that omission!

@JAM - if you make that rolled brim hat, do share the results. :-)

@Erin - I was concerned about undesired unraveling, too, but so far, this hasn't been a problem at all.

kale for sale said...

Very clever. I especially liked the baby leg warmer idea from the sweat sleeves.

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