Something Completely Different

In the midst of all this blog tour frenzy and book promotion, let’s talk about something different.

Let’s talk about knitting.

In fact, let’s talk about recycling other people’s knitting. I stepped away from my computer and from my desk this weekend to create something. Here it is:


The bag is a gift – for someone who almost certainly doesn’t read my blog, so it’s safe to show it here. It’s made primarily from a Gap sweater, which was a crew neck pullover with raglan sleeves and lovely fair isle patterning. I got it at the thrift store for a buck, because someone had tossed it into the washing machine and started the felting process. It probably hadn’t fit the person after that. I brought it home and tossed it into the washing machine again to felt it even more. I really liked how colourful it was and knew it would make a great bag.

The bag itself is made of the body of the sweater – you can see the ribbing from the hem at the bottom of the bag. I often cut that off, but this sweater had shrunk a lot and I didn’t want to make the bag smaller than it could be. (It’s about 12″ deep finished and 13″ wide.)

As far as shaping goes, I used the body of the sweater up to the underarms. The flap is actually the front of the sweater. I cut the raglan seams open on either side of the front and kept all of the front, shaping it at the neck to have a nice curve for the flap. Then I cut straight across the back of the sweater at the underarms – the fair isle pattern made it easy to do that straight! – and removed the sleeves.

The sleeves will become another small purse. I’ve cut the pieces and all that will go in the trash from this sweater is the neck ribbing. 🙂

Then I dove into my fabric stash, which is quite considerable. I chose a colourful check for the contrast piping and cut it on the diagonal, making piping with cotton cording. The lining is the same cotton. The bag is lined with a drawstring top, contrast piping all around and nylon straps. I like the button a lot. I’m less happy about the straps but handles are always an issue for these bags. I have bought leather handles in the past, but they’re expensive and I haven’t seen any locally for a while. I used the handles and lock strap from Grayson E. on this bag, for example, but the set cost over $100. It was fine for a special project – I had actually knit this bag myself – but is not something I’ll do for every bag.


The tapestry bag also has feet, which I didn’t put on this newest little purse.

As far as the purse goes, my only regret is that I didn’t put a zippered pocket inside – I usually put one in the lining but just forgot this time.

What do you think? Do you recycle anything to make it into something else?

One thought on “Something Completely Different

  1. I like both bags, but the tapestry bag is stunning!

    I tend to recycle in moderation. Right now we are in declutter mode preparing to move, so the main things we are transforming are all our extra stuff into money on ebay :-} I do have a drawer of stuff intended solely for making collage art, and the best bits of that will be moving with us for when I have a new work space set up.
    Oh, and I recently found some interesting things that will become the basis of shawl pins through the judicious application of my collection of broken and mis-matched jewelry and will be for sale on Etsy. (just bought the epoxy the other day.)
    I love to recycle in an artsy way :-}


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