Crispina ffrench’s Sweater Chop Shop

My husband has this saying: “Good… Fast… Cheap…: Pick Any Two.” And for most everything in life, I agree. Now, though, there’s one possible exception: Making scarves and other creations from old wool sweaters.  My workshop yesterday at Crispina ffrench’s Pittsfield studio was wicked fun. And I’m telling you, Crispina’s technique, which is detailed in her new book — The Sweater Chop Shop: Sewing One-of-a-kind Creations from Recycled Sweaters — is amazingly easy — with a big-time payoff. It even fits within the Retro Renovation ethic, because it is based on taking old (err: “vintage”), 100% wool sweaters, washing and drying them in hot/heat so that they shrink and “felt” up… then hand-stitching them together into scarves, blankets, pillows, sweaters, toys, and more. Like: You don’t need to worry about fraying edges with felted wool… cut your pieces, design, stitch & run. It’s EASY and almost impossible to make anything that doesn’t look fabulous.  It was great fun to be able to learn how to make felted wool creations directly from Crispina ffrench… but if you aren’t planning a trip to Pittsfield, Mass., any time soon, I highly recommend her book. Very gratifying. Thank you, Crispina. I have a bundle of holey sweaters agitating right now. Disclosure: Retro Renovation is part of the Amazon Associates program and receives a small commission on any purchase you make from Amazon via any link on this site (a great way to support the blog. Many thanks.)

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Comments

  1. says

    hey, look at you with that pretty scarf, love the colors and the flower detail. I especially like the grey (or is that brown?) wavy edge!! and of course, a little dash of orange is always a favorite.

  2. says

    I love felted sweaters! Cutting off the sleeves and putting a slit in the seam for your thumb makes the easiest typing mitts ever if you work in a chilly office. I keep a bright pink pair at work, now everyone wants some!

  3. pam kueber says

    That’s chocolate brown, Denise. After I get myself to the beauty shoppe this week for a looooong overdue visit, it will match my hair.

  4. RetroSandie says

    Very nice, Pam! Felting is an interesting craft – and such a good way to recycle! Glad you enjoyed your class and thanks for showing us your lovely creation!!! 🙂

  5. says

    Love the post ~ and loved the workshop. It was great to meet you, Pam! And to all your fans/followers/readers: Crispina rocks; she’s worth the drive!

  6. sabrina says

    Karen, I’ve found plenty in LA area Goodwill stores! I used to make my oldest daughter wool diaper cover for her cloth diaper covers with them (yes, they actually work).

    Cute scarf, Pam! Have you seen some of her “potholder rugs” on etsy? I want one of those (a big one, for our bedroom) so bad.

  7. says

    Hi, Pam —
    I’m sorry I missed meeting you – I was at Crispina’s workshop on Saturday and Sunday, so we just missed by a day. What a creative place! Your scarf looks terrific —
    Love your website.
    Pam

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