Friday, November 17, 2006


A Quick Great Gift Idea Everyone Will Love

I’ve decided that I am going to whip up a bunch of these great potholders for Christmas gifts. They’re a project in Colorful Stitchery and all the instructions are in the book. What makes them so special is the fabric they are made of – 100% wool blanket fabric. Wool self-extinguishes when it catches on fire so it's a great choice for this end-product. Best of all, you can whip up a bunch of them in a snap.

I’ve been frequenting thrift stores for a while – always on the look-out for old sweaters and blankets that I can felt and make into something new. Sometimes I transform them into clothes for Julia but many times I will use them for crafty home dec projects. I love embroidering on pure wool with pure wool yarn. It is very forgiving and after a quick steam, all my stitches look perfect. I use Paternayan Persian Wool for stitching. I usually split the triple strand and stitch with a single end. Paternayan is basic needlepoint wool which you can purchase at most needlepoint stores or on-line. I also sometimes use smooth thinnish knitting wool for stitching.



Nice wool blankets are hard to come by these days though. Maybe someone else in town is making the same thing? I don't mind a moth hole or two or twenty - I work around them or incorporate them into a design or cover them up with stitchery. When I get the blanket home, I wash it in the washing machine on hot with a cold rinse to clean it. Then I rip it into large squares (about 24 x 24”). I dye them in my old enamel dyepot using Acid Dyes which are really easy to use and yield super bright colors. Often I’ll dye a bunch one color and then change the bath and just keep overdyeing so I end up with a good selection of colors to use in the future. These old blanket pieces act the same as a good piece of wool felt which can run you a pretty penny.


If I am in a rush to make a project and I don’t have any backstock of old blankets to recycle, I order blanket remnant fabrics from Faribault Woolen Mill in Minnesota. Here’s how you order from them. You call 800-448-9665 and tell them you want blanket remnants. The cost is $8.00/lb. The pieces you will get will be a bit smaller than a twin bed blanket (standard twin is 66” x 96”). I think a twin weighs about 3 lbs ($24.00 for a lot of thick fabric). Ask them what colors they have and tell them what you want. I always ask for white or pastel colors so I can turn them into some nice brights with the acid dye. Make sure you specify you DON’T want machine washable fabric – if you purchase that, it won’t felt. They will ship it out and you will be very happy and have lots of beautiful thick wool to work with for a long time.

Get busy now!

7 comments:

togbean said...

Man! I was just flipping through the book and thinking the same thing! Great easy holiday gifts. Yay :)

Sean Carter said...

Your Christmas project is quite coulourful and vibrant!!If you are looking out for some more innovative ideas, you can jus peep into my Holiday Blog....

Anonymous said...

Brilliant--your creativity and color sense amaze me.

Mrs. Staggs said...

What a wonderful idea and what marvelous colors you've used! I collect old blankets for projects, but have never thought to use them this way.
Thank you for the inspiration.

Julie H said...

What a fun idea! They look fantastic all together.

Sue B said...

These potholders are terrific! What a great idea.

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