...From the desk of Seasonal Arts...

I have a lot of projects in the works for the fall collection, so I just thought I'd give you a preview. I'm trying to focus on using upcycled materials (like the re-used yarn in the post below) and have been scouring thrift stores for clothing that needs a makeover. After a long summer, sweaters are back in thrift stores and at garage sales, and I'm stockpiling beautiful feltable sweaters for making oven mitts and other projects.

Here are my latest finds, all felted and ready to go. Well, all felted except the sweater on top. My husband likes that one so much he's trying to convince me to give it to him to wear.

Are you having trouble picturing what oven mitts made out of old sweaters would look like? Let me show you a couple sets that I made for bridal shower gifts this spring.

I love these purple and cream mitts with their bright flowers! The felt from sweaters is so deliciously thick it works excellently at blocking heat. Wool is also somewhat water-resistant, which makes it more suitable for handling hot objects than water-absorbent cotton.

Sometimes I like to embroider plain felts like the ones above, but other times I let the sweater patterns speak more for themselves. I really like the simple heart embroidered near the cuff of the striped mitt on the left.

One reason I want to make more oven mitts to sell is that I really want to make a pair for my own kitchen. Actually, most things I make start that way. I figure that if I have a use for some beautiful object, other people will too.

Here is one of my best recent thrift store finds! I've been looking for a good source of suede to use for toddler bootie and adult slipper soles, but almost everything I found was far too expensive. But then last week I found this huge genuine leather coat at the Salvation Army for $4.99! It has a small rip in the left arm, which makes it unsuitable to wear as a dress coat, but will upcycle wonderfully.

Finally, this summer I was given a bag full of my husband's grandmother's and great-grandmother's knitting tools. Many of their knitting needles were kept in a cloth needle roll, which would be very useful except that it was too short to accommodate long needles. See the flap on the top? That is supposed to fold over the top of the needles to protect them, but it doesn't come close to covering them. Also, when I combined grandma's needles with my own needles, the roll was much too small to hold everything I needed it to.

A solution quickly presented itself. I could easily sew myself a knitting needle organizer/roll, and it would be even more interesting if I made it from upcycled fabrics. Searching through a box of old clothes saved for just such a purpose, I selected these three combinations. I plan on keeping an eye on the 25 cent clearance rack at the Salvation Army for more fabric choices, and offering the needle cases for sale to other knitters this fall.

There you have a few of the projects in my immediate queue, but I've got a lot more lined up! I hope you'll keep checking back to see all the fabulous new projects coming out.