In DIY and Make-Do tutorials, Felt Tutorial

I must be getting wimpy now that I’ve moved *down south* (to Maryland from Wisconsin). I’ve been feeling chilly this winter! Late at night I’ve been getting sucked into the knitting vortex that is Ravelry searching for the perfect cowl, neck wrap or scarflette. I’ve got a few in mind to knit up, but in the meantime I thought I’d try a felted wool one that I could make now. (I’m a slow knitter!)

I grabbed a felted wool sweater out of my stash and cut a rectangle across the body of the sweater, measuring about 5.5″ x 24″. This included part of the front, back and side seam. Because I avoid making button holes at all costs, I borrowed part of the placket from a cardigan and zigzagged it to one end of the rectangle.

Then I took the buttons and sewed them at the other end of the rectangle (at the side) so that it wraps around and aligns like so! I made sure I chose a nice soft wool since this is right on my neck.

I think I might try this again with slightly smaller dimensions so that it fits more snuggly, like maybe 4.5″ x 22″. And out of cashmere….mmmmm. Sometimes when the house feels chilly, I’ve been wearing a scarf inside, but the tails get in my way! Yes, an indoor cashmere neck cozy sounds just right.

And not to let the rest of the sweater go to waste, I made up a pair of matching mittens! The pattern for these is in Warm Fuzzies and they go together super fast. My mom has been whipping them up for charity this winter. I’ll have to find out where she’s donating them…I like that idea.

Stay warm…my kids have already had one snow day this week and tomorrow may be another!

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Showing 34 comments
  • Jody Blue

    I love the mittens – I need to thrift some cozy sweaters to “make over”


    This is a great idea! My favourite is how you used button holes from something else. That cracks me up, but I totally want to do it too!

  • Juls

    Betz, I love both of them! I have 3 paper bags full of felted wool sweaters that I am still scared to work with! I’m always that way with a new craft, but this just might help me break those bags out!

  • tam

    I love what you did with that sweater-beautifl! I love to re-purpose too! Stay warm and have a happy Wednesday!~Smiles~Tam!

  • Jamie

    Very cute, love the buttons on the scarf :-) Nice of your mom to make homemade gifts for charity too!

  • Anna

    how about this collar pattern?

    there’s a lot of different patterns on this site.

    love your blog btw.


  • Apryl

    love the scarflet… I quite fancy knitting one one day too but I’m a terribly slow knitter too so maybe by next winter .. maybe… love the mittens though… my husband accidentally felted my purple winter coat.. I was poorly and he was ding the laundry and our son happened to have been sick on my favourite and only coat… it needs to go through the wash again but then I guess I will have some purple felt to play with.

  • Annie

    I love the scarflett!

  • Amy

    love the mittens and scarflet…I never seem to run across anything I can felt. I am thinking maybe I need to hit a more upacale thrift shop!

  • Cathy Wegner

    So cute, Betz. I’ve been on the lookout at my local consignment shop for wool sweaters. I have gotten a few but have not had a chance to do anything with them yet. I’m in Maryland too so we have an icy wonderland outside our door today. I love your blog and your creations!

  • Katie

    Betz – They’re great! I have to ask … where do you get all your great cast-off sweaters to felt and create with? I live in Houston (so maybe it’s locale) and can’t find anything worth working with! Ug.


  • kelley

    I am almost finished knitting a scarflette. I just need to finish the flower petals and join together. I used a pattern called Flora found on It is an easy project, and I find myself with a couple hours of free time during split shifts at work, and the recycle projects are not easy to do as a take-along project.

    I was wondering if you had tried any scarflettes, when I was looking for patterns. It seems like a great outlet for your recycles. I will plan to sew one up soon, now that I have your simple how-to and motivation. I had a great time making a set of mittens a couple weeks ago. I have another set cut out, and ready to sew. I am still waiting to needle felt a cute turtle on them, and need to get back to my pile which is currently overtaking my living room floor! Alas, I have vowed to try to work on taxes today…so the pile will remain.

  • KristenMary

    A neck cozy sounds perfect for the office too! Sometimes I have to wear my scarf to take the chill off, but it gets in the way for me too. Awesome!

  • Anonymous

    Hi Betz,

    I guess Montana must have sent you our cold weather, it’s a balmy 30 degrees here today. I love the scarflette, I actually have the same blue sweater in my stash. I made something similar for my 2 year old. I took a sleeve of a cashmere sweater, folded it around and stitched the front at an angle. It’s super soft and he doesn’t seem to mind wearing it, amazingly!! You truly are an inspiration to me, thanks for having your bog and sharing so many ideas. Winter in Montana is aucully long and we need all the sewing projects we can get. Happy mid week! Mariah…still thnking about seat covers….

  • amelia

    Amy…do not forget to look at wool blankets in the thrift stores too…’s, women’s and children’s dept.

    Ms. White…..looks beautiful, you have been given a wonderful talent…please keep inspiring us all…….I love it!!!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh you creative stylin’ maven you!!!!

  • Kristina

    Wearing a scarf does not make you a wimp. I’m wearing one right now. Sitting at my desk. INSIDE!

  • Heather

    Looks snuggly – I have a few big cowl sweaters that I hope to do this too – lucky me I won’t even need button holes!!!

  • Indigo Blue

    What a clever idea! I love the colour too. Hope you are feeing a little bit warmer.

  • Puglette

    so cute! what a clever way to get a quick scarflette. i crocheted on for my mom in law for christmas. i love the idea, easy to wear when you’re busy.

  • jk

    What a wonderful set! I have to get my hands on my own copy of Warm Fuzzies. I gave it to my mother in law for her birthday, but I *need* my own!

  • Larissa Holland

    this is a sweet idea. and I love that someone besides myself walks around inside their house swathed in scarves and sweaters. My kids think I’m nuts. Question: how in the world do all your felted sweaters turn out so un-fuzzy? Mine have a very uneven surface after felting, lots of pills and fuzz! Am I doing something wrong?

  • Tricia

    You’re amazing! What a beautful winter set.

  • Betz White

    Not sure why yours are pilly. Sometimes this happens and then I use one of those scrapey sweater de-fuzzers. Maybe try air drying instead of the dryer. Also, check out the Warm Fuzzies Flickr group for discussion re: felting.

    Good luck!

  • cindygert

    Hi Betz.

    I love this idea. I have been doing this too. I need a little bit of spring to come along.

    I found another way to get the pills off of the sweaters at the dollar store. You know those tools to get the callouses off of your feet? (Dont know if I would use that tool for my feet, kind of looks like a cheese grater) Those work well on the sweaters too. And they are only a dollar.


  • HomeMadeOriginals

    Smiling here, I’ve been playing with the exact same idea. Last year I made a knitting pattern for a cabled neck warmer which I love, but I make many items from felted sweaters and decided I would try making one similar to my knitting pattern…results pretty much dead on to your lovely blue scarflette. Check out my knitted neck warmer on ravelry, I’m “homemadeoriginal” there.
    BTW, I recently bought your book and plan to make some mittens too.

  • Tif

    I know what you mean about Ravelry. I spend entirely too much time on there! :)

  • Anne Marie

    My 10 yr. daughter and I just made some leg warmers (not felted) and this tutorial was great and will be well worth it! it’s below freezing here…
    Actually, finding any chic ‘cowl’ tutorial is hard to come by…so thanks!
    Anne Marie

  • Larissa Holland

    Betz and CindyGert, thanks for the response! I’ll try it.

  • thefrontroom

    oh the cute-NESS! I love the scarflette especially. I also never make buttonholes. I don’t think I have made one ever and I am a children’s wear maker. Very cute project!

  • Kelly Mellott

    I love this idea! How innovative of you!

  • Whosies

    i love the idea of having just a little bit of a scarf and out of wool…that pushes it over the edge for me!

  • Art G

    My wife and I recycle wool and cashmere sweaters as well. She makes mittens from felted sweaters. Then with what is left, we make flower pins.
    And what is left barely fits in the palm of my hand.

  • Lana

    Good idea, good job! I really like it. I pint it.

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