I make upcycled wool, cashmere and angora mittens from thrift store sweaters. I machine wash and dry the sweaters to encourage shrinking and felting of the wool so the mittens are thick and warm, and also line them with fleece for extra warmth and softness inside.
Lynn Gibson of Queenston Crafts in Winnipeg describes her passion for upcycling and sewing with natural fibres —
I also make catnip stuffed cat toys in fun shapes from the sweaters and unique gnome ornaments.
How did you get started in fibre arts?
I’ve always loved crafts and have sewn and knit for years. Making sweater mittens is a way I can transform previously loved sweaters into one of a kind practical items everyone in our climate can appreciate.
What inspires the work you do and things you create?
Upcycing really inspires me. I like taking the previously loved sweaters and creating new wearable mittens and toys. It keeps the items from the landfill and allows me to share that with people. Many people tell me what a great idea it is and how they love the idea of reusing things in this way.
It’s also inspiring to see what patterns and colours I can mix to create the one of a kind mittens.
What is your favourite piece that you’ve ever created?
My favourite pieces are those I can make out of embroidered or embellished boiled wool and also lovely coloured fair isle sweaters. I fall in love with so many of the mittens I find myself wanting to keep a few, but in the end it’s more satisfying to see someone else love them as much and choose them.
Thanks Lynn! See you at the Festival.