Sweater / Mittens / Bag / Socks

I bought this Eddie Bauer 100% wool sweater at a thrift store about six years ago.


397 sweater for mittens

Yes, you heard right, I said six years. lol.


I bought it because it told me that it would make Beautiful Mittens and that I could easily find a coordinating solid-colored sweater for the Beautiful Mittens’ palms and ribbed cuffs!

Lies, I tell you!! All Lies!! This sweater is a Big liar.

You can see where I cut out a big hunk out up by the neck.

397 sweater - close

I carried that piece of sweater around in my purse for over a year, watching and hoping  for a burgundy or blue violet wool sweater to appear at a thrift.


About four years ago the sweater changed its mind and said it would become a Beautiful Bag for my sister. I didn’t ask for any details, I was so happy to have it leave here to go live at her house. By last fall she realized the bag transformation was never going to take place and she gave the sweater back.

By then I was no longer interested in listening what the sweater had to say!


Thanks to this tutorial that I came across on the Pearls & Scissors blog, I knew that its sleeves could easily become warm comfy house socks.

I hoped to make socks for my DH’s size 11 1/2 feet. I got him to slide one leg into a sleeve and we discovered that, although only a Women’s size Small/Petite, it fit him pretty well. . . as a sock!

397 trying on sleeve as sock

After I cut off the sweater’s sleeves I had DH try them on again, inside out this time with their seams running along the inside edge of his foot and up his leg. I fitted each sleeve by sewing big basting stitches next to the seam with white yarn. I also made a shallow dart across DH’s instep to take away some of the excess fabric there. They didn’t do this on the P & S socks. I think my sweater’s fabric might be a lot thicker than theirs.

397 sock - basted

I sewed right next to the ugly white yarn stitches using a small zig-zag stitch on my sewing machine. Once I removed the basting yarn and trimmed the seam down to 3/8″, I got DH to try on his nearly finished socks yet another time.

We decided they needed to be taken in just a little bit more. Vroom!

397 sock at sewing machine

The little sweater’s sleeves aren’t very long, so there’s not enough fabric to fold over and make an elastic casing at the top like on the socks in the tutorial. Instead, I picked-up the sweater sleeve’s stitches all the way around and knitted on a three-inch k2p2 ribbed cuff out of plain charcoal sock yarn. This not only lengthens the socks but also helps them stay up. My first cuff attempt was too loose so I tried again with dpns one size smaller and that turned out juuust right!

397 sox - laying flat

Ta-Dah! A Happy Man wearing his Fancy New Sweater Socks!!

397 sox - modeled

Making sweater socks this way wasn’t as quick and simple as if I’d done it the way shown in the tutorial, but it was still much faster than for me to knit DH an entire pair of socks from scratch – especially considering those Big feet – and the fact that I’ve never knitted fancy color-work before! lol.

But perhaps what’s most important is how happy this sweater is as socks – maybe this means it won’t lie to anyone ever again!


This entry was posted in Knitting, Socks, Sweater Crafts, Thrifty Treasures. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Sweater / Mittens / Bag / Socks

  1. Wawanna says:

    How precious is this – both the story and the socks; quite an ongoing adventure filled with intrigue!

    • I’m so excited about how well these socks turned out!
      It encourages me to experiment with making other things out of sweaters.

      Thanks so much for writing a comment – it was the only one I got on this post. 😦
      I realize most of my blog’s visitors are probably crocheters, but still. . . these are pretty cool-looking socks!!
      And hey, I don’t see any reason why a person couldn’t just crochet on a band instead of knitting one. Hmmmm.

  2. Anastacia says:

    you are hysterical, as always.

    I too have a stack of wool sweaters, waiting to become something recycled, and they’ve yelled at me a time or two demanding to be something… I usually frog them to reuse the yarn, but doing projects like this is cool, too!

    • I thought I might work my way through my bin of sweaters faster if I did a bunch of these kinds of projects. But this project alone makes me look at thrift store sweaters with a new eye.
      Hmmmmm, this sweater would make a great pair of argyle knee highs!!
      I’m struggling not to bring home even more sweaters for the bin!!
      Aaaack. such troubles. lol.

  3. Malka says:

    Thanks so much for very informative and clear instructions. I love love love to recycle!

    • You’re welcome, Malka!

      Before you start sewing up a sweater sock wardrobe – lol – I advise you to read part two of the story. . . Save yourself some heartache by only using sweaters that have a little nylon, polyester or silk mixed with the wool, like a good sock yarn, which should make them a little more durable.

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