WOOL SWEATER THROW

Ever since I checked out Mothers and Daughters at Home by Charlotte Lyons from our library, I have longed to make a throw like hers from my old wool sweaters. She has several nice projects in the book that use felted wool sweaters, but this one was the one that caught my eye. After gathering three or four adult sweaters in coordinating colors, a pair of sharp scissors, and about three 250-yard spools of thread in a color to go with my sweaters, I set out to make my own throw.

I began by felting any of the sweaters that had not already been felted by accident. Then I cut along the seams of each sweater until the front, back, and each sleeve were separate, flat pieces. Then I took a scrap of cardboard to cut a 4 1/2 inch square which I used as a template to cut as many squares as I could from each sweater piece. I cut around any stains or holes that I came across and I saved all the sweater scraps for decorating other projects.

Now I had to decide how I wanted to arrange the squares to form the throw. Working on my living room floor, I laid the squares out in rows and columns and played with different patterns until I found an arrangement that was pleasing to me. In the end, my “pattern” turned out to be more of a lack of a pattern! I made sure that no to two same-colored squares were touching, but I did not follow any other design. I had enough squares to make a throw that was nine columns wide and eleven rows deep. After I was satisfied with the order of my squares, I made sure that the “grain” of each square was going in the same direction and that each front was facing the same side. Then I stacked each row in the order that I would sew them together.

Sewing the squares together was easy. Setting my sewing machine to a zigzag that was almost, but not quite, a satin stitch, I began sewing the individual squares of each row together. Then I sewed the rows to each other, being careful to line up the seams of each square. My final step was to stitch all the way around the outside edge of my throw. The sweater pieces stretch some as they are being sewn together, giving the seams a rippled look which adds a certain charm to the look of the finished product.

While I was working on this project, I was also seeking to know more about the love of God, which Paul prays the Ephesians will comprehend, “the breadth, and length, and depth, and height” of. “And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:18-19). In an effort to know more about this aspect of His character, I began reading Phillip Keller’s classic book, A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23. It was startling to see how much like sheep we really are and how great God’s love for me truly is! Working with the wool in this throw really kept the analogy of the sheep in my mind, and I would review all that I was learning as I worked. Perhaps you can imagine my surprise when I realized that my finished throw had ninety-nine squares! I immediately thought of the parable of the shepherd (found in Matthew 18 and Luke 15) who owned one hundred sheep, and when one came up missing, he went out and searched for that sheep until he had found it. This throw will always be a reminder to me of the love of God for me as recorded in His precious Word. I was once that lost sheep, but praise His name, I now am found!

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