Thoughts, ideas, photos, and stories.

Recycled Sweater


A couple of years ago, my mother-in-law asked me to get rid of some of her old sweaters  that she had made a long time ago. I found a really pretty cardigan in the bag of discards, but it was way too small for me. I had the idea that if it were bigger I could make a vest out of it. I took the sleeves out and unraveled the yarn, undid the side seams of the cardigan and, with the yarn from the sleeves, I knitted two bands (one of which you can see at the top of the picture below) to put in the sides to make the old sweater bigger for a new vest.

But when I sewed in the bands to make the vest larger, the armholes were way too big.

I unraveled half of the bands and reknitted them to taper them and make them smaller at the armhole.

On the photo below you can see the cardigan taken apart at the side and the sleeves gone. At the top of the photo you can see one of the bands I knitted to insert at the side seams.

Still, there were lumps and bumps here and there.  I unraveled the two side bands I had knit (and reknit), and decided instead to crochet a piece into each side of the vest from the waistband to the armhole.


I see there are still a few lumpy parts, but they will flatten out once I wear the vest and it isn’t so freshly crocheted.

I’m really happy to have given a second life to the cardigan my mother-in-law knitted. She had put a collar and buttons and buttonholes on the cardigan and done a nice job  of knitting it, so I was happy to have been able to salvage it and get some more use out of it.


Just in time for the colder weather, I now have a new vest.

Author: wordsfromanneli

Writing, travel, photography, nature, more writing....

43 thoughts on “Recycled Sweater

  1. Wow! You seem to have a lot of determination to fix up things, Anneli.


    • Well, my mother-in-law is a wonderful knitter but (at nearly 101 yrs. ) she doesn’t knit anymore, and I thought it would be a shame to discard the nice job she had done. I can at least wear my “re-creation” around home and stay warm.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, I love doing that kind of thing. Re-purposing things to save them. I thought maybe this would be a story about making a beautiful cushion cover. Ingenious result, Anneli! Fantastic color for you as well. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A lot of work put into it by you both. Nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wow, you are very handy with clothing, Anneli! It’s a really nice color too. ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I love that vest, Anneli. Nicely done!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. It’s so great that you can be skillful that way. I would never even know how to begin to do something like that. Good for you. And your “new” vest is such a pretty color.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. How great that you and your mother-in-law collaborated over the distance of years to make this sweater/vest. I love that it has found new life in a new configuration. The colour is great.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. It was worth to put so much work into this old vest. It will fit you very nicely and the colour is beautiful. Good work!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Nice Anneli! It turned out good.


  10. What a beautiful vest, Anneli, and it’s great that you have the skills to recreate. Love the blue!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I can see why you didn’t want to give this sweater away, Anneli, I love the colors and it’s so beautifully made with the collar. I would never in a million years attempt to do what you did, taking it apart and re-sizing it, but your talents are never-ending. And what a great result. Very interesting process, thanks for sharing it.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. I wouldn’t even attempt that, Anneli, but you did a wonderful job. It looks great! How fun to have given the sweater a second life. 🙂 I love that.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. This is such an old sweater..but your mother in law was an amazing knitter. Anita

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Wonderful idea! The vest looks brand new. Recycling this family treasure will continue to create more memories of its own.

    Liked by 1 person

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