Recycled Sweater Workshop


Something came in my inbox the other day that I thought was interesting.   The company Crispina, which is run by designer Crispina French, is offering summer workshops up at her studio in Pittsfield, MA for people who are interested in taking old, cozy sweaters and turning them into something new.      Above is a picture of one of the projects you can make: “sweater flowers” made from old sweaters and notions that she swears is a cinch to make.    Here’s a bit from the email:

Each month for the rest of the year I am offering studio workshops teaching the recycling techniques developed over 21 years of Crispina Design Workshop.  Learn to make Blankets, Rugs, Sweaters, Ragamuffins and Flowers all from 100% post consumer clothing! 

These classes – held in the studio (except for Sept) are limited to 10 students per day.  Workshops are offered for 3 days back to back.  Students are welcome to come for one, two, or all three days of learning.  One and two day students are free to come whichever days are most convenient.   Costs are $150 per day including the use of all tools and equipment, materials for the day, and a healthy lunch. 


One of the workshops is happening July 22-24th and it’s called a “potholder rug workshop.”   It’s a little misleading because the above picture is what they call a potholder.    Basically, you can handweave a small, medium or large potholder rug of your own, all made from recycled sweaters, in whatever colors and combination of colors you desire.    This could actually be a lot of fun, even though July might be the worst time to think about warm, cozy, woolen rugs!   But still, there’s something nice about making a rug of your own and putting it in your own house.

Crispina will provide all the materials, but you are encouraged to bring your own sweaters.   So, grab all the old sweaters from your entire family and make a family quilt?   Could be fun.


At the end of August, there are workshops on making stuffed toys, which looks like a lot of fun, too.   From the email:

Learn the craft of the critters that started it all back in 1987.  Ragamuffins are collages of body parts and shapes that allow for creative diversion.  Build your very own style with basic technique and components.  At the end of the session you will have a finished stuffed animal, puppet, or soft sculpture and a head full of inspiration to continue on your creative path. Completely hand sewn of all recycled wool sweaters.  No special tools or skill are required but strong hands and a general interest in hand work are advantageous.

And there are even more workshops on making everything from sweaters to scarves to kid’s clothes.      For more information, check out or call 413-236-9600.   I just might see ya there.


  1. Sonja says:

    I have been thinking about doing a pot holder rug or blanket for years and never did!! Now I am going to do it and make throws for Christmas gifts this year!

  2. So inspiring. Pity the course is the other side of the world for me!

  3. LIsa says:

    The flowers are adorable! I love this idea.

  4. Deb Kennedy says:

    For more fabulously original ideas for crafts made with recycled sweaters & fabrics, check out artist Betz White’s blog at She’s the author of the books ‘Sewing Green’ and ‘Warm Fuzzies’, and has terrific ideas.

  5. Debbie Storie says:

    Crispina, I so enjoyed my time with you in the rug making workshop . I am awaiting your book I plan to buy a copy in august I have several friends that I have told about all your wonderful creative idea’s so I’m sure they will be picking up copies as well. Pittsfield is one of the nicest places on earth in my mind, It was such a joy to spend time there with you and all the other delightful people I met. Thank’s again for reminding me that I do still enjoy crafts of all types. It has renewed in me a desire to take the time out of my day just to do something I love to do. Thanks again .Debbie Storie