I had a pile of sweaters and scarves that either didn't fit or I didn't like wearing any more. All were pretty worn so I decided to upcycle them instead of donating. Having a serger definitely helped with this project but it could be done with a zig zag stitch on a sewing machine.
First, I cut the arms off the sweaters (serging the edges as I cut so I didn't end up with a bunch of unraveling edges!) Then, I got them into the largest usable pieces I could. Once I knew how much I had to work with, I made a plan for the size and placement of the squares. Then, I did more cutting and serging.
When I started to put the blanket together, I had some major issues with my sewing machine catching on the bulkier knit items. It was frustrating and made some of the squares a little wonky. (That is a technical sewing term.)
I backed the blanket with an old sheet. This, also not easy! It kept bunching and since the knitted materials stretched and the sheet didn't, some were no longer square. I finally safety pinned each square to the sheet and then adjusted until it was as straight as I could get it. I was going to do some quilting on it, but the same problem arose with the machine catching on the knit. I finally gave up and put the blanket in a in progress bin for about 8 months.
On Saturday, I was trying to decide what would be my next project when I remembered the in progress bin at the bottom of my craft closet. We just rearranged the room so I can actually get to it. So, I dug out the blanket. I decided to just use yarn ties instead of trying to sew any more. I used light yarn on the dark squares and dark yarn on the light squares.
But, I didn't know how to edge it. There was no room to do a bias tape binding without making the outside squares smaller than the others. So, I just serged the whole thing! Kind of the cheater's way out, but oh well! I'm all for easy!
The finished product is perfect for a lap blanket or a small child blanket... just not my small child. He likes to try to eat the fuzz off sweaters and would definitely be trying to pull the yarn out.