Extreme Recycling

9 Jun 2008


This is the story of a cushion and a jumper (sweater).


Some years ago my mum gave me this cushion.
It has a bought cushion cover.
I never really liked it but it was inoffensive and easy to wash.

This weekend I noticed it had come to grief and I briefly considered repairing it but the fabric is very worn and thin and the holes would keep coming.


Inside the cushion is another holey cushion cover.


Many, many years ago my mum covered an old crumbled foam filled cushion with a cushion covered she had knitted and gave it to my Gran as a mother's day present.
I think I was about 12 at the time.
Mum had learned how to knit these diamond shapes and made eight of them from scraps of wool she had at home, stitched them together and made this gift for her mum.
It wasn't because she couldn't afford a gift but more that she was flushed with the excitement of these tricky diamonds and they appeared all over our house.
She taught me to make them too and I slowly knitted bazillion little squares in rainbow colours to make myself a poncho complete with a roll neck collar which mum was also into a the time ( we're talking the early seventies here).

So we have a recycled cushion inside a handknit recycled wool cover inside a holey bought cover, originally made by mum, given to Gran
It went back to mum when Grannie died and then she kept it for a while before giving it to me.


Now, the jumper.

This is a bought but handknit in China jumper given as a gift to my dad.
My dad is not a big man and this jumper had a strong desire to grow.
The bands grew, the sleeves grew and the body grew.

Dad didn't wear it so mum handed it on to Stephen.
It continued to grow and make a nuisance of itself when it was worn so it was pushed to the bottom of the trunk and forgotten.

During one of Stephen's regular clean outs the jumper was thrown to me to get rid of or do something with.
So I washed it on the hottest, harshest washing machine cycle.
It came out as a very firm , felted little jumper.
Magically it is just the right size to cover Grannie's cushion.


Ta da!!!
Here it is.
It is a little bit bumpy in places but overall a good fit.


I don't think it will be causing any more problems.

All the cushion's past covers, its history, are still there. The cushion gets a little bigger with each new cover as the old covers lie underneath.
In years to come some one will open the latest cover and discover a whole cushion history dating from the 1960s when the original cushion was made.

A sure case of extreme recycling.

And now you can see extreme kaleidoscoping.


Kate and I went to the museum on Saturday and happened upon a science exhibition.
Lots of fun by the way if you are a local.

We took turns stepping inside the kaleidoscope and were treating with never ending images of ourselves.
A narcissists dream come true.


17 Responses to “Extreme Recycling”

  1. I love the new cover ~ by far my favourite of the three the cushion has now had. I'm sure you will enjoy snuggling into its warmth now that it has a more cosy feel.

    How cool is that kaleidescope?! Sounds like you had a lot of fun!

  2. I love the story of the cushion. Those are my favorite projects, when something can have a second and third life with a little creativity!

  3. That cushion cover / jumper is so beautiful! What a lucky coincidence =)

  4. Imagine if the cushion could talk...
    I love the last cover the best too.

    The museum is a great place isn't it, always something interesting there.
    cheers Lenny

  5. Hi Jenny :) I love the new cover, too! What a neat idea, a story cushion. Have a lovely week! Q

  6. Bravo! I love your cushion. Well done!
    And very nice aleidoscope pictures!

  7. The story of the cushion is heart rending. Magicial and with spirit.

    What fun you and Kate had. Nice to see your lovely face.

  8. Throwing something made of wool in the machine and seeing what comes out is so exciting! And how nice did that turn out. I love the new cover!
    And that kaleidoscope looks like fun! And nice to see what you look like. :-)

    Christine from the NL

  9. Great cushion story! Great pics too...you look just how I imagined!

    Love, Tina :)

  10. Good evening Jenny
    Just like your cardigan was happy to wait it's time to be finished...and so was the jumper, just waiting in the trunk until the time for it to be used was just right.
    So strange, I saw the photos in this entry before I read your words, as soon as I saw the face of the woman I thought where do I know that face from? It wasn't until I read the text that I realized it was you! Maybe you look like someone I know...I will probably wake at 3.00am and will remember. What a pleasure to be able to put your face with your name.

  11. I love the story of the pillow recycling! And how handsome the cables look on there. I have some sofa pillows that need to be refurbished. Perhaps I should look into felted knits to serve the purpose.

  12. Your old-new cover looks lovely. Hurrah to recycling, re-using, and creativity!

  13. How creative! I really like the felted cushion cover!!

  14. This cushion cover looks wonderful! I have often thought of doing this with my old jumpers, so it was nice to see how well your turned out. Its lovely to put a face to your name as well:)

  15. Oh it's so LOVELY to see you! You look nothing like I imagined, but now of course I realise you look exactly like you.

    That cushion cover is fabulous.

  16. Oh Jenny, you've just given me the most brilliant inspiration! I have some truly horrid commercial cushions sitting on the craft table. I can't toss them because, as cushions, they're perfectly fine...just so UGLY. I have just the right annoying jumpers to felt. I also have a beautiful baby cardigan that, oops, accidentally got thrown in the machine and nearly broke my heart. Now, I have a use for it!
    Lisa x

  17. What a great pillow story! Now that is recycling! Just be sure to write the story down somewhere, so it can be forever preserved!

    Hugs from Michigan! Diane


Thanks so much for taking the time to chat. I don't always have time to reply but I do read every message you leave.