It's easy to accidentally shrink a jumper by washing it in a hot wash. But all is not lost.

This tutorial shows you how to recycle a favourite shrunken jumper into mittens. You could also use it to recycle a purposely-shrunken item of knitwear.

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I used a cashmere jumper bought from a charity shop for £2.49, which looked like it had already been shrunk. My finished mittens are fantastically soft and cosy and they would also make a fantastic, personal present for Christmas.

What you will need:

A jumper or cardigan made from 100% wool


Matching thread

Sewing machine


Paper and fabric scissors

1. You can use a jumper or cardigan shrunken by mistake or shrink a jumper on purpose by putting it on a 60 degree wash. Your chosen knitwear needs to be 100% wool or it won't shrink adequately. Either way, you should wash and dry your item before beginning.

2. Check that your item has shrunk enough by making a cut into the cuff and checking that the knitted fabric doesn't unravel. If properly shrunk it should be stable enough to be cut without unravelling.

3. Make a paper pattern for your mitten by drawing around your hand or around another mitten. Once you have done this, draw round again half a centimetre outside your first line. This adds on the seam allowance.

4. Pin your pattern to the knitwear and cut around it. Pin through the front and back of the item to cut both pieces of each mitten at the same time. You can use the bottom ribbing of the item for the cuff of the mittens. Cut out 2 mittens (4 pieces)

5. Sew around the edges of the mitten, using a half centimetre seam allowance. Cut small triangles on the curved edges of the mittens – this makes the seam less bulky. You might want to trim the seam allowance of the thumb in half to make it easier to turn inside out.

6. Turn your mittens inside out. You can press them lightly with the iron if they need to be flattened.

Read more of Kerry's fashion DIY tutorials here:

How to make your own heart-shaped elbow patches

How to make your own Peter Pan collar

How to sew on a button