How to reuse acrylic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sweaters


My great-grandmother-in-law (aka GG) was a prolific knitter. Not only could she knit, but she drafted her own patterns, like these two above, for her 10 grandchildren as they grew up.


GG is 90-something now and still knitting. She’s had to reteach herself, from scratch TWICE – once after a stroke wiped her memory of her knitting skills, and again more recently when she spiral fractured her arm.


GG has buh-elventy great-grands who still receive sweaters from her. She didn’t believe me when I told her I love bright colours versus pastels for my girls, but now she gets it and gleefully knits them orange (Ni) and purple (Lu) sweaters.

Fishy zip sweater

As with all handmade things, sometimes they aren’t wanted by the recipient. And I won’t get into THAT debate. And as these are hand-me-downs and handmade, sometimes those are wanted even less. My MiL saved all of these GG creations from the Goodwill for me, thinking that the girls would want some, and that I may craft with the others.

Navy zip-up sweater

The girls claimed one each. And now, I need to decide what to do with the rest.

White zip-up sweater

Now, I sort of understand why these sweaters may not be loved. They are 100% acrylic, which is my least fabric fibre against my skin and I tend not to buy acrylic for my family as they also have sensitive and eczema-prone skin. However, with a shirt underneath, the girls can wear these GG sweaters, roll around in the mud all day, stay warm and reasonable dry, and, most importantly… they wash like a dream. But, you know, knobby knits aren’t for everyone, I hear you.

Fire-breathing dragon sweater

But seriously, how could you give away the awesomeness of this one? (Ni’s choice). Lookit the gold thread woven through it!

Puppy sweater

This one was Lu’s choice.

The GG classic

So the question is, what to do with the rest of them? The Interwebz has few suggestions from my cursory look-about. Sleeves turned into wine bags or bodies into pillows were the best I found so far.

Cowboy Cardigan

I had a couple of ideas:

1) frogging one or two for practice crochet yarn for Mere and I
2) gifting one to The Boy, if his Mama wanted one
3) using the sleeves as legwarmers for the girls.
4) making one of the Ninja Turtle sweaters fit me… somehow. I so want to wear that to work on casual Friday.
5) make a pyjama monster pillow out of one.

Another GG classic

Anyone have any other thoughts or suggestions? I’m collecting ideas on a Pinterest board, if you want to play along just follow my board and I’ll add you as a contributor so you can add suggestions you find too.


About Michelle

Woman. Wife and Mama. Crafty.
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4 Responses to How to reuse acrylic Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle sweaters

  1. Tina says:

    His mama does want one!!! but I can’t decide…..I totally would have went for the dragon one so Me and Ni are on the same page there….I guess it depends on size. I am kinda partial to the cream coloured one with all the cables but I also like the dolphin (sharks? whales?) with the zipper. or both. He’s a 5 in sweaters right now so you can use your judgement.

  2. Tina says:

    also, I’ve been wanting to knit him a hooded sweater and knowing it would probably take me about 3 yrs to do so but this way I could just make a hood and stitch it on…LOL

  3. Tina says:

    I changed my mind, I like the gray one over the cream cabled one…..dolphin/shark/whale is still in the running…..

  4. Michelle says:

    Okay! You meant the Grey Fair Isle one? And the fish one. Check. Both should fit him fine. I don’t know which will be easier to attach to a hood, but I’m sure if anyone can figure it out, it’s you!

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