Step 1: List of Items
Fabric Cutter, Straight edge, Cutting Mat (or Scissors)
Old Wool Sweater with arms (at least 80% wool, 100% wool works best)
Beverage container (for measurement) Either a can or a bottle.
Tailor's chalk (optional)
If your sweater is not already felted, you will also need the following:
Liquid dish soap
Old color-fast towels (towels that will not bleed color, but at the same time will not pick up other colors)
Step 2: Felting the Sweaters
Set your washing machine to hot wash, and the lowest water level. Put your sweater in, along with older bath (2) or dish towels (4-6) that will not take on or lose color. The sweater should get a good knocking around from the towels. Finally, add 1/4 cup of dish washing soap. The more bubbles, the better.
Monitor the wash cycle, and wait until the agitation cycle is done and the water is about to drain. Stop the washing machine and check your sweater. Pull the sweater out, and squeeze out the water. Warning: the water is still pretty hot. If the sweater hasn't shrunk significantly, you have more felting to do. Set the cycle back to the beginning of the agitation cycle. (Not sure how this would work for front-loading washers.)
If the sweater has shrunk significantly, check the arms to see if they're about the circumference of a pop can or beer bottle. If not, throw it back in for another agitation cycle.
When the sweater is ready, squeeze out the excess water/soap and rinse under a faucet until there are no more bubbles. Allow the sweaters to hang dry. Before allowing the hot water to drain, skim off as many woolen "fuzzballs" as you can from the soapy foam and water for drain health. Allow the towels to continue to the rinse cycle.
For multiple sweaters, leave out the towels, but increase the amount of water.
Step 3: Measuring Your Coozie: Height
In the picture, we see that 4 inches works for aluminum cans, but coozies for bottles can be 4 or 5 inches.
Stick your favorite beverage in the sleeve of the sweater. If it fits snugly, follow the 4 or 5 inch guidelines for your can or bottle.
If it is too small, wet the arm of the sweater and attempt to stretch the arm over your favorite beverage. It will have to dry in this position. Remove the bottle before cutting.
If the arm is too lose for your beverage, decrease the length, by .5 inches. After continued use, your coozie will mold to the size of the can.
Mark your chosen length, and get ready to cut.
Step 4: Cut the Cuff
You can also use a scissors to make this cut, however most shears will only be able to cut through one layer of the sweater at a time. First make small hole, and then cut around on the line.
Step 5: Measure the Bottom
Step 6: Measuring the Bottom (can Version)
Step 7: Multiple Options
Choose which top and bottom aesthetically fit together, and check for fit. The cuff can be larger or smaller than the circular bottom portion, but will gather more at the bottom if there is variance between the two portions.
OPTION TWO: At this point also assess how much extra felt you'll have from the body of the sweater. For every 7 x 5 inch piece of felt you can cut from the leftovers, you can make another coozie. Simply sew together the 5 inch ends by using the sewing techniques as described in Step 8. Cut a circular bottom for this piece and proceed to the next step. The green coozie at the beginning of this project was executed in this way.
Step 8: Assemble (sew) the Parts
To sew this coozie together, get a 2 ft piece of embroidery floss. Thread your needle, leaving the thread one side of the needle 6 inches, and the other 1.5 feet. Put a knot in the end of the 1.5 feet tail. Bring the needle to the inside of the cuff, and put the needle out through the side of the cuff about 1/8 inch from the bottom of the cuff. Hold the bottom portion so that a few of the edges line up with the circumference of the cuff. Then put the needle into the bottom portion about 1/8 inch from the edge. The needle is now inside the cuff. Repeat this stitch all the way around of the bottom of the coozie.
In this picture, I used variegated embroidery floss, and decided to go for a second round.
Step 9: Embroidery Embellishment (PG-13 Example)
Embroidery is a vast craft. I use Sharon B's reference for fun how-to's and her extensive stitch library:
For many types of embroidery, the floss is split from 6 strands to 2 or 3 strands. For this project, keep the six strands together. The felt is really sturdy, and your stitches shouldn't buckle under the extra weight of the threads, unlike tea towels. Six strands also helps to create a nice raised effect.
The "More Tits" portion is done in a back stitch.
The "LESS" portion is done in a chain stitch.
The "Cancer" portion is done in a blanket stitch.
Mouseover the intro Coozie Instructable picture for more stitch ideas.