I have been collecting cashmere sweaters for ages. When I started “poking around” thrift shops, I’d always check the sweater section and see what they had. Often, I’d find three or four cashmere sweaters, some in perfect condition, some that had a few moth holes in them. I’d snap them up, since there were only a few dollars each thinking that if I didn’t wear them, I’d figure out something else to do with them.
I keep them in the old steel barristers’ book case that I picked up at a yard sale a few years ago (for $25.00!). This is the guest room from my old house. But you can get an idea of how many sweaters I’d collected.This summer, I had a moth attack, which I discovered when I went to wash my sweaters in the fall. When I buy sweaters, I always wash them and somehow, in the move, I must have picked up a visitor or two. Suffice to say the bloody moths nibbled their way through quite a few sweaters.
But since I am one to make lemonade out of lemons, I decided to make scarves out of sweaters! I re-washed all of the sweaters in some fabulous cashmere wash from The Laundress. Love this stuff, and I just chuck the sweaters into the washing machine. Cashmere’s so fine that it doesn’t felt like wool does. Then they go into the drier for a tumble and finally, I block them back into shape.Then I strategically cut the sweaters into strips and re-fashioned them into cheerful patch scarves. I have to tell you that the first sweater I took a pair of scissors to, just about KILLED me! But after playing around with the strips and figuring out patterns, I started having a lot of fun. I started with some pastel sweaters, and combined them with some pink sweaters. Then I went on to a celadon sweater, which I combined with a pistachio one and a cream one with some pattern. Then I found a pink striped sweater, which I never really liked much. That made a fun piece, sort of like a bright rugby scarf.Recently, when I was out hunting, I found a red cashmere sweater with black roses printed on it. I thought it would look better as a scarf with some blocks of a deep black. Once they’re finished, I block the scarves again, to set the stitching and the shapes.
While I hate the term “up-cycled” that’s what I am doing with my old sweaters. But I prefer to think that I am giving my favourite sweaters a whole new life.
They are for sale on my Etsy site.