November 12, 2013

My Latest Project

I don’t watch television and although I have one, friends laugh at it because it’s so small. Instead of watching TV, I like to have a project or two going on. Or else I like to read.

You might remember from a year or so ago, all of my sweaters got chewed on by nasty evil moths. Of course, they go for the nice yummy cashmere ones instead of the old wool ones. Since I couldn’t bear to throw them all away, I started cutting them up and making scarves. See here. When I ran out of my sweaters, I started trolling thrift shops for more. sweaters (1)[3]I’ve got a wonderful cashmere throw, which I love, but I kept thinking how fabulous it would be to make a cashmere blanket! I’ve been hunting around for the perfect technique to use to make it, because I don’t want it to be too heavy or too thick. As I hunted around, I found a blog post from someone in Lebanon who made a cashmere sweater blanket.

I pulled out all of my sweaters in shades of pink and orange, along with a few in pale purple and orchid. I cut out 121 8x8 inch pieces and stacked them up. The finished size of the blanket will be about 77x77 inches and 11x11 rows.

My next challenge was how to lay out the pattern. I had between four and twelve pieces of each of 16 colours. I hunted around for a random pattern generator and finally found one that was for tiles. I needed a program where the number of colours and the number of each colour were variable. So after naming all of the colours and counting the number of pieces, and then transferring that to an excel spreadsheet, I got my pattern.

I stacked all of the squares by colour, numbered each pile and then started assembling the rows.

As I finished each row, I put it in a ziplock bag and then numbered the bag.That way, once I start and finish a row, it will be in the right order for the pattern – although, since it’s random, I guess it doesn’t matter too much! It will just keep me a bit organized.

The one thing I’ve been stewing about is how to finish the edges, because unlike wool, cashmere does not felt. Luckily, the blog from Lebanon had the solution - modified pojagi seam! It’s a Korean technique and when I saw it, I knew it was perfect.

Basically, you sew two pieces together, right sides facing each other. Then you press your seams open. Next, you run a zigzag stitch down the raw edge of the seam. The actual pojagi seam is a little more complex than this, but this will be fine. On the right side, the zigzag stitches create a nice pattern in the material.

And on the wrong side, the stitching acts as a seam binding, holding down the raw edge so it doesn’t unravel.

I have finished one row of the blanket and am quite pleased with the way it looks. I know a couple of the colours will be a bit jarring together – especially the fuchsia and the orange, but overall, I think it will work.Stay tuned for the finished product in a week or so!

30 comments:

  1. You are sooo organised! I can't wait to see as I just don't have this knack some do...

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  2. You made my head explode. In a good way.

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  3. Replies
    1. Tx! Can't to see how it looks upon completion!

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  4. Love fuchsia and orange together, along with all the other colors you've selected. So many good tips in this post and I can't wait to play on that pattern generator site.

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    1. The pattern generator site is great. You can keep clicking and it will come up with different iterations.

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  5. This is going to be gorgeous! I can't wait to see the blanket. I am envious of anyone who can/likes to sew; I can't do anything with a sewing machine except mess up the tension. Cathy

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    1. I had to loosen the tension because it was tugging a little. But once I worked that out, it's fine.

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  6. Great tip on keeping the squares together in plastic bags. I'm definitely going to use that with my project.

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    1. it's easier than having them stacked around the room in piles.

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  7. This looks amazing! As one who was gifted a cashmere blanket as a wedding gift from a big bunch of coworkers, there is nothing like it, so light and yet warm. I can't wait to see the finished product.

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    1. i have a cashmere blanket, too, and love it! what a thoughtful present!

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  8. Perfect timing! I have been (unsuccessfully so far) looking for pink cashmere sweaters at my local thrifts. I've made a couple pillows from cashmere sweaters, but this year I decided I want a whole blanket of loveliness.

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    1. i find them all of the time, although two of my favourite thrift shops have closed.

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    2. I live in Colorado. It's a land of polar fleece and yoga pants.

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    3. you could make a nice polar fleece quilt!

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  9. Hi Meg, I've been wondering about the cashmere scarf project. Can't wait for the reveal.
    xoxo Mary

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    1. thanks! hope to have this done in a week or so.

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  10. Oh this looks stunning! Hurry up - cold weather is here to stay, haha. I love the bright colors together.

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    1. 29* at my house this morning with frost everywhere!

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  11. aren't you smart + talented..my sewing projects like L H at H(loving hands at home) not gonna try this one. can't wait for the reveal. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  12. Very smart and efficient Meg. You have really put your evening time to a productive and creative endeavor. This so beats watching the tube! Look forward to seeing the finished product.

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    1. Thanks! I can always find something better to do than watch TV.

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  13. You've turned tragedy into a wonderful, original craft project. Such delightful sherbet tones, too! Thank you for passing along your pojagi tip and just when I was looking into stitches for a reversible project !

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  14. This is mighty impressive, Meg. Great colors too! Much love xxxxxx

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