Friday, January 29, 2010

Featured on Try Handmade

I've spent quite a bit of time looking for blogs that interest me. I follow some that focus on recycled fiber or sewing or wool. But, one of my favorites is Try Handmade. It covers all those topics and many more. Every day I have an e-mail with a new post from Try Handmade. And imagine my delight when today's e-mail from them had an article featuring ME!!

A few weeks ago they convo'd me on Etsy to ask permission. The article is about love and hearts. The choices of items are inspired -- each is totally unique and each demonstrates the point-of-view of the artist. The article is here:

My item featured is one of my recycled cashmere hearts:

I'm really proud of these and am so flattered someone else likes them too!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

In the Valentines Spirit!

I love hearts. I have a small collection of them on the windowsill right above my desk. I have paper, fiber, ceramic, glass, and metal hearts. My newest addition is this one:

You all know I deal with a lot of recycled cashmere. And, when I cut the strips for my scarves, I end up with a lot of waste pieces. I just can bear to throw them out. The smallest bits go into a big bag to be used as stuffing or fill. The larger pieces are sorted by color and carefully saved.

Over the holidays I saw some wreaths on various blogs using the rosette technique for this heart. You take a simple circle of fabric (these were 1 1/2 inch in diameter). Fold it in half, fold in half again, and tack it down. I used double thread and two stitches so they're each secured by four threads.

The base fabric is wool plaid from a thrift shop skirt. I make the base, stuff it with my cashmere off cuts, and stitch it closed before adding the rosettes. Finished size is about 5 1/2 by 5 1/2. I could look at the color range and fiber detail all day long. Hope you like it, too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Cashmere and Wool Fingerless gloves, Part II

Here's two more versions of the fingerless glove. Believe it or not, I think I'm finally out of large pieces of patterned wool sweaters. I sense a thrift store buying trip in my future!

Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 15, 2010

New Year, New Projects!
January and February are usually the most creative months of the year for me. No pressure from the holidays, no baseball season, and lots of cold weather keeping me indoors.
I've been buying old cashmere. Anyone that frequents the thrift shops knows that they put all the sweaters away at the end of January and don't bring them back out until the end of August. So, if you're one to use recycled wool or cashmere, you better have your act together this month!

So, yes, I've been buying old cashmere. My absolute limit in a thrift store is $12 for a sweater. And, it has to be BIG and a great color. Or, ivory is OK since I like to dye things. I've been focusing on blues lately. A lot of my women's scarves in the fall were pastels. I did some in purple and those sold very quickly. I think people may be tired of pastels. So, moving on. Plus, I'm making a gift scarf for a dear friend and she has the bluest eyes you've ever seen.

Along with the scarf-making, I have a new product: fingerless gloves. These are very popular right now. So many people have touch screen phones or need their fingers for texting. Full finger gloves can be a pain.

To make the gloves, I traced my own hand on a piece of card stock. Then, I cut out two pieces (mirror image) in recycled wool and two pieces in recycled cashmere. Stacked them up with the cashmere on the inside and just sewed them all together with the seams on the outside. Simple, yes, but not a finished product.

I loved the cashmere lining and wanted a bit of it to show on the wool side. So, I came up with the idea of making the cashmere longer on the top, the thumb, and the wrist. The width is exactly the same as the wool. Only the parts that will fold over are longer. See the pictures for my actual pattern and the resulting pieces cut out.

Before the final sewing, I had to sew the cashmere fold-over parts. I used a narrow zigzag in a contrasting thread and sewed all three edges. I pinked the cashmere below the stitching. Then, I was ready to sew the final product. Right (wool) sides together, stitch the side and thumb seams, trim very close, and press.

I listed 2 pair of these on Etsy over the weekend and they've both already sold. Now there are 2 other pair listed including this floral pair featured. Before listing, I did a comparison and my price ($22) is quite reasonable, especially for gloves that are cashmere lined. See them on my shop: . I'm making a few more pair just to use up some wool that's laying around. Then, onto the blue scarves!!