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Anyone who knows my thrift shop habits knows I am incapable of leaving cashmere sweaters on the rack, especially if they’re cheap. As such, I’ve amassed quite a collection. Mostly even in the same color palette. So I made a blanket:

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It is as soft as a cloud and nice and big. There’s no sense of scale in the above picture, but it is the size of my queen bed. Perfect for wrapping myself in in the dead of winter. Or when the AC is too high. Y’know.

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(That’s Joe back there, playing the ever obliging boyfriend)

I made some improvements from the last cashmere quilt I made. Instead of overlapping the squares, I put them right sides together and sewed a proper seam. I also used a straight stick instead of a zigzag. This actually seemed to reduce the amount of lettuce edge I got. I also used squares of varying sizes. This was accomplished by doing absolutely no measuring whatsoever. I basically cut the biggest square I could from each sweater piece.

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Different sized squares meant I couldn’t really sew them into strips. I ended up doing some kind of wonky log cabin thing, at least until the blanket got wide enough. Then I pretty much just sewed strips the best I could. I sometimes had to get a little creative when I didn’t have any squares that were big enough.

I have a fair amount of leftover bits of cashmere. I might piece together a pair of mittens and a hat. I would make a pillow but I already have way too many pillows. I might offer what’s left when I’m out of things I want to make to the Unravelers group on Ravelry and someone can use it for whatever. And then I will snuggle the hell out of my blanket. SO SOFT.

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I finished a thing! A really big thing. I started it back in May sometime and finished it the other day:

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Pattern: Hemlock Ring Blanket
Yarn: Recycled wool from a really big sweater
Needles: US 11/8 mm
Mods: None? I used the crochet bind off though.

OMG you guys. I really enjoyed knitting this and I really love the finished object but JESUS was it a pain in the ass to block. It just barely fits on my bed and the loops kept jumping off the pins. I ended up putting a heavy object in the middle (some barbell weights) and steaming the middle section then stretching, pinning, and steaming each of the arms individually. It took a long time. But it did work out really well.

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Queen sized bed, y’all. Seriously.

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Because July is exactly the time for heavy wool blankets. And I mean heavy. This thing is over 700g and the yarn is SUPER thick and rustic. Like bits of veg matter rustic. I love it though. It gets cold sometimes in the basement, even in July, and it’s a perfect extra layer over my snuggly cashmere blanket.

In non-blanket related news (specifically science fiction reading), there’s this Kickstarter. It’s for an anthology of time-travel short stories, and it includes stories by Timothy Zahn, Michael Stackpole, and Aaron Allston. Understandably, I’ve pledged about as much of my money as I can, but I need you guys to kick in. If you like science fiction, books, time-travel, or Star Wars novels (ZAHN, STACKPOLE, AND ALLSTON), I need you guys to contribute. There’s like three days left and I want to hit the $20k goal. SECOND VOLUME. NOVELLA BY ZAHN. I need it. NEED. So do me a favor and give them some money. DO IT FOR STACKPOLE, YOU GUYS. Because he is the best.

So remember that stack of cashmere squares I showed you a couple of weeks (months?) ago? They’re now a patchwork blanket that is delightfully soft and amazing.

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That’s a queen sized bed it’s draped over, and it’s a little skinnier and a little longer than my UMW t-shirt quilt. I have it laid out over my bed on top of the sheet and quilt for maximum contact while I lounge about knitting and watching Charmed, as I am wont to do on the weekends.

The colors don’t really go and the sewing is… uneven to say the least. My approach to sewing is the same as knitting: Make it up as I go; “good enough” really is good enough; if it’s horrible, hide it in the closet. My blanket is suuuuuper soft and I loooooove it.

I overlapped the squares and zigzag stitched them together into rows, then sewed the rows together. I think I used about ten sweaters? It’s a little bumpy cause I used a regular sewing needle (use a special needle for knits? HA! I say) and there’s definitely a bit of unevenness around the edges. I ran a line of zigzag stay stitching around the whole outside edge of the blanket so it couldn’t stretch too much. Here’s a close up of my crappy machine sewing:

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It actually only took two days of marathon sewing to finish. I’d cut out the squares previously, sewed all the big rows together one day and finished the rest of the sewing the next day. AND a cold front just came in today and the temperature dropped 20 degress, so right in time, I say!

So the other day I did a bunch of sewing. Like, a LOT of sewing. I think I mentioned a while ago that I was working on a t-shirt quilt with all the shirts I got at UMW. I set up my sewing machine and got to work. First I sewed the strips of squares into a finished top:

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Then I sewed the backing on, which is a sheet I got from the thrift. It was a challenge, considering the sheet was waaaaaaay bigger than the top (I used a King and a Full or Queen would have been more than sufficient):

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Finally, I top-stitched around the outside and in the ditch of all the squares (for which I had to refill my bobbin three times). And of course, hassled my brother into holding it for the picture:

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It’s a little wonky and a little puckery (sewing knits onto wovens is… difficult), but OH I love it. I made a t-shirt quilt a couple of years ago but didn’t bother to actually quilt it and it makes a huge difference. LOVE. I didn’t bother to include batting (didn’t have any), so it’s a pretty light blanket (basically two sheets), but I love it and it is great. : )

Incidentally, I just yesterday ran into a tut on a blog (I forget where exactly) about quilting without binding. Apparently some people were like, “This is a cool new thing!” and I’m like, “…I don’t like to sew binding.” So yeah. I guess I’m right on trend with my miles of top stitching. : )

I currently have a whole series of works-in-progress going, of various and sundry crafts. It’s summer and I’m unemployed, which means if I only stick to one stockinette-based project at a time, I’ll lose my damn mind.

Anyway, yeah. There’s the Box 96 pullover I’ve been working on:

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Finished the back and am working up the front.

There’s the aforementioned Ivy sockettes:

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A somewhat-secret project, which is a new design, which will hopefully be somewhat seasonally appropriate when it gets released:

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And some sewing projects. I believe I hinted about this project a couple of months ago:

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I took all the shirts (mostly free) I got from my years at UMW, cut squares from the graphics, and am in the process of sewing them into a t-shirt quilt. They’re sewn in columns currently, so I have to sew the columns together, but I picked up a large sheet at the thrift yesterday for a backing, so at this point it’s just a lot of sewing. I haven’t decided if I want to do an edge binding (probably not because JESUS that would take forever), but I’ll definitely be quilting and top stitching. Loooooots of top stitching.

Finally, there’s one last sewing project in the works:

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That there is a stack of delightfully soft felted cashmere squares cut from various thrifted sweaters. I need about one more sweater’s worth of squares and then I have to sew it all together. Not sure how I’m going to do that yet (overlap and zigzag stitch maybe?), but I know when it’s done, it’ll be ohhhhhhhh so soft and warm.

So that’s what’s in the works. I’ll probably finish the new design first but I might hold off on showing it off until the pattern’s done. What say you, readers? Do you prefer to see the FOs as I knit them and then the pattern updates or save everything for the pattern update?

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Contact

Breeanna Sveum Brinn@stitchbrinnstitch.com