Saturday, December 14, 2013

Lemonade from lemons

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From the ashes of a laundry mistake comes two great projects.  Step One:  buy a beautiful blue cashmere (cashmere!) sweater at the thrift shop for four dollars.  Cashmere.  Four dollars.  Who cares that it doesn’t fit?  Stash gorgeous cashmere in anticipation of step two.  Step Two:  wait for daughter to accidentally shrink a fine-gauge merino wool sweater in the laundry.   Express sympathy, re-educate daughter in the finer points of hot water vs. wool, and then ask her if you can have the teeny shrunken sweater.  Of course you can hurry step two along by buying a fine-gauge wool sweater at the thrift shop and shrinking it on purpose, but that’s not how I did it.  Step Three:  get crafting.

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I saw this pattern a long time ago at whipup, and after the girl shrunk her sweater, I remembered it.   After a lengthy scrounge through my teetering piles pattern library, I found it, and then it was the work of an hour. 

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I’m from the Midwest, where it snows a lot, and now I live in New York State, where it snows even more.  If you’re from where I’m from, or anywhere like it, you already know that double-thick mittens are the way to go.  Double-thick wool mittens lined with cashmere?  Oh my goodness.  I’m kind of glad it’s 10 degrees F, just so I could give these a real test drive. 

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Deep sigh.  Warm, warm, warm.  Huge success.  Thank you so much for this pattern, Katie. 

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Hang on, we’re not done yet. 

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There’s still a lot of sweater left.   That’s too much cashmere to throw away.

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I cut off the sleeves and turned the raw edge 1/4” to the wrong side, and embroidered a blanket stitch over it to secure.

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I measured 1 1/4” down from the cuff edge and used my seam ripper to open the seam, leaving a hole about 1 1/2” long, then hand-tacked the two ends of the opening closed. 

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Soft, warm, beautiful.  Turned that frown upside down!