Thursday, January 5, 2012

Make It: Felted Cashmere Eternity Scarf

Here's me at the bank this morning. I'm smiling not because of the balance in my checking account, but because, in spite of the recent cold snap we've been enjoying, my neck is really snuggy and warm. The other day I was perusing the scarves at the Barney's Co-op here in Brooklyn and was salivating over the beautiful Jo Gordon eternity scarves they had. They were really long and soft and beautifully designed. But they were also $235. Ahem. Each. Then I thought of my stash of felted wool, the one from which I conjured the little baby legwarmers and fingerless gloves that I've showed how to make in previous posts. Since both of those projects called for using the sleeves of the sweaters, I now had a perfect idea for what to do with all of those armless wool torsos.

Here's what I did.

First I selected two felted cashmere sweaters that had had the arms cut off and that I thought would go well together for a scarf. Here they are, side by side, on what I'm now realizing is my really ugly kitchen floor. Sigh.

Next I ironed them, and lined them up on my ironing board to prepare them for cutting into usable pieces. I started by lining up the ribbed bottoms. Then I used a yardstick and felt tip marker to mark out one big rectangle, and pinned it all around the perimeter before cutting it out. My rectangles each measured 31" across. The length of yours might be more or less depending on the size of your sweaters. (Also, keep in mind that you can make an even longer scarf using a third sweater and following the same directions that follow, repeating steps where necessary to accommodate another piece of felted wool/cashmere.)

I removed all of the pins, lined the two pieces up, (right sides facing, ribbed edges on the same side, too), pinned one end of the short sides, and sewed the two pieces together. Be sure to backstitch at the beginning and end of the hem to make it nice and strong.

Next I opened it up and ironed the seam flat.

Next. I folded the scarf in half lengthwise, right sides facing, and pinned the length of the edge. I sewed it together, again using backstitching to keep the seam strong.

I took out the pins and turned the whole thing right side out. Nearly there!

Take the two unfinished edges and line them up, pinning them together in the middle. Sew this seam together, and take out the pins as you go along. Now carry on sewing the seam together as best you can by carefully feeding the two edges under the foot of the machine. You'll know when its time to stop because you'll feel the edges getting too hard to pull through any further. This step might not make sense til to you try doing it. You'll wind up with and unsewn opening about and inch and a half long.

Finally, I hand stitched the opening closed with a whip stitch. Then I ran a hot iron over the whole thing to smooth it all out.

And I was done!

This scarf goes three times around my head/neck. I kind of wish I had used one more sweater to make it really long and luxurious, but I didn't have any other colors on hand that I thought would go together with these.
A trip to Goodwill may be in order.

Here's one more shot Henry took of me modeling my creation. This is my fake pensive look. Trust me, it beats my fake smile look. But I'm smiling on the inside.