Sunday, February 07, 2010

Blankie of Sweaters

I spent three hours yesterday afternoon, cutting apart two sweaters from the Salvation Army (total cost $4) and sewing them back together as patchwork blocks. This delighted me, and I'm still pondering what, exactly, gave me such enjoyment. The cost? The re-use of discarded materials? The speed with which something turned into something else - instant gratification, compared to knitting or weaving a blanket.
I think my favorite part was just moving ahead: no pattern, no pinning, no instructions. I cut the sleeves and ribbing and neckline off. Then, I cut the front of the blue sweater into strips, then sub-divided those into rectangular blocks. All by eye; no stopping to measure or even things out, beyond cutting off the stray, stand-out sloppy edge. I sewed a blue piece to a gray, then alternated colors, with four blocks per row. I built rows until I ran out of sweater.
I did break down and iron the seams, before sewing the strips together. Then I very lightly felted it in the washing machine; this may turn into a baby blanket, and I wanted to see what would happen if I washed it.
I haven't figured out the borders yet. And I did block the blanket after washing it, so it looks much more even than in the first photo. (Even instant gratification finds some obsessive detailing creeping in....) But so far, very satisfying.
Which is a good thing, because today continued the theme of things not found. Went to lunch at a cafe nearby, only to get there as they closed. Drove down to the Goodwill store for more sweaters; but it's actually a Salvation Army and was closed for Sunday. Then to Home Depot for Ralph Lauren paint, which they no longer carry. Amazing.

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