I have a Rubbermaid tub full of cut up cashmere sweaters, but I did not deem all of them worthy of playing a part in my dreamed-of cashmere blanket. Cashmere connoisseur that I am becoming, I've noted that all cashmere is not equal. Some cashmere is extra soft--"like a cloud", Tayta describes it. A few weeks ago I found two more large, like-a-cloud cashmere sweaters and hoped that I would now have enough to begin my blanket.
My blanket is made from my collection of five like-a-cloud cashmere sweaters. I decided I would not concern myself with color coordination. This blanket is all about feel. I left pieces as big as possible so as to maximize the amount of cashmere I could use from the sweaters and make the blanket, really more the size of a throw, as big as possible.
Laying out the blanket was sort of like working a puzzle. The key was to arrange the pieces in rectangular blocks which can then be pieced together. At a glance the arrangement of rectangles might not be evident, but if you examine the layout you will see the rectangles of different sizes, first smaller, then larger.
And though I would never have planned a color scheme of red, black, navy, ivory, and pastel mint green, I like it. I'm finding one of the fun things about working with recycled fabrics is its limits, and sometimes limits force a kind of creativity that I wouldn't otherwise discover.
Per below, you can barely distinguish the front side from the back side--so it is in person as well.
To create this modified pojagi seam, I sewed two piece of wool together with a 1/2 inch seam, using my longest straight stitch. I then turned the sewn pieces to the back side, and zig-zaged first one side, and then the other, of the seam allowances flat, using a fairly long stitch length. I didn't even need to press the seam--I just held it down as I zig-zagged it. After sewing each seam, I used my quilting ruler, cutting mat, and rotary cutter to straighten up my pieces at the seam, as wool tends to stretch a bit when it is sewn, even if it isn't pulled.
After finishing my quilt, I experimented with this seaming technique using some felted Shetland wool, and again, pleasing results. As with the cashmere, the difference in the front and back is barely discernable.
Though I haven't bound my other wool blankets, I felt the cashmere needed it. I used the saved ribbings from the sweaters to create the binding, which I attached just as I do bindings on regular quilts. I had to use a scrap of cashmere to make the binding long enough, so the ribbings aren't enough, regular cashmere/wool scraps can be used as well.
I have (and will) share my cashmere blanket when I'm not using it, but its home is on my favorite reading chair.