Upcycling Cashmere into a Craft Fair Shawl

I could not part with this goldenrod cashmere sweater. There was a tiny hole at the waist that became a not-so-tiny hole at the waist and when a leather belt would no longer cover the not-so-tiny hole I knew that it was time. I hung my head. I scuffed my boots. I stuffed the sweater into the back of my dresser with the other less-than-favorites until the drawer was too full and then I purged the others but I could not purge this one. It was too good to let go. It was true love forever. It was the perfect color and the perfect texture and the perfect weight. Le sigh.

So this sweater has been remade into many other things. You can see it's goldenrod goodness dappled around the edges of my studio in the photos above. Up-cycled, recycled, reinvented, remade--let's suffice to say it had at least nine more lives worth living. The up-cycling started as a cozy for my camera lens. Then it became the tops of two soft sculpture monsters. It went on to be yellow bunting parts to hang between the studio windows. And then poms poms. And just when I thought this sweet goldenrod cashmere sweater could not give one more life she rolled over and showed me her perfect neckline--a craft fair shawl in the waiting.

So, I am making the top of the used-to-be-favorite sweater into a craft fair shawl. (Yes, a craft fair shawl and, no, I've never heard of a craft fair shawl either.) Yellow at the top, then blue, then red, and another blue stripe that has not yet been added. Made entirely of castoff sweater parts, stitched entirely by hand with pink wool yarn, this little love is going to keep me cozy while I tend my booths at the upcoming fairs. I'm planning a pink blanket stitch binding around the edges and maybe even pink pom-pom drawstrings to tie together should the breezes begin to blow. I'll show you the finished shawl when it's, eh hem, finished!



  1. Very nice! I have saved clothes to one day learn to sew and reuse them. Step one is alluding me still. I think it would have been awesome if you "photoshopped" part of your sweater into a world event too. Maybe the DNC, or on stage with David Byrne or something like that. I hope your day is good, my friend.

  2. Great to see you'll be at Second Storie in Rochester! Great work as always.

  3. nicely done !
    [and you've coined a new term. craft fair shawl !]

  4. There's something deliciously Ballet Russes costume about your creation. I love it. Those colours together, the bands created, and the textures... http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/d/diaghilev-and-the-ballets-russes/

    Craft Fair Shawl also has a nice sound to it.

    g xo

  5. beth: i would LOVE to see david byrne wearing this craft fair shawl. i mean, i'd love to see david byrne!

    kevin: thank you, kevin. very excited to be at the second storie craft fair this year. hooray!

    lisa: thank you, friend. craft fair shawl is a needed thing, no?

    gracia: wonderful!!! so glad you like it.

  6. Love this story, love the color too! Exciting news about the fairs! I just had work in rochester, small world.

  7. how amazing are you?! you totally inspire me to sew...perhaps an afternoon at teahouse ...let's create!
    can't wait to see the finished sweater!

  8. kathryn: so glad you like! rochester is just under 2 hours from my tiny hometown. small world!

    stef: nice to see you here, dear lady. i'd love to have a sewing session at teahouse. sounds divine.

  9. Love, love this!!!!

  10. I have that exact same yellow sweater that I got a thrift store. I just cut it straight down the middle and wear it as a cardigan - I love the color and the neckline! I really enjoy your website.


Thank you for your comments, friends. I like to think we are creating a dialogue in this space--building a virtual community.