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Transferring My Photocopies to Cloth

Today I played with some of my photos–laser printer copies of my photos–and attempted to transfer the images to cloth.  This has great possibilities.

booksImage Transfer Workshop: Mixed-Media Techniques for Successful Transfers  By Darlene Olivia McElroy

This is the source of the information that led to today’s experiments.  I used digital photos of my own that were printed on plain paper with a laser printer.  Laser printer is important because this works with the toner, not the ink in an inkjet printer.  You need a spray can of Krylon Crystal Clear (under $7 at Michaels), some cotton fabric which has been prewashed to remove any sizing, a wooden spoon or old credit card.  Then you just need a playful spirit.

Owl-transfer-frontThe technique was for black and white images, so I took my scan of my Owl #5 to Dilworth Packing Company to make a copy.  I followed the instructions and got nothing on my cloth.  I cannot explain that, but it turns out that the technique which has you saturate the photocopy with the acrylic sealer has a great effect on the paper.  Owl-transfer-backThis is the back of the plain piece of printer paper after the saturation.  The whole thing is translucent and has a great look to it.

But back to the cloth thing.  I decided to try some photos Steve had printed for me but they were all in color.  Well, “in for a penny, in for a pound” . . .

Tiffany-transferThis is the first attempt.  McElroy explains some common problems about getting good images in her book, so I blame this on being a newbie.  But…..I used a twill (diagonal) weave cotton for this and the texture on the cloth showed I wasn’t getting full contact.  I then tried printing it to a piece of white cardstock lying nearby.  Again I got a twill effect–the other half of the transfer that didn’t go on the cloth.  Eureka and Thomas Edison.  I discovered twill fabric doesn’t work.

Bikes-transferTry number three was another color photocopy, a bike burial ground in Australia.  This time I used cotton knit.  An aside:  I’m really playing with this to see if I can make cute appliques to cover food stains on my Tshirts.   A much better transfer yet still not strong color.  I also think this photo is too busy.

Mandala-transferNumber 4 is a watercolor pencil mandala assigned in a former art class.  I sprayed the heck out of this one.  I also used plain weave cotton–an old baby sheet to be exact.  This was my best impression.  I could add permanent ink to this to make a washable applique and put it on something.  Plus I would get the fun of coloring it all over again.

Mandala-frontBest of all is how the photocopy looks now.Mandala-back

I still have some other transfer techniques to try.

In the mean time I started a new bigger watercolor painting.

Hydrangea-in-progressThis is the beginning.  The blue tape is to keep the paper clean and provide a nice border to the finished painting.  This is an activity I found on line from the Learning Center on Susie Short’s website.  She even provides a traceable sketch to get you painting without worrying about drawing.  I love hydrangeas, especially blue ones.  Oh, you didn’t realize this was a picture of a hydrangea.  That’s because I got so rushed and excited laying on this first bit of color and then trying to fix it that it is really a blob.  Except for the leaves.  I have the start of some great leaves.

Hydrangea-in-progress-leaf-Check out that top one.  See the lines/veins.  Those are not drawn in.  They are carved into the paper with a stylus and then painted over again.  The second coat of paint seeps down in the depression of the veins and therefore dries darker than the surface color.  Isn’t that cool?

Later I’ll show you how I’m learning to draw watercolor tree trunks with a credit card.  I just love clever.

More later–


Chalk, Wingspan details, Art in the back of the Subaru

A work in chalk at Charlotte Yarn–fun.

Remi has bought so many new yarns that contain some of that magic fiber–silk. I love my wool blended with some of this luxury. While listing some of the desirable qualities, we had a discussion about the spelling of the word drapable, drapeable, or drape-able. The only one my word processor recognizes is the one I decided to use—-drape-able. No matter how you spell it, it makes you look sexy.

Wingspan Front

Had some questions about the yarns and the techniques I used in my Wingspan. The main yarn is the Noro Yuzen which may be discontinued. It is a wool blend DK. The panel on the right is a simple intarsia technique using grey Manos (which has a bit of silk) and a teal Cascade 220 Superwash. I started the panel with the grey, then I tied on the teal at row 3 and knit 2 stitches. Each RS row I added two more teal stitches until the panel was finished.

The Noro Yuzen had been hanging around for quite a while and had been tried in other projects. The last one was a mitered checked piece that I frogged. Therefore, only three of the five Yuzen patterns were a continuous knit. The other two were put together out of 8 yard bits. I spit joined the ends and placed the colors wherever I pleased.

Therefore, I tell you that this is an awesome stash buster. I used both DK and worsted yarns willy nilly with excellent results. Size 8 needle. Cast on 90 sts as written. Do not overthink your knitting.

I have also been doing so neat striping on my current Wingspan, where I work 6 rows in one color, and then 2 rows in a real eye popper. I am still figuring out the best place to make the color change and will share it when I post this next one. And this one is knit on chunky yarn and some worsted on US 10 needles.

I didn’t want a scarf, so both of these are shawls to shawlettes. The beauty of this pattern is that it works in any yarn.




Greenway Leaves

This may indicate obsession. I was driving by the greenway when I was compelled to park and go gather leaves. I have leaves at home. But I needed these leaves. Whatever. Then I went to Michaels, an everyday event when I have coupons. Next was the dentist, but I had an hour to kill. I didn’t want to eat or shop. Finally I raised the hatchback on my Outback and climbed in. With the warm sun on my back and my feet propped on the door opening, I sketched the leaves. Yep, still sitting in the Michael’s parking lot at lunchtime. Lots of traffic. I’ll bet they thought I was a serious artist. I know I was a content one. Maybe just a little bent.

And then I did this. I need to make put it in one of the side columns of the blog. Or maybe I’ll use it to update the title graphic.

More later– You are making things, aren’t you? Don’t make me come to your home to chastize.

Trust the Pattern

I tell clients all the time to just trust the pattern.  I also told my kids to do as I say, not as I do.  Well, I’m just not trusting this pattern to turn out to be what I want it to be.  So I’m cheating.–My best skill. It’s the Shawl/cape pattern from Maggie Jackson, a marvelous, inventive designer.  But her models are 10 feet tall and weigh 87 lbs.  I, of course, am not and do not. So, I cheat.

I found some old pellon interfacing.  How old you ask?  Well, the package of 4 yds cost 99 cents.  How long has it been since anything was 25 cents a yard?  It is a bit discolored and will tear if you pull on it, but it will serve this purpose.  That’s why I don’t throw things away.  It is to be a template, a pattern, a sloper.

Pellon and pattern for shape and size

I went to the shawl drawer and found the best of my shawls, shaped like I like.  The one I altered the pattern from a triangle to a curved one by short rows .  The one I finished in Australia.  Yes, the one that has a bad side where I didn’t quite do it right and the good side where I finally figured it out.

Layout with good half on the fold

I only traced the good half of the shape and placed it on the fold of the pellon.  You can see that it didn’t quite fit.

The extra bit that didn’t fit the 22 inch width

I am Knitter!  I am resourceful.  I have strong packing tape.  A little pencil outline, some scissors, and voila.

My body curved template

Now to put it to use–

Disclaimer:  The owner of this blog in NO WAY means to imply or guarantee that what you see next will in any way resemble the final product.  The whole point in this practice is that you don’t have to commit to anything until you have completed the project and sought the advice of every knitter you know.  These pictures represent Plan A.   Like that mystery writer,  I have 25 other letters.

Using the template

Closeups of the swatches so far–Click to enlarge if interested.  Uh-h-h-h, I stopped following the pattern on these as well after I knit the second one.  Don’t blame Maggie if this doesn’t look great.   Did I mention that I am having fun?

center back plan A

More later–

Fusing some petals

Sitting at the mall waiting on Janie, who is always late, and I am always early, so I bring plenty of toys to play with. I ran into Sandy from Charlotte Yarn and emailed her a link to Franklin Habit’s article in the newTwist Collective, ” Ten Knitters You Meet in Hell.” If you haven’t read it, click here. Then saw Chris and her husband. Didn’t know the Starbucks at Cotswold was such a happening place.

I’m excited. I finished my iPad purse this morning. Designed it “seat of the pants” as usual, so it has a few forced places, but that is just me.

I added some flower petals to create a flower to cover the one little place on the flap that I didn’t like. I just fused some pieces of batik together and drew the petal kind of freehand with the machine. I even used some Zentangle patterns for the vein areas. I did this with black thread and blind dumb luck led me to pairing some dark with lights. These are reversible so I can have some options in placing them now and in the future. The leaves were done a while ago when I first received Alissa Burke’s book/CD Sew Wild. She is the source for this technique and for the courage to try it. Messy is okay!

Found the button in my deep stash. Remember what I always say in class: if you don’t like it, sew a button over it!

The pocket in the flap doesn’t work at all. I may try to handsew a zipper in it. Maybe.

About the rayon Habu yarn I plan to use for Olgajazzy’s Infinite Loop. I knit a swatch, soaked it for more than two hours as recommended (out shopping) and I love the feel of the yarn. It has body but is soft. Still it is a bit of a challenge to knit. Worth it.

More later–

Manipulating your mother-in-law

Your first impulse might be that I am a Duke fan.  Not so.  I am a spiral notebook fan.  It is a sickness.  When I taught high school, I wrote a lot of recommendations for students, but I charged for them.  If you got into that school, you owed me a spiral notebook with the school name when you came home on vacation.  I got lots of them and loved each one.  I love them when they have no writing in them—except the note the student often left. Plain white paper is a favorite.  I actually have been known to stroke the stuff.  Enough about my psychosis except to say that Paul, my SIL, knows about this.    So when he took his family to Durham for a Duke game during Christmas, he and Zachary brought me the above.

He should have.  Look what else he brought me over Christmas.

This is the first sock I ever knit for him.  The mate looked even worse.  Darning is not going to be possible, but he looked so hopeful when he asked if I could somehow save them.  I have to try.

I remembered reading about Elizabeth Zimmerman’s replaceable heel somewhere, sometime.  I researched starting with my favorite sock reference, Folk Socks by Nancy Bush.  Yep, in the first chapter or so is a section about various sock heels.  The Peasant heel is what I needed.  Sort of.  I think.

This is heel that you knit the same way you knit a toe.  So I threaded a needle and wove waste yarn through all the stitches surrounding the heel.  Then I cut the old heel away and picked out the stitches.  Turns out I had a lot more stitches on the sole than on the instep.  This sock is so old I have no idea what I was trying to do or why the stitch difference, but I do know how to get rid of stitches——-K2TOG.

I attached a new sock yarn from my treasured scrap basket and knit one row around the huge hole I had created.  As I knit across the sole, I decreased evenly 12 stitches.  This may present a big problem but I’m going with it–at least for now.

Plan A is to knit a toe but to decrease the stitches at a slower rate.  I will report.

I also plan to go to the Replaceable Heel concept for the future socks I knit for Paul.  He does love my socks so much that I just have to knit him some.

I even named a design after him which has a fantastic sole concept to support your feet.  He is special.

Finished Original Seat of the Pants Design

Vicki showed up at the door this week with a finished sweater that we sort of designed together.  She originally came and asked if I could help her design a sweater with a shawl collar and . . . .  I’ve never knit a shawl collar anything, but that was no reason to say No.  We did some research, maybe 10 minutes worth, and measured her gauge swatch and away she went.  The V neck was the first problem.  It needed to be wide enough to taper nicely almost to the waist.  Some math—and I did say it was merely a suggestion–and we had the thing.  But it was curved and didn’t work well as at the waist.  Too wide.  So we picked up stitches and used short rows to fill it in.  You can do that.  It’s a bit like patching something that is too small.

Next problem was shaping the shawl and in midstream it sort of became a collar.  It is a great collar, so who were we to argue.  The bottom had ribbing and was too long and drew attention in ways Vicki didn’t like.  She just pulled that out, bound off and the plain edge is covered by the drape of the sweater.  Smart!

Finally, she adopted my own method of buttonholes.  Don’t make any.  Just overlap the ends and sew on buttons.  Then you never button the sweater crookedly and embarrass yourself in public.  Ergo, all sweaters are pullovers.

I am so proud of Vicki because most of this design and redesign was all her.  She started experimenting with making changes from the day she knit her first scarf, but after taking my Sweaters from the Top Down class she has been unstoppable.  Cast on the shoulders, apply some of your basic sewing pattern knowledge and wind up with the sweater you wanted just exactly like you wanted.  Caveat:  sometimes you have to take stuff out and try again, but it is well worth it.

Bravo, Vicki.  And she and I both truly believe that anyone with just a bit of daring can do this just as well as we do.

More later–

Dropped Stitch After-Fix

1.  Secure the stitch until you can calm down and make a plan.

2.  Recover as many dropped rows as you can and thread a piece of yarn through the last unattached stitch.

3.  Rethread the needle with both sides of the thread. 

4.   Poke the needle to the inside through the nearest attached stitch and then tie a simple, overhand knot.  (No, you won’t feel it.)

5.  Weave one of the thread toward the toe for about one inch.

6.  Weave the same thread back toward the heel for about one inch.  Cut.

7.  Weave the other end of the thread toward the heel and then toward the toe.  This prevents bulk.  It looks like this.

That’s it.

It will stay.

It doesn’t show.

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