Friday, December 28, 2007

More Shiny Happy Holiday Wishes!


Handmade Ornament, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Halloween is my favorite holiday because I really can't get enough black cats and bats, but the winter holidays have some charm too. Especially shiny sparkly things with stars. My husband's Aunt Brenda, an avid beader, made this ornament thingie for us. My husband says the stars remind him of Super Mario. I used it as an opportunity to mess around with my new macro lens. 100mm f/2.8! Whoo-hoo!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

FO: Broad Street Mittens


Broad Street Mittens, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I finished Bryan's Broad Street Mittens just in time for X-más.  I've been corrected- the boyhood Lego sets with the similar color scheme in fact belonged to the 92-93 Space Police II series. The pattern didn't give me as much trouble as I feared.  I wouldn't recommend it to beginners, though, as it's not very detailed about the construction.  I plan on posting some labeled photos to show how the parts all fit together in the final product.  
My only real modification was to stop the thumb decreases and thread the tail through the remaining stitches when 10 or 11 stitches were left.  Otherwise, I ended up with a really pointy thumb!
The other big clarification is that "K3, INC 1" in the cuff increases means K3, KFB (or whatever you choose), and not K3, M1.
I believe I ended up with too many stitches after following the directions for the last round of the mitten flap, but I just did one more decrease round until I ended up with 4 stitches for the I-cord.
It wasn't hard to reverse the directions for the other hand.  Email me if you want my notes on that.  
Ravelry details here.

Happy Holidays!


Picture 103, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

5 Ball Band Dishcloths, 4 Euroflax Washcloths, 2 Pairs of Fetching, and a Broad Street Mitten WIP


Great, now I've got 12 Days of Xmas stuck in my head. All I'm missing is something in threes. (And 12-6.) Despite thinking I wouldn't do holiday knitting this year, I've ended up with quite the pile of FOs. I decided to simplify by making a whole bunch of Ball Band Dishcloths. They're super easy, look nifty, and are cheap. Ravelry details


I picked up some Euroflax from Purlescence and whipped up some washcloths. At first I was going to copy some hemp washcloths I saw at Whole Foods. They were loose stockinette with an eyelet border on all 4 sides. I tried recreating that effect with the Euroflax and it just looked like ass. I did a little Ravelry research and found the Eight Linen Washcloths patterns, which proved what Euroflax is capable of with a little coaxing. Being very lazy, I put together my own lace washcloths by picking lace patterns out of the 1st Barbara Walker Treasury that only had a few pattern rows. I ended up with Vine Lace, Crest of the Wave, Horseshoe Lace, and Fir Cone Lace. I was bothered by the tendency of the yarn to be very splitty!!, but I didn't have trouble with the feel of the linen on my hands. Linen likes to be machine washed and dried in order to soften up a bit. In my first blocking attempt, I washed and dried until totally dry. Then I had a lumpy but soft piece of lace. I then got the piece wet and pinned it out to block. When it dried, I had a flat but horribly stiff piece of lace. The next time, I only let the dryer run until the cloths were about 80% dry. I pinned them out just enough to open up and flatten them out a bit. They retained their softness after air drying the rest of the way. Ravelry details

I finally jumped on the Fetching bandwagon. I got some Malabrigo from Purlescence, and made 2 pairs from one skein. Unless there's some kind of gift-giving emergency, I intend to keep a pair. I LOVE this yarn!! It's unbelievably soft! I suspect there will be pilling, but I'm ok with that. The picot edge grew on me, and I ended up really loving this pattern. On the 2nd pair, I changed the placement of the thumb on the right glove to mirror that on the left. Basically, I did the 7-stitch waste yarn thing at the end of the row (the 1st seven of the last eight stitches) instead of at the beginning of the row. Next time I'd also move the beginning of the thumb round on the right glove so I wouldn't have the cast-off tail on the more visible side of the thumb. Ravelry details

I've also started some Broad Street Mittens for the husbeast. I was going to make Dashing, but Bryan wanted half-fingered gloves with a mitten flap. Apparently one of his friends had some store-bought gloves like that. I knew there was a knitty pattern just like that. Even better, it uses sock yarn and the only yarn in the whole store Bryan liked was sock yarn. I had just been planning on holding (at least) 2 strands together. We were at Purlescence for the Fiber Fiend trunk show, and I picked up some bamboo/merino roving in the Mars colorway. It's SO pretty!
Bryan was taken aback by the Swamp colorway. I didn't feel like spinning yarn for what I intended to be one of his holiday gifts, so I ended up buying 2 skeins of the merino sock yarn in Swamp. I found out that Bryan liked the colors because they reminded him of space LEGO sets. My husband is special. But not as special as the people who wrote the Wikipedia article on LEGO space sets. Apparently Bryan's memories stem from the M:Tron era of 1990-1991. BTW, WTF is up with this pattern? It lists 2 different needle sizes, but never mentions needle size in the text of the pattern! I really expect more from knitty's editors. Also, there's no instructions for the 2nd mitt. It just says "reverse everything." Everything? Interesting. Whatever. Ravelry details

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Holiday Wish Lists

This is mostly for the benefit of my family (and for myself to keep track of things).
Amazon wishlist can be found by clicking the button over there ------>
That includes the camera equipment that is probably what I want the most.

Other stuff I'd like to have someday:
Hand cards for wool, and for cotton/exotics.
I haven't done much fiber prep so far, and I'd really like to learn woolen spinning. It seems a little harder to find commercially prepared rolags than top.
More double-drive bobbins for my Traveler.
Cute WPI tool and WPI comparison card.

The following items can be found here.
Hi speed kit for Ashford double drive wheels.
Ashford precision lazy kate.

Lace flyer kit for Ashford Traveler double drive wheels. Apparently this has been discontinued. The Woolery doesn't have it, but many e-tailers still have it on their sites (not to order online, though). Anyway, it's rather expensive and I'm not sure it's worth it. I can stick with the much cheaper hi-speed kit and treadle more. :)

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

New WIP: Ballband Dishcloths

Ballband dishcloth in Country Side and Sage Green Sugar n' Cream. I've been wanting to knit this pattern for a long time, but never got around to it. Now I've decided to simplify holiday presents this year by making washcloths or dishcloths for just about everyone. And the pattern (from Mason Dixon Knitting) is free online now! I'm using a size 7 needle, which is what usually goes well with worsted weight yarn for me, but the fabric seems a tad loose. I'm thinking that may actually be a good thing? It won't be really hard and scrubby, but I think it would make it better for drying. Ravelry details here.

FO Roundup- Pinwheel Blanket & Azalea Doily


Pinwheel Blanket from this free pattern. 5.5 skeins of Cascade Luna (100% cotton). I love this yarn! I thought I hated unmercerized cotton, but I just hate cheap unmercerized coton! (The Ballband Dishcloth Pattern is cute enough to compensate, thankfully.) I've been wanting to knit the pinwheel pattern for a long time. It's so fast and easy! This is one of those "duh" patterns that looks so neat but is amazingly simple. I didn't bother with a fancy circular cast on. I just did a regular long tail cast on and joined as usual. I used about 6 rows of seed stitch as a border, and bound off in pattern. It's probably about 33" across. It's going to be a doggie blanket (and a holiday gift) since there aren't any babies in the family. Ravelry details here.


Azalea Doily (centerpiece version) from Marianne Kinzel's First Book of Modern Lace Knitting. It looks a lot better on flickr, so please click through. I blocked it a few days ago. Looking kinda funky, so I think I'll starch and press it. This was another simple (and pretty quick) knit. Different sizes (this is the largest version) are made by repeating the 2nd chart a different number of times. It's patterned every other row, and most of the patterning isn't really lace. There are only eyelets on one row of the chart (I think) and the little holes in the middle of the leaves are made by knitting into the front, back, and front of the stitch. Ravelry details here.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Shopping! Plus Lizard Ridge WIP


Lizard Ridge Progress, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Friday I bought massive amounts of yarn at Purlescence, Yarn Dogs, and Knitting Arts. They all had fabulous sales even though I slept in and missed the biggest discounts. At Purlescence, I mostly got raw materials for holiday presents. I got some red Cascade Luna cotton for a doggy blanket, and some Euroflax for washcloths. I also stopped by Michaels for some dishcloth cotton. At Knitting Arts, I got a bag of baby yarn that was SERIOUSLY marked down (with a free pattern book that used to be $12)!! And at Yarn Dogs, I gave in and got yarn for projects I've been wanting to do for a long time. I got enough Silk Garden for a Lady Eleanor, Berocco Suede for Cochella, and 4 more skeins of Kureyon for my Lizard Ridge. I've already used up 1 of the 4. I also got my TOFUtsies in the mail from SWTC for some sample knitting I did!
Yay yarn!!

Monterey Bay


Seagull, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Over the holiday, we went to Monterey Bay. We didn't do the aquarium or whale watching, so I mostly took pictures of birds. In general I can't stand birds, but I make exceptions for seagulls and pelicans (also pigeons). Bryan and I will go back to see the aquarium and hopefully some whales.
We also went to Woodside and drove around the redwoods in the mountains. That was nifty. I plan on going back during the day when the park is open. It was really cool to come down out of the mountains onto Saratoga Ave. at night.

Say It Ain't So, Ben Stein

I'm not going to go into the whole Nixon-apologist thing, but I used to think Ben Stein was smart. Then I find out that not only is he appearing in a pro-"intelligent design" movie, but he went on Bill O'Reilly to promote it. (Apparently I was also ignorant of Stein's pro-life activities.) Stein and O'Reilly whine about the persecution of creationists in academic science. Well, that's because creationism/id/whatever IS NOT SCIENCE!!
I'm sure most universities would deny tenure to Holocaust deniers in their history departments. It all goes back to the fundamentals of rational inquiry. If you want to examine something "scientifically," you have to stay within the boundaries of what is testable. Outside those bounds, I suppose you can believe whatever you want, but don't expect to get it published in a scientific journal. I'm never going to get a paper published in Nature on the creation of life by the Flying Spaghetti Monster, and I don't consider that "persecution."
Stein and O'Reilly also whine about the "secular pinheads" who won't let high school science teachers mention intelligent design as an "alternate theory for the origin of life." They are missing the point that evolutionary theory doesn't really deal with the origins of life on earth. After all, "descent with modification" requires something to produce descendents. :)
BUT there are plenty of scientific theories that do deal with the origin of life on earth. There are lively debates, and I'm not sure the problem is really solvable, but there's no reason to invoke supernatural explanations. That's theology, not science.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Image Search Meme

I discovered this on my husband's former officemate's LiveJournal, then my husband did it. So I'm jumping on the bandwagon.

Age you will be at your next birthday


Place you would like to visit


Your favorite place


Your favorite food

Your favorite animal


Your favorite object


Your favorite color



Town where you were born



Town where you live now


Name of a past pet


Nickname or screen name


Your first name


Your middle name


Your last name


A bad habit of yours




Your first job



Your grandmother's name


Your major in college

Friday, November 23, 2007

Yay Online Recipes!


Thanksgiving Dinner, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

This was my first Thanksgiving to do all the cooking. The only recipe I'd used before was for the pumpkin ginger cheesecake (from last year's Gourmet). Turkey, gravy, and sweet potatoes came from this year's Cooking Light. Brussels sprouts from 101cookbooks.com, homemade cranberry sauce from veganyumyum.com, and misc. sides from allrecipes.com. Bryan requested his mom's corn casserole, but my FIL never got the recipe to me. I found one on allrecipes that turned out pretty much identical. I also managed to recreate my grandmother's Jello salad that I haven't eaten in years and years. I never knew the white layer was sour cream.

Knitty Photo Contest Followup!

I knew I didn't make it into the top 12, but I didn't expect to know about honorable mentions yet. Then a friend from BobaKnit (Teenuh)messaged me on Ravelry and told me she saw my Nautie in the honorable mention pool on Flickr. I haven't been reading the Knitty blog, so I didn't even know such a thing existed! Sure enough, here's the pool in Amy Singer's photostream. Sally's Knucks are in there too! Thanks to everyone for all the positive comments while I was waiting!

Thursday, November 15, 2007

WIP: The Sweater


Cascade 220 Sweater, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

My first adult sweater! And it's totally custom-fit! It's bottom-up, knit in the round, somewhat following Elizabeth Zimmerman's percentage system for a circular yoke sweater from Knitting Without Tears. I'm adding waist shaping and bust short rows using math worksheets from Big Girl Knits, and I've also consulted the yoke sweater tips from Sweater Design In Plain English. The yoke patterns are my own designs, and you'll just have to wait to see them. :)
I don't know if I'll publish the full instructions, since I'm not sure how many people are interested in making a sweater in my size, but I'll certainly do a post on custom fitting, and I'll publish the colorwork charts.
Oh, yeah. Cascade 220, size 6 for ribbing, size 7 for body.

WIP: Azalea Doily


Azalea Doily, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I'm working on another Kinzel pattern, but this one is much less of a commitment than the Rose of England. This is one of the Azalea doilies. The different sizes (centerpiece, place doily, plate doily, and glass doily) are created by working the outer chart different numbers of times. It's actually quite an easy pattern. I'm on the 3rd of 4 repeats of the outer chart and should be finished shortly, though I am a little overextended right now. :)
I'm using Cebelia 30 on size 2 needles, same combination as the Rose of England.

Stenciled T-shirt Collection


T-Shirt Collection, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I've been getting a lot of traffic from people interested in stenciling, so I'm sharing 8 t-shirts that I've made. All except the right-hand Darwin were made with contact paper stencils (that one used the Mod Podge "screenprinting" method found here).
I've also made a quadratic equation shirt for my math teacher MIL, a Badnarik campaign t-shirt that's gone missing ("Vote Libertarian And Win A Free Country"), and an adorable walrus sweatshirt with glued-on googly eyes for my brother. Visit the flickr page for more notes on the shirts pictured here.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Halloween Pics

This is kind of tardy, but I had a migraine for 2 days after Halloween.
We went to Santa Cruz to see Tiger Army. On Halloween. I cannot overstate the awesomeness.
I really think people should dress up this much for every psychobilly show.
The show was totally packed and crazy. We realized this was our first time to see Tiger Army together. I saw them in Austin twice while Bryan was going to school in Pittsburgh, and he saw them once in Cleveland.
I went as some kind of devil girl, and Bryan ended up as a zombie. They were doing zombification at his work Halloween party. It was a bit of a surprise when I saw the makeup. Otherwise his "costume" would have pretty much consisted of the skull bracelet I put on him.














He went to work as "casual Bryan with a new mohawk."
Likewise, my costume was just cape + horns + tail.
I sewed the cape from a McCalls pattern and some sweet sheer shiny red spiderweb fabric from JoAnn. I'm very happy about getting my sewing mojo back. I imagine I'll be doing a lot of
sewing when Bryan's on his upcoming work trip. I'm hoping to make an apron, a bag, and some pajama shorts.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Obligatory Earthquake Post

All the cool kids are doing it.
There was an earthquake last night centered about 15 miles from us. I was standing in front of the fridge wrestling with a package of cheese. It seemed like I felt the floor I was standing on move side to side. I thought it was just me since I had felt really sleepy all day. Bryan finally pointed out to me that it was an earthquake, but we didn't feel anything else. For us, it just lasted for a couple of seconds and nothing even came close to falling over.
The news coverage was hilarious. Some jars fell off the shelf at an Albertson's. Both the reporter and the store employee kept referring to them as pickles, but they were clearly olives!!!
One tile fell off the ceiling at a Target, and apparently some alfredo sauce fell off the shelf at another grocery store.
I didn't think there were any injuries, but I just read that one person fell down and got hurt.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Free Sock Pattern: Rudy Got Sole

Revision 10/26/07 : Fixed cuff rib directions. (should be K3, P2. used to say K3, P3)

Hi everyone. I've finally finished photography and writing up for my first free pattern. The PDF version is on the sidebar, but I'm including the instructions in this post too. I'd love to get any feedback. Right now the pattern's written at a level assuming some knowledge of sock knitting, but I may add more info and links to basic technique tutorials, especially if requested. The Ravelry page is here.

Men’s Sock Pattern By Amy Klimt
http://spinalcat.blogspot.com
spinalcat@gmail.com


Send your favorite rude boy off to work in these subtly checkered socks knit from the top down with a heel flap.

Finished Size: 9” foot circumference and 10 1/2” long (customizable) from heel to toe. To fit men’s US shoe size 10 1/2.
Yarn
: Knit Picks Risata (42% cotton, 39% superwash merino, 13% polyamide, 6% elastic; 196 yd/50g): ash, 3 balls.
Needles
: Size 1.5 (2.50mm) or size necessary to obtain correct gauge: one 32" circular needle (for magic loop), or appropriate needles (dpns, 2 circs, etc.) for your favorite method.
Gauge
: 17 sts and 25 rounds = 2” in stockinette stitch, 17 sts and 32 rows = 2” in garter check pattern.
Notions
: Tapestry needle, 3 small stitch markers.

Directions:
Loosely CO 80 sts using long-tail cast on (or your preferred method for socks). Place marker and join without twisting to work in the round.

Cuff
Work K3 P2 rib as follows for 1 1/2" (or desired length)
P1 *K3 P2* K3 P1 (repeat between * 15 times)

Leg
Work garter check pattern (from Barbara Walker’s 1st Treasury of Knitting Stitches) as follows:
Rds 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11: knit even

Rds 2, 4, 6: *k5, p5* 8 times
Rds 8, 10, 12: *p5, k5* 8 times

Garter check pattern charted in PDF version of pattern.

Repeat these 12 rounds until sock measures 6 1/4" from cast-on edge (about 6 repeats), ending with round 12. If you desire a longer leg, work more repeats.
Set aside the beginning-of-round marker for later.

Set Up Heel Flap
Heel is worked on 39 stitches.
Stitches will be rearranged to set up a centered pattern on the instep.
Set aside the beginning-of-round marker for later.
For clarity, instep needle is labeled #1 and heel needle is labeled #2 although they are opposite ends of the same circular needle.

Unknit 3 stitches from the last leg round (or if you’re peeking ahead, just stop working the leg 3 stitches before the end of round) and then shift those 3 stitches clockwise from heel flap needle (#2) to instep needle (#1). Shift 2 stitches clockwise from instep needle (#1) to heel flap needle (#2).

This will result in 39 heel flap stitches, beginning and ending with K2.
There should be 41 instep stitches, beginning and ending with K3, which will be left on the cable for later.
Turn to start working heel flap on WS row.

Work Heel Flap
Eye of partridge heel flap with 3 st garter edging- 4 row repeat
Rows 1,3 (WS): K3, P to end
Row 2 (RS): P3, *K1, S1*, K4 (Repeat between *)
Row 4 (RS): P3, *S1, K1*, K2 (Repeat between *)
Work these 4 rows 10 times = 40 heel flap rows (20 garter ridges)

Turn heel
Row 1 (WS): S1, P20, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 2 (RS): S1, K4, ssk, K1, turn
Row 3 (WS): S1, P5, P2tog, P1, turn
Row 4 (RS): S1, K6, ssk, K1, turn
Continue in this manner, working one additional stitch before decreasing on every row. (next rows will contain P7, K8, etc.)


The last two rows will be as follows: (note that there is no stitch worked before decreasing and turning)

WS: S1, P19, P2tog, turn
RS: S1, K19, ssk

21 heel st remain.

Work Gusset
Note: I use the method Charlene Schurch describes in Sensational Knitted Socks for picking up 2 extra stitches to avoid holes at the top of each gusset. There is a diagram in the online errata at
http://www.martingale-pub.com/Information/Corrections/B687_cor.htm

PU 20 sts from first side of gusset. PU 2 extra sts at top of gusset. PM before first instep stitch. Work instep in pattern. PM after last instep stitch. PU 2 extra stitches at top of gusset. PU 20 sts from remaining side of gusset.
K first 10 sts of heel, PM to indicate center of heel (new beginning of round).

Decreasing extra gusset stitches:
K to 2 sts before marker at beginning of instep, SSK, SM
Continue established garter check pattern on instep, SM, K2tog
K to end of round (marker at heel).

Begin regular gusset decreases:
Round 1
: K to 3 before marker, K2tog, K1, SM. Work instep in pattern. SM, K1, SSK, K to end of round.
Round 2
: K to marker, SM, work instep in pattern, SM, K to end of round.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 80 sts remain.

Foot
Continue working garter check pattern on instep and stockinette on bottom of foot until the measurement from heel to end of foot is 8 1/2" (or 2" shorter than total desired foot length), ending with row 6 or 12 of instep pattern.


Toe
Round 1
: K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1. SM, K1, ssk, K to 3 sts before marker, K2tog, K1
SM, K1, ssk, K to end of round.
Round 2: K all sts.


Repeat rounds 1 and 2 until 40 sts remain. Then repeat row 1 only until 20 sts remain.
K5, rearrange sts so 10
sts are on each of 2 needles (1 formerly instep st will be moved to the needle with the sole sts).

Finishing
Cut yarn, leaving a 12” tail. Thread yarn on tapestry needle and graft using Kitchener stitch. Weave in ends. Dampen and lay flat to block, if desired.
Work second sock following same instructions.

© Amy Klimt, October 2007. This pattern is for personal and non-commercial use only.

Photos: Amy Klimt
Model: Bryan Klimt

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Finished BFL 3-Ply


Finished BFL 3-Ply, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Lizard Ridge Kureyon #95


Lizard Ridge Kureyon #95, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Amazing Cupcakes For Knitters!

Wow! Check out these cupcakes from the VeganYumYum blog! They're topped with marzipan yarn balls and WIPs. There's even a tutorial for making the decorations.
I'm definitely bookmarking this blog. Not only does the name make me laugh (my cat's name is Yum Yum), but all the recipes look awesome! The spectacular food photography doesn't hurt. If that's what vegans eat, I want to be vegan. :)
(Except that I love honey wayyy too much. And freshly whipped cream. And fish. Oh, well.)
We did eat veg tonight- yellow curry tofu with potatoes and carrots. Those little purple potatoes are the most awesome thing ever. And I did eat a vegan cookie at the movies the other night. The snack bar dude was like, "You know those are vegan, right?" as if I hadn't been standing there reading the packaging. I wonder if they had complaints or something. . .

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Finished Shirt


Finished Shirt, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Here's a better pic of the finished shirt. The stencil templates are from the Saffron Revolution blog at http://saffronrevolutionworldwide.blogspot.com/
I was going to send in the link to my shirt after I posted this photo, but somebody beat me to it!

Monday, October 08, 2007

T-Shirt Stenciling Tutorial

















Supplies:
  • your image on normal paper
  • contact paper
  • scalpel or exacto knife
  • cutting surface
  • scotch tape
  • prewashed and dried t-shirt
  • scrap cardboard
  • fabric paint (like Tulip brand from craft store)
  • sponge brush (very cheap at craft stores)
Step 0: Print out your image. It's best if there aren't any islands. For example, you'll want to be careful with what fonts you use for text. Stencil fonts have a lovely DIY punk aesthetic for protest shirts, but I've also developed a freehand stencil-friendly text style I use for a daintier look. I'll be posting a pics of my t-shirt backlog shortly.
You'll also want to consider the amount of detail in the image and the number of shirts you'll want to make. This method creates stencils that are good for one use only. It allows a pretty good amount of detail and crispness, but it's limited by your cutting ability. It doesn't work so well for things like math equations that have a lot of thin straight lines (ask me how I know that). When I want to make more than one shirt, I use a embroidery hoop modpodge screenprint-like method. It takes a lot more time and you have to be handy with tiny paintbrushes. If you want to make a lot of shirts with a lot of detail, learn how to do real screenprinting with photo emulsion goo and let the light do the work for you.

Step 1: If you're still interested after that huge disclaimer, cut a length of contact paper larger than your image and smaller than your cutting surface. You can use anything you don't mind scratching up as your cutting surface. I use an old lap desk.

Step 2: Tape the contact paper down to your cutting surface. Make sure the sticky side of the contact paper is down. That means the plasticky side will be facing you and the paper backing will be facing down.

Step 3: Tape your printed out image to the contact paper. You can use the grid lines on the contact paper to help you position the image.

Step 4: Acquire cutting materials. I usually use a scalpel from an old college bio dissection kit. The tape is to ensure I don't cut myself when I try to grip the scalpel close to the blade. Yes, I learned that the hard way. Most people use an exacto knife, but I usually find myself going back to the scalpel for detail work.

Step 5: Start cutting out your stencil using the printed image as a guide. Cut through all 3 layers until you reach your cutting surface- your paper image, the plasticky sticky part of the contact paper, and the contact paper's paper backing. I remove the waste as I go to make sure I've made it through all the layers. If your image has islands (like the middle of an o), save those pieces to use later.

Step 6: Remove the leftover printer paper that used to contain your image. Look at your new stencil and make sure there aren't any major mistakes.

Step 7: Remove the stencil from the cutting surface and trim the excess. You want enough of a margin so that you don't get unwanted paint going over the edge onto your shirt, but you don't want so much extra material that the stencil becomes unwieldy. Get our your prewashed t-shirt and put cardboard inside so ink won't bleed through. Smooth the shirt out over the cardboard so it looks nice. Experiment with positioning of the stencil on your shirt (or tote bag, or whatever). I usually line up text in the general vicinity of the shirt's armpits so I end up with the text on the upper chest.

Step 8: Peel off the stencil's paper backing from the bottom of the stencil. Make sure it doesn't stick to itself. Press the stencil onto the prepared shirt. Try to get the positioning right on the first try. I usually start at one edge and smooth the stencil onto the shirt so there are no wrinkles or bubbles.

Step 9: Dab your fabric paint onto the shirt with a foam brush. I usually squirt some paint out onto scrap cardboard for easy access. Make sure you cover all exposed shirt areas. It's not hard as you'll be able to see where the shirt meets the stencil.

Step 10: Peel the stencil away from the shirt. I usually let the paint dry for a couple of hours, but I don't wait until it's totally dry because I'm impatient.

Step 11: Wait 24 hours before you touch, wear, or wash the shirt. I don't iron the shirt, but you may need to if you're using screenprinting ink or something other than fabric paint. Follow your package directions.

Step 12: You're done! Enjoy! Your shirt should last pretty much forever. I haven't had problems with fading or anything like that.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Beaded Heavy Mesh Scarf


Beaded Heavy Mesh Scarf, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Heavy Mesh Scarf


Heavy Mesh Scarf, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

I finished the Colinette beaded scarf I made to match that dress with the koi. I didn't think I was going to add the silk ribbon fringe, but I realized I could buy it by the yard (only took 3). It was really fun to make. I forgot how great instant gratification projects are, especially when you get to use really nice yarn. This is a great use for single skeins of silk. Tao is supposedly only 126 yards per skein. I didn't quite use the whole skein because I ran out of beads, but after adding fringe my scarf was only a tad shorter than the store model. It's purely a fashion scarf, anyway. I'll be wearing it with a summer dress.