Monday, January 17, 2011

Knitting - proof

I mentioned at the end of 2010 that I had taught myself how to knit (with internet assistance). I also had the good fortune to go on a week-long trip with a more experienced knitter, so I decided to tackle a hat project for my boyfriend, knowing I would have assistance on hand when I got myself in trouble (that turned out to be a good plan). So I proudly present my first knit hat, carefully photographed so as to hide the glaring spots where I knit instead of pearled and vice versa.

I'm currently challenging myself with this scarf, which is the "My So-Called Scarf" pattern that I have admired for a long time. It's tricky but I'm doing okay so far - except for the part where I buggered up and had to rip out a good 3 inches of knitting and then pick up all my stitches again... but that's all part of the process, right? I have to say - I do prefer crochet in that way, ripping stuff out is way easier since you only have to get one stitch back on your hook!

Sunday, January 16, 2011


The hardest parts of weaving are the starting and the finishing. The actual weaving itself is easy and fun. But planning out a project and setting up the loom is kind of daunting. And then finishing off the fabric when you've pulled it off the loom is somehow even harder.

I hate fringe so I always struggle to finish the ends of my fabric so it is secure and looks good. I tend to procrastinate and hem and haw about what I'm going to do for a good while before actually attempting anything. It's a bad habit - but when I've got at least 3 different craft projects on the go, it's easy to put one down when I get stuck and move on to another one.

That said, I did finally finish my purple project over the holidays! Hurrah! I took it off the loom and washed it and hemmed the edges. This one is a table runner for now - I've never had a table runner before, so I'm not sure how I feel about it. We'll see. I do love the pattern and am surprised that there aren't any major mistakes jumping out at me.

I would consider this a success - although apparently prone to wrinkles! (Apologies for bad wintertime photos.)

Not sure what will go on the loom next.... have yet to be inspired.

Monday, January 03, 2011

I Yudid it!

Way back in May I was super lucky and won a Yudu screenprinting system from Got Craft (my favorite craft fair in Vancouver because it's full of awesome).

I had a lot of ideas for it but struggled to find a big chunk of time to learn and get it going and make a disaster of the apartment. There was one idea I wanted to pull off in time for Christmas, so I finally got to work on it once my holiday vacation started.

My plan was to customize a set of cloth napkins for my Polish in-laws with the Polish word for "cheers/good eating": smacznego! I had a transparancy printed at Staples with my image on it. Besides "smazcego", I put on some additional images that I wanted to use to customize some handkerchiefs - to maximize my use of the screen.

I followed the step by step instructions that came with the Yudu and burned the screen without any problems. Easy peasy.

Then on to the fun part - the printing!

I taped off all the images except the one I wanted, flooded the screen with ink and did my first impression.

It turned out perfectly! I was really pleased with all of the prints, actually.

I think it helped that I had done some screenprinting before (although burning the screen was new to me) - it can take a bit of practice to get a good impression. I did the set of 8 napkins super quickly and cleaned off the screen so I could untape the other images and print those too.

Really the biggest problem with screenprinting is that it is best for printing large quantities of things.... and how often do you need large quantities of stuff printed with the same image? I usually only need 3 -4 copies of something.

All in all, the Yudu is pretty neat - for those of us who don't have workshops to get messy with normal screenprinting - it's a compact, tidy way to do it.

I live in a 600sqft apartment, so having the screen-burning + drying rack + printing surface all in one makes it doable. If you've got more space, you can probably screenprint the normal way for less.

In the end I didn't make nearly as big a mess as I thought I would - it also didn't take as long as I thought; I burned the screen on one day and did the printing the next day - which gave the screen loads of time to dry and made it all seem less daunting somehow. :)

These napkins turned out so well, my brain is off thinking up new projects!

Thank you Got Craft? and Yudu!!