Screen Printing: Round Two

After my attempt at screen printing using curtain material and stencils, I decided to make myself an actual printing screen. I went on eBay and found some screen mesh and stopped by Home Depot for a 2×3. After quite a bit of struggle getting the frames cut (hand sawing is exhausting), including a bit of help from my mom using the jigsaw to cut the boards lengthwise, I finally have 2 (or one and a half, considering one doesn’t have a screen on it yet) printing frames.

I decided to break it in with a t-shirt project for church. We aren’t a very big church, so there’s no money in the budget for making shirts for events. I chose to make some shirts that can be used at any event we hold.

Instead of stencils, since I was doing letters, I used Drawing Fluid to block out the words for printing.

After laying down the drawing fluid, I used the screen filler to cover it over. Once it was dry, I used the shower hose to clean out the drawing fluid.

I watered down some fabric paint to create an ink consistency.

I had already dyed the shirts, red and blue for the women’s and red for the men’s. I just printed the fronts and backs over a few days (having to let everything dry takes a while, especially since I only had enough card boar to go inside half the shirts at a time).

Though a few of them came out slightly different from others in terms of printing, They still came out very well.

Anyone else like screen printing? Have you ever tried to make something without power tools that turned out to be way too difficult?

Warming Up For Christmas: A Hat Project

It may seem a little early for a Christmas-related post, seeing how December is still about five-and-a-half months away, but really there are only about 23 weeks. I know, I just said the same thing twice. When you are knitting or crocheting for the holidays, 23-ish weeks isn’t much time.

About a week or two ago I came across the Miranda Hat by Evelyn of Project: Stash. She even started a charity knit-along to go with her new free pattern. The idea of her knit-along is that everyone knit as many Mirandas as they can between June 25 and September 30 and either donate them to a local shelter or program or send them to her to give to the group her family volunteers with. For more information on the Project:Stash knit-along, click here.

I thought this was a wonderful idea. But I’ve modified it a bit.

I love the Miranda and have knit a few of those (which you will see toward the end of the week), but I wanted to branch out. I’m going to donate all the hats I knit to Elizabeth House in Pasadena to distribute at their annual Christmas party in December. It’s a pregnancy shelter for homeless or in-crisis women. My goal is to knit 75 hats (in a variety of adult, child, and toddler/baby sizes) by December 1.

One problem with that is there are over 200 women in the program (residents and alumni), a sizable number of whom come back every year for the Christmas party. Most of these women have at least one child with them, making that a bit over 200 children involved. 25 hats in each size isn’t going to cut it.

That’s why I’m asking fellow knitters and crocheters to help me. The details of the project are found on the project page (click here), but the summary of the process is:

1. Make a hat (or 2, or 12)

2. Include on a piece of paper the fiber content, special washing instructions, your name (optional) and your preferred public online profile (Twitter, a blog, Ravelry, Pinterest, etc.) (optional)

3. Drop off or mail in your finished hat(s) by December 2, 2012. (Drop-off location, hours, and mailing address can be found on the project page here) (LA-area, or otherwise located and willing to ship, business who would like to be a designated drop-off location? Contact me through the form here.)

It’s that simple. If this works out well, I will make this a year-round project next year.

The contributed hats will be displayed and linked to the original knitter (when possible) in a gallery here.

If you are a knitter or crocheter looking to brighten someone else’s holiday season this year, please join me in the Warming Up for Christmas Project.

Questions? Comments? Leave them below and I will get back to you with an answer usually within the day.

Shades of Purple

There’s a purple theme going on here lately. That’s perfectly fine by me.

Remember my Self-Striped Heart Gloves? I found another skein of the yarn I used, this time in purple.

There’s the same yarn-over heart on top and bottom.

These kind of gloves are really good for tasks that require the use of your fingers. Like using a smartphone, or typing.

You can buy this purple version by clicking here. They are made from 100% Microfiber Dralon and you can machine wash and dry them.

Purple Giraffes

Well, not exactly. But it is a giraffe on a purple shirt.

My little buddy (the boy I babysit nearly every day) had his third birthday last month. Two things he is absolutely sure of on a regular basis: his favorite color is purple and his favorite animal is a giraffe.

In addition to a few cars and some stickers, I decided to make him a shirt. Mostly because I couldn’t find any giraffe shirts at Target.

I found a few tutorials online and cobbled together my own screen printing method using curtain fabric, an embroidery hoop, and some handmade stencils.

It worked well for the yellow base coat of the giraffe’s body, but not exactly for the spots.

The paint didn’t exactly go through the tiny holes. It frustrated me a bit, considering it took so long to cut out every single spot, but it gave me a good basis to paint on the spots that didn’t come out by hand.

I painted the outlines, eyes, and leaves as well because by that point I didn’t want to mess with the home-made screen anymore. The curtain fabric was not rigidly woven enough and it started creating large holes. Painting ended up working pretty well.

Have you ever tried to silkscreen this way? Anyone else like to throw in a hand-made present along with (or in lieu of) store-bought ones?

Flowers In Your Hair

I made a bunch of flowers at one point last year, intending to use them in headbands. Considering the giant plastic bag of them in the yarn basket, I never got beyond the first step.

The good news is that I had a ton of coordinating ones on hand when I decided to make barrettes.

The actual barrette (space for hair) is 2 inches, while the edge-to-edge measurements of the flower part is 4 inches long by 2.5 inches wide and measures about half an inch thick. There are two blue flowers side-by-side with the purple flower on top. I attached the flowers by wrapping purple embroidery floss around the flat edge of the barrette and sewing the flowers on with it.

Want one for your own hair? Buy Here at my Etsy shop. Only $3 apiece.