I signed up for Jen Hewitt’s online class, “Design, Carve, Print” that started last weekend so I could learn how to block print on fabric. “How to” books usually work for me for learning new creative things, but my previous attempt at block printing was discouraging so I decided to splurge. I have never taken an online class before and it has been a great way to get some support and expertise as I work at my own pace and build this new skill. Jen uses Facebook and Instagram for sharing work and ideas, and the lessons are a series of short videos on her website.
My first attempts were not gorgeous, but I plugged along, trying hard to be inspired not discouraged by the beautiful things my classmates were posting almost immediately. I learned how to carve, how deeply, how to make test prints and adjust carving. I had to glue my block onto a piece of wood because it got too thin and floppy, and I found the paint roller I was using was too nappy to get proper paint coverage.
After troubleshooting and adjusting, with the help of teacher and classmates on Facebook, I was happier with my results. I tried some new designs.
I cut into some gray purple linen from a sheath dress and jacket I would never have occasion to wear and attempted to mix some purple or fuscia from the primary colors I purchased, only to find I had the wrong kind of red for making purple! I embraced the experimental nature of this project and forged ahead with my muddy purple. As a knitter, I do appreciate thoughtful/mindless repetitive action and I really enjoyed the stamping process! It did not even take that long, something like an hour for shirt front, back and two sleeves.
So here it is, my first garment made with hand printed fabric! An Esme top from Lotta Jansdotter’s new book, Everyday Style, which was at the top of my Christmas list this year.
This is my pleased and amazed expression. This session of Jen’s class continues until April 7 and I’m so glad I splurged. It is a great motivator to work and try new things. I am also getting more comfortable with social media, another goal of mine for 2016 since that is where all the creative inspiring people are hanging out these days. Yay!
I knit pretty obsessively. I’m also very cheap and have not purchased yarn store yarn for a sweater in over 20 years. Between some lucky yarn finds at Goodwill, benefitting from friends’ de-stashing, and unravelling my own creations, I manage to keep myself knitting without spending lots of money. I have purchased many patterns from Quince and Co., which I find hard to resist.
Here are some sweaters I have made this past year:
Melissa LaBarre’s “Odetta Cartigan” made with yarn from a Goodwill sweater I ripped out.
Carrie Bostick Hoge “Barn Sweater” has been so many other sweaters previously, I cannot remember where the wool came from originally!
Cecily Glowik MacDonald “Abigail Cardi” with a cotton/wool yarn I found at Goodwill. The “no button” design did not work with my substituted yarn and I was going to rip it out but then decided to try a pin. Now one of my favorite ways to wear a sweater!
Knitty’s free “Shapely Boyfriend” sweater pattern by Stephanie Japel, made with some old school Germantown worsted I found at Goodwill.
Another “Shapely Boyfriend”, this time with Peace Fleece I gained when my friend Marcy cleaned out her stash. Note another pin to close instead of buttons.
Five bags sewn from my handprinted fabric, ready for Silent Auction next Friday.
|Mail Sack (large version, pattern from Pink Chalk Fabrics) with “Tree Rings”|
|Mail Sack has “Frogs Egg” lining and upholstery remnant for base|
|Everyday Tote (pattern from purlbee.com) with “Tree Rings” on yellow duck cloth|
|Grocery Bag (pattern is from michellepatterns.com) with “Boardwalk through the Marsh” and some experimental potato stamp handles|
|“Frog Egg” fabric lining Grocery Bag|
|“Challenge Course Clothes” drawstring backpack. Found pattern on Martha Stewart who has you use nylon for lining.|
I have now learned how to print on fabric (in a beginner kind of way), thanks to Leslie Keating’s Third Annual Handprinted Fabric Swap event. Today was the deadline for having my handprinted fabric samples mailed off to my swapmates and I’m pleased to say I met the deadline!
|Final product, four 1/4 yard pieces of handprinted fabric|
I have not tried blogging before either, but it seems like a good way to document/share my process:
Purchased Lena Corwin’s book, Printing By Hand, thinking I need to try that some day.
Bought the fantastic book Sewing School by Amie Petronis Plumley and Andria Lisle for my daughter for Christmas. Perusing the bibliography I happily discovered “craft blogs” and got with the 21st century.
Claimed an unused silkscreen from a yardsale-ing neighbor, thinking I might use that some day.
My husband gave me a Google Tablet for my birthday which made following craft blogs not a huge time suck which helped me become a more consistent follower.
February 19, 2013
Found out about Leslie’s swap from Kleas …
My first attempt, “Boardwalk Through the Marsh”, with Martha Stewart craft paint and freezer paper stencil gave me courage to continue.
|“Boardwalk Through The Marsh”|
|“Tree Rings” (small trees!)|
|“Ripples” Take 2|
|Silkscreen Tree Ring|
|Unwanted Ink Fling|
|Silkscreen Tree Ring, Take 2|
Big tree rings look cool together with small ones! Never would have thought of that if I hadn’t goofed first silkscreen!
|Tree Rings, Big and Small|