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11  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Silk & cashmere twinset - safe to dye black? on: May 28, 2008 12:37:14 AM
Hello clever people, I have a question!

Yesterday I had 15 minutes left of my lunch break, so I took a wander through the local op shop. After getting thoroughly distracted by the life-size cross-stitch Mona Lisa cushion, I was going through the knit rack when I touched something a bit nice. After going bleurgh at the overwhelming beigeness of the (immaculate) twinset, I looked at the tag and nearly squealed at the fact that it was a silk and cashmere blend! WTF? Maybe Ill get a solid gold toilet to go with it!

Anyway, I bought it, but it is so unremittingly beige. This is a problem because,
A)   Its almost the same colour as my skin, so I look kind of naked from a distance, and
B)   Im a graphic designer, and the International Designers Confederation says we are only allowed to wear black.
(Joke). So. Ive spent some time looking around, and Im still not sure what my best course of action is. I want to dye the twinset black, but Im super-paranoid of screwing up the garment

1.   Best type of dye? Im looking at the fibre-reactive/acid dyes, like jacquard and Procion, but Ive never used them before (but they do sound good). Im also in Australia, so I want to get something thatll work and not cost a fortune in shipping (also knowing I'll need a larger amount to get good colour).
2.   Is it even safe to do this kind of thing to a cashmere garment? Arent you supposed to dryclean-only?

The other option is that the garments are a few sizes too big, so if I re-fit them before I dye, I could test-run on the scraps. If they all muff up, then Im stuck with a beautiful, but beige twinset.

Id appreciate some direction!
12  CLOTHING / Shoes: Discussion and Questions / Sandals from car tyres! on: May 21, 2008 12:19:11 AM
There has been some discussion in the forum about soling shoes out of tyres, but I found a site on how to make an entire walking sandal out of tyres!

It also has some good tips on how to work with the rubber.

13  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Copyright violations - BBC gets gung-ho! on: May 13, 2008 04:25:40 PM
This morning I found this article, and thought it might be of interest to the knitting/crochet community...


What the Dickens? All over this community are fan-made homages to their favourite TV show characters - do a search on 'Harry Potter' if you need further proof!

Is the BBC worried that a free pattern under a Creative Commons licence is going to be misconstrued as official sanctioned Dr Who merchandise? I'd like to think that people are somewhat able to differentiate between knit-blogger Mazzmatazz's recreation and "real" copyrighted information...

Perhaps we should all petition the BBC (the link's in Mazzmatazz's website), just on principle, so they can see they're shooting themselves in the foot.

Rant over!
14  FIBER ARTS / Dyeing: Discussion and Questions / Inkjet printer ink... good idea? on: December 20, 2007 02:11:24 AM
Hello all, I remembered today that my dead printer has four separate containers of very vibrant ink in it, so I'm wondering if anyone has dyeing experience with printer inks? I'm having visions of magenta fabulousness!

I'm wondering if there are any serious health contraindications that I should consider (ie, use the dye for art things rather than clothing). The packaging says not to let it touch your skin, but I think this is more of an "it'll stain, idiot" warning than a health warning. And I couldn't find any other warnings!

That said, I've seen a few other tips on checking lightfastness, staying power etc. so maybe I'll just have to experiment!

Thanks folks!
15  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Shag? Rug! on: September 24, 2007 02:11:38 AM
Yes, I made myself a shag rug - in crochet! Obviously this is insanely labour intensive and uses a ridiculously large amount of yarn, and my BF installed it in the bathroom before it was truly done (the length-to-width ratio seems a bit off), but I freaking love it!

And here's a close up. I'll try to take a better picture with natural light soon.

If anyone is interested in learning this stitch let me know, I'll hunt out the book. Cheers!
16  CROCHET / Crochet: Completed Projects / Little teal MP3 pouch on: September 24, 2007 01:58:26 AM
This is a little wallet I knocked up to protect my new MP3 player. I wanted something that would stop scratches from keys and other things in the depths of my bag, but I also wanted something cute!

Sorry it's a little blurry. It's made from teal wool and has two awesome buttons that I stole from my mum's stash years ago. I just wish  had more! So far it has done a great job at protecting my latest acquisition.

The pattern is a treble shell - 2tr, 2ch space, 2tr, with each shell worked in the 2ch-sp of the previous row. I also went round the whole shape in dc to keep it neat.

Let me know what you think!
17  CLOTHING / Clothing: Discussion and Questions / Drafting problems on: September 12, 2007 07:41:41 AM
Okay, so years ago, my mum gave me a great pattern drafting book. It covers everything, and has instructions for heaps of different collars and skirt shapes, etc.

The problem is that it states clearly that you should draft from your own measurements. But if I measure up, it puts my bust and waist as a size 12, and my hips at size 16 - I'm a size 8! (These are all Aussie sizes, by the way - smaller than their American versions. I think our 8 is a US 6 or so)

So the end result is that I end up using their table of "standard" measurements, which is fine, except for when I draft for other people with problem figures. Garments usually end up far too big, and I have to spend aaaaages re-sizing.

Has anyone else had similar problems?
18  MISCELLANEOUS TOPICS / Completed Projects / The naked worm of Persian jealousy (kiddie-safe. I swear) on: August 26, 2007 06:40:22 AM

Okay, so maybe it's a little bit rude!

I had make a visual response to "The naked worm of Persian jealousy" for a textiles class, so as you can see there's a worm, coming out of a rather opulent apple. I was using lush fabrics like satin & velvet, with diamante and pearls to evoke the "exotic East" thing. Then the apple shape is a reference to Adam & Eve, who realised they were nekkid after eating the apple from the Tree of Knowledge.

Here's another pic:

The first one always makes me giggle though.

19  TOYS, DOLLS AND PLAYTHINGS / Toys, Dolls and Playthings: Completed Projects / Knitting Nancy, the smartest sheep in the herd! on: June 10, 2007 08:45:55 AM

So here is my first post (Craftster virgin! Woo!), Knitting Nancy. I created her for a graphic design project, where we had to respond to the phrase, "Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower". One of the few good marks I got last year!

The frame for the body is made from a few coathangers, which I then padded. The arms, legs and face are from felt - all hand stitched in the tiniest blanket stitch known to man! It's maybe not so clear from the picture, but she's actually knitting a garment from her own wool (this is especially impressive without opposable thumbs Wink ).  I had no pattern and no idea what I was doing, but I'm pretty happy with the end result.

Please feel free to leave comments and opinions!
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