Silkscreening My Dreams Into Reality

Many months ago, more or less out of the blue, I was struck with the idea to make thank you cards with a bunch of tanks on the front. They were to say “Many tanks” inside. I talked about them to everyone I know. Everyone said that would be adorable! (My friends are nice people.)

When Groupon offered me a half-price class at Gowanus Print Lab, it was clearly destiny. I got the Groupon, signed up for the class and eventually found myself drawing tanks in MS Paint. Actually, that’s probably the single most impressive part of this whole endeavor. Behold:

You guys, I’m just so tickled by these! They’re obviously a little off kilter. But it turns out silkscreening isn’t a terribly expensive hobby. I can do it at home and get good at it and open an Etsy store for great profit! The screens are the most expensive part, so I’ll stick to this design for now, but who knows what the future holds. Tank tops! Fish tanks! Septic tanks!!!! Crafts 4-eva.

Knitting for Your Neck (Summer Edition)

This was a post originally written for ReadyMade.com’s 30 Days of Creativity. But ReadyMade is no more (seriously sad news), so here it goes. I-cord necklace!

As a knitter, there’s some expectation that I make things for people. I’m fine with the occasional baby hat or booties. They’re quick! But to be totally honest, there aren’t many people I actually want to spend six-plus months crafting gifts for (you’re welcome, Dad). These necklaces are easy gifts and are great for using up leftovers, as you only need maybe 10 yards, depending on the weight of the yarn and the length you’d like the finished piece to be. The thinner the yarn, the thinner the necklace, so I used a lace-weight (superthin) wool mixed with something sparkly that I got at a swap. I knit one piece of i-cord* long enough to be the main part of the necklace, then four short pieces to drape around the center. Then I just sewed it all together and tied on a clasp. The nice thing about i-cord is that there are no ends to weave in! Just tuck all the ends into the center of the tube, and you’re good to go.

So the big question is, do I start an Etsy store?

*To make i-cord, a little knit tube, you just cast on three stitches using a double-pointed needle. Every row, instead of turning your work, you slide it to the other end of the double-pointed needle, so that when you start your row, the yarn is at the end farthest from the tip of the needle.

A place for a fuzzy puppy

I realize I’ve yet to mention my dog, Jasmine, on here. Well, she’s the cutest. I started letting her sleep in my bed a couple months after I got her, way back in ’05, and it really calmed her down immensely. Just spending those eight hours next to me, even without interaction, made up for the hours away from her while I was at work.

Since A moved in, sometimes it gets a little crowded (she only weighs 10 pounds, but like her mom, she likes to position herself in the middle of the bed and lie diagonally). So she jumps down and stretches on the floor. Then she wants to come back up, but she forgets that she can jump. She cries. I pick her up.

This is all a very long intro to talk about making a bed for her. If I put it right next to the bed, she might just sleep there all night (or once A gets into bed a few hours after I do). She had one at one point that she quite liked—it was velour and had a raised edge, which hid chew toys in.

Replicating the material is easy, but since my sewing skills are limited, I’m not sure how to put the edge on it. I’d also like to find some way to affix a T-shirt of mine, so the whole business smells like me. I’m thinking the easiest think to do is take a a flat fleece bed I bought for $3 some months pack, glue some pillow form around the edge, and make a new cover for the whole thing. Then I can attach a strap to hold the shirt in place so that Beatrice the Beautiful Psycho Cat doesn’t pull it out, shred it and scatter it around the apartment.

If any of you have any ideas/sewing tips for how to do this, they’re much appreciated. If not, I’ll proceed as planned and let y’all know how it goes.

Scarves

The other day, I cut the bottom tier off a long, flowy skirt (I’m 5’1″, it was necessary). And I had a brilliant idea: Use the cut-off part as one of those, I think they’re called infinity scarves, you know,  because it never ends. It was like 100 degrees at the time, so I’m pretty impressed with myself that I had the foresight to think about fall accessories.

Now all I need is a really light, floaty summer scarf. I have a top in mind that I don’t wear much. The nice thing about having a ridiculously large wardrobe is that it allows me to play a little. It also gives me a chance to pack stuff away and go shopping in my own clothes a month later. More to come on that.