Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Recycled Linen/Cotton Hand Towel

Just after Christmas I bought a linen/cotton sweater with the intent to unravel it and reclaim the yarn. I don't reclaim yarn unless it’s worth my time and the yarn is wool or fabulous. The sweater also needs to have seams that are capable of being unraveled. 

Avoid serged seams (bottom sweater). The yarn is cut during the sewing process, and it’s almost impossible to unravel. The top sweater seam is perfect for unraveling. If you do a web search for “reclaim sweater yarn,” you’ll find great instructions from other crafters on how to unravel an old sweater.

I found an interesting lace pattern in 365 Knitting Stitches a Year (used back in Week 36 of my Craft Book Challenge Year) and cast on as many stitches as I thought I needed to give me a hand towel. I think it was 60 stitches.

The pattern is Fishtail Lace.

I kept knitting until the towel fit the towel holder.

While a lace pattern can be difficult, once you get the pattern memorized you’ll zip along and put on the inches. I did have to rip several rows because a stitch went missing even though I counted the previous row accurately (or so I thought).

I’m pleased with my linen/cotton towel. I probably used a touch more than one sleeve for the towel. I should have enough yarn for at least two more towels with a face cloth besides. Knitting towels is great lace knitting practice without having to knit with whisper–thin yarn.

Are you looking at your sweaters with a new eye now?



Saturday, March 16, 2013

Crafty Bucket List: Socks

I’ve always wanted to knit a pair of socks, but double pointed needles scared the crud out of me. I’m not sure why now that I’ve knit my first pair of socks. I guess I should have used the same yarn for both.

What are you afraid of trying? Why not try to conquer your crafty fears this weekend?

Currently casting on for a match…



Tuesday, March 12, 2013

3D Plastic Zoo

If you can dream it, you can do it.
Walt Disney

So we dreamt it, and we did it.

raptor head

My daughter modeled the mounted raptor in Sculptris.

Here’s the raptor printed in ABS plastic using the Solidoodle 3D printer.

Daughter then dreamt of a hippo…

and he slowly rose from the plastic pond.

Again, she sculpted with virtual clay in Sculptris.

I dreamt of a dachshund coin, just to see if it could be done.

dachshund blender

So I took a picture of Suzy the dog, modeled her profile, and it worked! I printed out the file with the 3D printer, and again, it worked! Gave it a quick sand and then slathered it with silver Rub–N–Buff. I glued it on my broken key chain for portable art.

My daughter has a dinosaur tooth or claw she’s in the process of painting. Good old gesso works better than plastic primer on the ABS. After priming, acrylic craft paint sticks to the plastic. Oh, the possibilities! We’ve already had to order a new reel of plastic for more printing.

What should we print next?



Monday, March 4, 2013

Three Dimensional Portraits

My husband and children are early adopters. When it’s time to play, they play with the latest and greatest. Three-D printing is all the rage around here. My husband has been designing kettle corn measuring cups and phone stands. My daughter has been sculpting virtual portraits.

She sculpted her profile using virtual clay in the free program Sculptris, exported the file to the open source program Blender, and then exported the final object to the file format .STL, which the Solidoodle 3D printer can read. Yeah, it’s just that easy for an early adopter.

sc portrait 1

The tile is over 4–in. square and took 11+ hours to print. We calculated that it used about $8 in plastic.

Art School Daughter then needed to do her homework. She wanted to recreate the vase–face optical illusion in 3D using her face as one side and her boyfriend’s face for the other. These portraits are about 1.5– to 2–in. tall.

Finally, why not try sculpt a full face? The printer “draws” each layer of plastic onto the previous layer. It’s like a precise, computer–controlled glue gun.

What are we doing with all this plastic artwork?

Besides making functional phone stands, we’re making art, and art begs to be displayed.

My kids declare the face magnet to be cool and creepy at the same time.

We’ve been branching out into animals. Stay tuned for the results of the raptor hunt.

Are you an early adopter or a late majority?