Thursday, September 27, 2012

graffitti yarn

It must be true about the hip-hop culture seeping deeper into the mainstream consciousness, or maybe just deeper into my yarn stash. This is a swatch of the "hand painted" result.

Yes, I hip-hop-ified my stash.

This is what you need to do yours:
Mercerized cotton yarn
Montana gold/black (krylon if you are old skool, spray paint in simple terms)
Some cardboard

Wrap your yarn around the cardboard, you can see that mine overlaps quite a bit, but, as long as the wraps aren't too condensed, the painting will be OK.

Note the box with my 12 favorite Montana colors, it is always good to keep them around for projects like this.

So shake the can and trow yo' piece up (Mix your paint as instructed on the can of your given brand. Spray with a quick, close burst. You should have a dot of color).

Continue to use this technique with as many colors as you want. I used 5. Note how close the can is to the cardboard.

I used vertical lines of color to ensure that the colors that I wanted to show more were actually hitting more wraps.

You can keep your colors dense like mine, or really spread things out and keep things monochrome.The amount of craziness infused into your yarn is really up to you.

Below is my swatch before washing:

And after.

The color and texture will soften and even out, and surprisingly the paint is safe in the machine. The marled, variegated color character is hard to find in a store, yet it is becoming a big commercial trend.

You will really have to try this technique yourself to see how it works. It is deceptively easy for something with such a finished, coherent look. I would recommend starting with Patons Grace cotton yarn ($5) from a craft store rather than an expensive cone of french cotton, but you can go with just about anything in your stash. Fuzzy fibers like wool, acrylic, or even an un-mercerized cotton will not paint as neatly, so always test with a swatch first.

Have fun!!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Neon Friendship Belt

Last week, I mentioned a few ideas about how to bring the summer trend of friendship or camp bracelets into the colder months. You may remember in particular a swatch of neon para cord material that turned out well. It was made out of the stuff that those safety bracelets are made of, just a lot more of it.

To make a neon paracord friendship bracelet belt, you will need:
3 colors of paracord long enough to make a belt (read on to find that number)
knowledge of how to make a six strand friendship bracelet, it does not need to be this pattern if you prefer another.

I ordered my cord from an online supplier from etsy, you'll have to do your own search because different suppliers carry different colors. I chose to get 50' of each: black, yellow/green neon mix, and pink/blue neon mix.

 Not knowing how much cord was needed to make my belt, I decided to make a swatch. If you are looking to use the same pattern as in the photos, but have never made a friendship bracelet, this will help you. Your cord may be different than mine, so I suggest doing one of your own, especially if you will be doing a different pattern.

Tie off your cords a yard from the ends and put the long centers aside (shown above). Work a few repititions of your pattern, the more the better, and make sure to work the whole pattern ( for example the full black, pink, green, not just stopping after black).

My swatch happened to make a good bracelet. Anyway, measure the length of the knotted section and take your hip or waist measurement where you would like to wear the belt. Divide your body measurement by the length of your swatch, remember this number.

Measure the leftover tails that were not used in your swatch and subtract from 36". Multiply this number by the number that you were supposed to remember. You now know how many inches long your strings need to be to make a belt, but before you cut anything, remember that you will be folding the strings in half. in stead of making 6 strings of the length you just calculated, cut 3 that are double that.

My 3 strings were 25 feet long, 12.5 feet once folded in half. it is important to fold the strings because this will help to create a clean and neat loop. I cut my strings frim the full ropes after unfolding the swatch.

I used a braided loop explained in detail in the Fleece Tug Toy tutorial. Basically, you need to fnd the center of the three strings, make a two inch braid, and begin your macrame with the strings on either side of the central braid. It will really help to read it and look at the pictures.

You can see how the braided loop looks in this context. The first two rows of chevrons have been completed as well.

... a few hours later. This is the length I desire and is essentially done.

Measure about one foot from the end of your knots and cut the extra string.

Burn the ends to keep them from unraveling.

Tie it on and you are ready to wear.

You might also like...