Tuesday, August 3, 2010

How to Dye Without Spilling a Drop

I haven't been knitting much lately, but tonight I did make some progress on my summer project. The one where I've been knitting cotton squares and am planning to hit them with some bleach.

Then when we were camping I noticed the patterns on my sleeping bag caused by the sun when it was stored in my car all winter. The sleeping bag cover was gathered up at the ends, and so the fabric was only faded on the exposed parts making an interesting radial pattern. I wasn't happy my sleeping bag was so obviously faded, but the pattern was quite pretty. Then the light bulb went off and I realized I could do this with my cotton squares.

I decided to try it with the red square. It's a different size than the rest, so I figure it's a good one to try a unique method that I may not try on the rest.

I thought I could cover parts of the square to keep it from fading and let the rest fade. But what to use? Painter's tape came to mind, especially for the borders. But I was afraid what a long time in the sun would do to the adhesive. Might cook it right onto the cotton and never come off. (Yuck.)

And then I remembered freezer paper which we have a lot of! That should work perfectly!

First, print the clipart I had used as a pattern onto cardstock and cut it out:

2. Trace it onto freezer paper (making sure the waxy side is down)

3. Cut out the shape and four strips for the border

4. Pin the square to shape (not that mine turned out square) and hit it with a steaming iron

5. Place freezer paper where you want it (waxy side down) and hit with a slightly cooler iron

6. The square looked way too flat to me so I decided to throw in some pins to pucker up the background

7. Now we just throw it in the back of the car and let the sun do all the work
And I can keep track of what colour it changes to as we go. Just bring inside when it looks good enough.

I will also be hoping the freezer paper holds up. There is a good possibility the heat from the sun will undo what the heat from the iron did. It may loosen the freezer paper, or let it slide around. Who knows?!

It's all a crap shoot really. The whole project is. I kind of like art where I am not in control. I don't trust myself. And with methods like this, I don't really have to. I just spin the wheel, and then decide if I like the ending when I get there.

CLICKCLICKCLICKclick...click......click.......click Where it stops, nobody knows!

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