Saturday, January 28, 2012

{T-POMS} d.i.y. pom-making

I created these sets of C-shaped cardboards by tracing a cookie tin and a bottle of wine, and carving them out with an exacto.
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To make a pom with t-yarn (*see t-yarn you-torial HERE)
Use a strand of yarn and sandwich it between two of the C-shapes, so that the ends come out of the break in the circle.
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Wrap the boards with a new, long strand of yarn, as much as you can, running the long end through the opening in the cardboard to get it through.
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Pull the original yarn toward the center and half knot it to gather the strands
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Hold the disc on the table top to secure the strands with some pressure. Take a scissors and begin cutting along the outer fold of the wound strands, clipping them a few at a time.
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Once you have released all the strands, finish pulling the original strand until it is very taught. 2012-01-16 17.57.41.jpg
Use a helping hand to hold the half knot tight while you tie a double knot.
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Slide your pom out of the opening in the cardboard
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then fluff and trim!
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

{getting STRANDED} how-to t-shirt yarn

I've been working in t-shirts as an expressive medium since I discovered how forgiving knits are: they are affordable, accessible, stretchable, and they don't fray. When I discovered that there was another way to create t-shirt yarns with them them, besides THIS ZIGZAG METHOD of getting stranded, I was completely astonished that I had overlooked it for so long. Never stop learning!

The difference in methods is that this one must have a "closed circuit loop" of fabric (perfect for the body area of the t-shirt), and that you come away with a long seamless strand. In the other method the advantage is that you can use any scrap fabric, but that in turning the corner of a flat fabric creates "ears" that pop up out of the crochet.

This seamless yarn idea is based on the fact that you could cut a spiral into the shirt starting at the bottom of the bodice, winding around and around the closed loop until you reached the armpits, you could walk away with much usable seamless yardage. If only this method, done with a scissors, wasn't completely inefficient and difficult to keep accurate!

-rotary cutter
-self healing mat
-fabric scissors
-lots of old shirts!

Here is the deal:
-Cut the arms off from under the armpits.
-Slice a series of 1" fringe strips through both layers into the side of the bodice of the shirt, stopping before you get to the other side so that they remain attached on one side.
-Slide a dowel into the side that remained closed.

-Lift the dowel up from the self-healing mat.
-Roll the dowel towards you in your hand so that the connecting strip is on the front of the dowel. This may require some handi-work to adjust and unstick the side of fabric from one another.

-Find a place to hang your finished slitted T-shirts. I like to wedge the dowels under a slab of paper. I can easily "page" through them as I do the following steps:
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The point of this phase is to "connect" these loops together by cutting diagonally between them, so that each rung leads to the next, rather than being cut into individual loops. The result is a seamless spiral that can be "pulled" to roll the seams into eachother and stretch the yarn out.

-Use a scissors to cut into the first loop on a diagonal. Cut from the first loop to the outside edge on a diagonal.

-Using the same diagonal angle, continue to connect the loops by cutting them diagonally one-to-one through the top and bottom of the closed area.

The result is a long spiral that sits looped loosely on the dowel. You can then pull the yarn to make it both longer and thinner, watching the edges curl in on themselves. These can be wound around a small piece of cardboard or just around itself. However this can be hard on your fingers and likes to jump around.
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If you are a wizard about this and are planning on making many spools of T-yarn, I recommend digging about for one of these tools, which magically appeared before my eyes the week after I'd learned of T-yarn and longed to invent a spool winder out of an exercise bike (still in the works)
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This one came without a spool that would nicely lock into place! I was able to use a tp roll, and tape it to the spool base quite nicely. The Wool Winder secures itself to the edge of the table with a little knobbed clamp. You simply tie the yarn onto the spool and begin winding.
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The main tip is that sometimes you have to stop and pull out the yarn as you go. I also like to lead the yarn into the spool guide to avoid any misgivings keep a steady feed.
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This method was so unbelievably easy and creates a sexy woven look that slides off the spool and into a treasury.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

{HOLIDAY CRAFT AFFAIRS!} Madam Chino travelling showcase

The holidays are a month-long roller coaster ride that speeds up right at the end, just so that we can enjoy the lull of a homestretch with greater appreciation in contrast to the growing tension of climbing and final crest of chaos. The car just sits there at the end a while until everyone comes back to homeostasis, before the "unfasten seatbelt" sign releases riders back to gravity. Part of this climb for me is a handful of events that I am so proud to take part in, and that make the bustle a real excitement!

{ART Vs. CRAFT} I was delighted to be a part of Art Vs. Craft again this year, held at Todd Wehr Hall on MSOE campus November 28th. My newest "invention" is the mason jar "QZ" that is crocheted around the jar with a handle! I was able to design and construct this perfect display for them! I used wood sticks, 1/2" dowels, a chop saw and couple screws, and a drill with a 1/2" burrow bit. The rest is history!
Avsc 2011

{HOVER CRAFT} Being on the team at Hover Craft is awesome. This (second) year it was held at Sweetwater Organics in Bay View on December 3rd. I was in charge of creating a Hover Craft Community Coupon, and the Make-n-Take Booth. Community Coupons are a way to get local businesses involved even if they can't have a booth! I found local businesses in supporting areas that were interested in proposing a week-long special, available explicitly to the first 100 people at Hover Craft. The Coupon acts like a scavenger hunt punch card, so it is returned to the customers to use elsewhere. Each coupon was also printed on special paper and validated with a specific symbol after print to ensure authenticity. HCCC in progress: 2011-12-01 20.57.38.jpg HCCC in print: 2011-12-02 13.24.11.jpg For Make-N-Take we made WOODALLIONS coined by Madam Chino for Craft Night, which are wooden coins that can be decorated and appropriated in any way! The fastening options were earrings, necklaces, brooches, ornaments, magnets, and wall hangings. I collected a lot of wood chopped these woodbits on 45 degrees with my chopsaw. We collaged them with matte medium and old Printers Ink books, drilled holes and used tiny eye screws as the main fasteners. data There was a perfect room to create a little production area: data

{MILWAUKEE ZINEFEST} This year I have spent a lot of time painting murals, developing new curriculums for an assortment of civic education instruction and renovating the LOOK NOOK showroom, which has taken a slice away from my passion to have a little stationary store. Penny Spencer INK! (the Madam Chino of papergoods) has much in brainstorm phase, as the office has converged in two new locations. I was able to put together some more interactive events for this years MKE ZINEFEST, held at Polish Falcon on December 10th, including a mini make-n-take "decorate a chubby notebook" collage stand at my booth, where i was able to trade notebooks to some kids for some homemade breakfast cookies made by their moms!!! River West is just sweet like that. Mke zinefest I also put together a noon workshop for kids at the CCC, where we did "KITCHEN PRINTING" aka Plaitraits {Kitchen Printing} plate printing with kids at zinefest {Kitchen Printing} plate printing with kids at zinefest Running a small shop is so much fun. All of my interactions are so super personal and I love being able to meet up with people outside of my shop to hand deliver items to them if they can't make it in. I spent a bit of time wrapping up the shop renovations and winding down. My final week before the holidays consisted of throwing a shop party on New Years Eve Day, and hostessing a $10 dress sale. What a great turn out! I'm already on the hunt for next year. xx, madam chino!