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by ysoldateague July 22, 2006


I just went to see how my plants were doing and look what I found on the windowsill:

I was worried that I’d jinxed this whole living plants thing by posting those photos yesterday. Yes these are the same two flowers. So I called my mother and she assured me that it was normal, that the plant isn’t dead it’s just done with the flowers. So I nipped off the forming seed pods, as she advised, to encourage more flowers. Cross your fingers it isn’t dead by tomorrow.

I finally got the last of the exam results, 2 weeks and a day after they should have been up. But I got As so it’s all ok :). Still means that to get a first that two thirds of my marks have to be As next year. Hmmmm…

Ok back to the promising stuff, I’m having so much fun with my paint and fabric:




The plan is to take in the shirt and use the manta ray fabric for a little pleated skirt, sort of the shape of certain Edwardian little girls dresses. I think buttoned puffed sleeves are also in order but I’m not sure whether I’ll do them in the shirt or manta ray fabric. Bright green buttons might also be good.

The stencilling took a little trial and error but it’s turning out pretty well. The joins are obvious but not too messy. I’m trying to decide whether I want to show the joins and the handmadeness in the dress, or whether that would just look homemade. The obvious alternative is to hide them in the pleats. The only problem with the stencilling is that it takes so long. I’m waiting for each repeat to dry before moving onto the next to avoid making a huge smudgy mess. Luckily I found the needles I need for my current (secret) knitting project so I’m working on that while waiting.

I made the stencil from a Pixies flyer, in a very manual photoshop way. I’d make a tutorial except that there have got to be simpler ways to do it than I did. Anyone know of any? Oh and it kind of goes without saying, but please don’t ask me for a copy of the stencil. While I’ve seen lots of stencils made from copyrighted images being shared, and many people probably think its ok to share them non-commercially, I’m not willing to do so. If you actually want your own manta ray fabric you could make your own. If I can, then I’m pretty sure anyone else could too.

I’m already planning lots of other stencilled fabric designs. I stumbled across this blog: Print and Pattern (via Lisa of Bird in the Hand, who incidentally has won lots of gold medals in the gay games, ace!). It’s very inspiring for things like this. I’ve been thinking of getting some screen printing supplies for a while, but I thought I’d do some stencilling, and see if I’d actually make use of the investment. I think I need to sell more knitting patterns first. I’d love to sell screen printed stuff, but whether I really have the time for such a venture is another matter. I am thinking about making wallpaper for my new flat though and that might help to justify the screen printing thing.

Oh and I’m starting to see some great finished items knit from my patterns. I’m thinking of making galleries. I’m trying to decide whether to just ask people to email me pics that I can put up, to make it possible for people to upload them themselves (is that too open to abuse?) or to set up a flicker group. I’ve also been thinking of putting together a sort of knitalong blog for my patterns, but I’m not sure about that. Does it seem too commercial, like I’m trying to take advantage of my customers to encourage others to purchase (although it would also be for my free patterns)? Or do you think it would be a useful space for people to discuss adaptions, fitting, yarn substitutions etc and to share in progress as well as completed photos? Perhaps obviously I’m intending for it to fufill the latter purpose.? If you’ve got a minute I’d love to hear your thoughts on all of this.


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