This is my Ball Sack, project bags

A Rather Long Delay

I’ve not had internet for a week. I still don’t have internet. There’s internet on campus, but it doesn’t reach my new apartment. If I want internet, I’ve got to go to the library- which I have done, and it was glorious.

If I’d had internet, I would have been able to show you the most recent addition to my Etsy store:

This is my Ball Sack, project bags

Because, you know- everyone needs a good Ball Sack.

The teal and red bags will be up in the shop in the next few days, and the blue ones are already there, waiting for a home! If you’re interested, here’s my shameless plug: Etsy Store

If I’d had internet, I would have been able to tell you about my great new apartment, which is located directly across the street from the agriculture fraternity. I now have an extensive knowledge of country music. I would also have told you that a few days ago, they had a pool party in a horse trough, and a slip n’ slide on a tarp. It was a one-beer-in-each-hand kind of party. It wasn’t so bad, though- they did offer to help move all my stuff into the apartment. I didn’t have to carry a single piece of furniture.

I’ll take a picture the next time they have  a pool party in their horse trough, I promise.

I’ve had quite a few screen printing escapades since our last encounter- not the least of which was a discovery that the humidity of the screen’s environment directly effects the outcome of the screen. It had been a fairly cool and dry summer, but after we got back from Wisconsin, things changed a bit. It was hot, and muggy, and I felt like I needed gills to breathe outside. Another odd thing happened when we got back from Wisconsin as well. My screens were sticky, the emulsion seemed thicker than usual, and no matter what I tried, I couldn’t get a good exposure. The emulsion positively refused to wash out of the screen, and as a result, the screen was ruined. After a bit of frantic, tearful research (I was behind on my printing quota, and leaving for school in two weeks), I discovered that the humidity was to blame.

A mostly- successful screen exposure!

A mostly- successful screen exposure!

We bought a dehumidifier, and when I plugged it in, the humidity in the room was 85%. The suggested humidity for my photo emulsion was between 30% and 40%. No wonder my printing effort was being thwarted!

(screen print)

Once I was back on track with a freshly stretched screen and a fairly constant 35% humidity, I was back to work! I printed two shirts for my sister’s boyfriend’s birthday (belated because of the humidity issues), I reprinted the keep calm and the post apocalyptic bags in new colors. If I’d had internet, I would have been able to show you the colors as they were dyeing:

Fabric fresh from the dye baths

Fabric fresh from the dye baths

although I haven’t yet sewn them together, and I printed two fresh designs, one which you saw at the beginning of this post, and one which you’ll see in its entirety soon, as I still need to sew those bags up. The latter is a print which covers the entire bag, and is full of crafty things and other cool stuff.

Here's a little sneak peek of what's to come!

Here’s a little sneak peek of what’s to come!

That one had some issues all its own, not the least of which is that I ran out of ink halfway through the edition, so there are very few of those bags available. The other big issue was that due to the decreased humidity level, my water-based ink was drying on my screen before I had a chance to wash it off. I had sort of noticed this happening with previous runs, but it became more obvious with the large print. My screen is now stained distinctly with ghost images of everything I’ve printed on it so far. I believe there are chemicals to remove ghost images, and, IF I HAD INTERNET, I would have looked them up and solved this problem already. I’ve also noticed that the emulsion is staining the screen a bit more with every run- a problem for which a solution will be more difficult, but not impossible, to find.

I’m sorry. that was a bit of a rant. Screen printing has taken up the bulk of my summer though, and I’ve got nobody to talk to about it- besides the never ending abyss of the internet. Do you want to see something cool, though?

One long rainbow sock almost done, and one long rainbow sock to go.

One long rainbow sock almost done, and one long rainbow sock to go.

I started this sock in Wisconsin after I finished my dyed/spun/knit shawl. I’m up to the ribbing now, so we’re nearly there! Then I just have to avoid a case of second sock syndrome, and knit up the next one so I have a pair to keep my legs warm this winter.

I also never got to tell you about the amazing civil war quilts we saw at the quilt museum in Paducah this summer!

Over the river and through the woods, to the quilt museum we go!

Over the river and through the woods, to the quilt museum we go!

I do really like this bridge, too though. The quilts were all wonderful, a lot with the names of loved ones sewn into them, and many very patriotic ones. There was a log cabin scrappy quilt that looked like stacks and stacks of old library books, and that one was my favorite. I wanted to take it home with me. Unfortunately, it’s a no-pictures kind of place, so I’ve got nothing to show for my adventures. Besides the fading mental image of the quilt, which I need to sketch and keep in mind for when I have enough scraps to re-imagine its wonderful glory.

Class started yesterday- I had digital photography, and vis comm 4 (in which Matt had us design a poster in 45 minutes. That was a blast…). Today’s Chemistry- there’s some kind of aptitude test that I think we take on the first and last days of class to gauge our progress or something. I predict failure, because I haven’t had chemistry in approximately 6 years. After this class, though, I’m gonna be beast at it!

Also- you should all know that this blog is about to get REALLY interesting- because my independent study (Advanced Illustration) with Rusty is going to be so full of awesome things! I’ve nicknamed the class ADVIL (ADV-anced IL-lustration) -because that’s what I’ll need when it’s over.

Stay Tuned!


3 thoughts on “A Rather Long Delay

  1. Lindsey Bailey says:

    (I’m still stalking your blog. Because I obviously don’t have a paper that I should be writing… ahem.)

    I LOVE THESE SOCKS SO MUCH. I like. Literally. Can’t handle this. So awesome.

  2. Lindsey Bailey says:

    Also, how are you keeping your stitches from leaving that lose line of stitches from where your needles come together? I’m having that problem right now with the socks I’m knitting. I’m pulling the first two stitches tight between both needles and I still have the line. What’s your secret?

    And lastly, dem hairy legs. I never shave, either. So don’t worry.

    • Kat says:

      I don’t know, the only advice I have is to pull the stitches on either side tight- and keep the tension on the yarn until you’re sure they won’t loosen up again. If you’re doing that and it’s still not working, I’m not sure what else you could do.

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