Marabu Fashion Sprays

Last weekend I took a trip to the local art store and wandered around. I only needed a paint marker but I left with a whole cart full of things. People complain about doing that at Target or Joann’s, but try doing that at a fine art store…. Your wallet will hurt.

In the back of the store, they keep the discount shelf which I usually ignore. I’ve been back there enough times to know they usually don’t have anything I want. Also, I’m there enough that the staff points me at any sales I would be interested in.

But it so happens I was there long enough to need the restroom and you have to walk past these discount shelves to get there. That’s when I saw bottles of “Marabu Fashion Spray”. After reading the bottle I determined this could likely be used on yarn since it was made for dyeing natural fibers and I normally work with wool. Granted, the product was made to spray designed on fabric with stencils, but that shouldn’t matter. They were steeply discounted so I grabbed a bunch of colors and got home to play.

It took me a while, but I sprayed the hell out of 4 skeins of yarn while trying to use most of the colors so I could see how they’d each turn out. I was most excited to see how the navy and gray colors came out. Most of them were pretty wild colors but these two colors stood out as being really nice and I could definitely see using the gray a lot.

I let them sit for 2 hours as the instructions indicated, then put them in the oven for about 10 minutes at a low heat to set the dye. By the time they were pulled out of the oven and left to cool it was already after midnight. I get up for work at 4 am, so this was a sacrifice. All that was left was to rinse them off.

As soon as I started rinsing, they began turning back to white.

Almost all the dye came right out. Works on natural fibers, my foot!

After I calmed the rage and got some sleep, I realized they would likely work on cotton and cellulose/plant-based fibers. While “natural fibers” is a blanket term, I really wish they’d stop using it. Dyes usually only work on plant –or– on animal fibers, not both. But both are considered natural, obviously.

With that said, the cotton yarn I used to bind the yarn prior to dying, didn’t retain color either. They did, however, stain my nylon gloves pretty easily.

All I can say is that this stuff is a mystery but it may work on t-shirts…. Maybe.

But you know what the good thing about working with yarn is? If you mess up, you can always dye it black!

October 2017 YarnBox Socks

This month’s YarnBox angered me and it has nothing to do with Sugarbush Yarns.

First, I get gray yarn.  Even after going through all my preferences for bright colors, no pinks, etc etc.

Second, they sent 3 balls of yarn that are 50g/140m each.  Which sounds fine, until you realize that:

  1. if you have big man feet, one ball is not enough, which is why I’m assuming you get 3, or
  2. you have small feet and this makes 3 socks… but who needs 3 socks? and
  3. 140m for 50g is not the standard for sock yarns… it should be closer to 200m (180-220ish).

It sounds petty, I know, but this is how you piss off a sock knitter with big feet.  Yes, I got ample yarn for a pair of socks, but now my socks will have knots randomly in the sock where I ran out of yarn and joined another in.  180m is really pushing it for my basic socks so I’m definitely going to have knots.  I’m guessing 140m will get you to about a men’s size 10.

I haven’t knit my socks, so I can’t say anything about the yarn itself, I’m sure it’s amazing, but for now, I just tossed it aside and canceled my YarnBox subscription because I’ve had enough.  It’s a decent service that I’m sure works for most people, I just haven’t been happy with what I’ve received in months and they provide no way to exchange yarn or make me happy at this point.

Kiln fired glass painting

I’ve known for a long time you can use some ceramic products on glass, I just never got around to trying it.   I used to do a lot of glass fusing but I never really got into it.  It just wasn’t very consistent and that frustrated me.   But I got out some Mayco Designer Liners, which are known to work if you sandwich your painting in between two pieces of glass.

But the real question was whether or not it was going to work with a microwave kiln.

Painting on glass is a pain especially with a water-soluble product like Designer Liner.   If you try to do any layering, the previous layer will come off the second it gets wet. Dripping product onto the glass will work, but brushing will not.

Using a glass calligraphy pen seemed to work well at dropping product where I wanted it.   It also let me scrape product away.   Eventually, I had a cute little lightning design and after letting it dry completely (we don’t want to have boiling liquid on glass) I sandwiched the design with another piece of glass and crammed it in the microwave.

The results were not great.

The product cracked around the edges (the liner, not the glass) and a giant bubble of air was trapped in the middle.  In an actual kiln these air bubbles would eventually rise to the surface and it wouldn’t be an issue.  An actual kiln would be fired for many, many hours and not a few minutes like this microwave one.  Now that I see the result, I’m not sure if this will actually work.

I could try nuking it again to see if I can get the air to release, but I don’t really want to try, it already looks bad.   I also need to try and get the Designer Liner a lot thinner.   I had been warned about that but I guess it wasn’t thin enough…. hence the cracking.

I may try again after pondering it a bit, but for now I’m moving on to other projects.