Airbrushing My Alabama Chanin Project

Happy days since my last post on my Alabama Chanin project, a couched version of Sew Liberated's Aurelia Cardigan. Aside from "a spray bottle is not an airbrush," here's what I've learned about airbrushing so far:

1. Practice on a scrap of fabric first! The sample below was the third go-round. I achieved (relatively) precise results by pressing down on the stencil after I'd placed it on the knit fabric. Kinda like using those flannel-and-felt boards in preschool.

2. Be sure to mask any areas you don't want airbrushed. Duh. Note overspray in photo below.

3.  It takes *a lot* of paint to achieve uniform coverage. In my case, the painted shapes won't show on the final project. If they were, I would have spent a lot more time practicing and working on even coverage.

4. This should be *really* obvious, but be careful where you set those little spray gun parts after you wash them. Little springs have a way of bouncing off of the window sill and down the drain. Then you might have to wait several days for replacement parts to arrive. Or so I've heard.

Tessellating Lace Socks

Socks for me, me, me! Ah, knarcissitic knitting. The pattern is Kat Haines' tessellating lace sock; the yarn is Misti Alpaca Hand Paint in Birds in Paradise.  The background is our wrinkled bedding.

I started them on my 9" circular Chiao Goos but switched to DPNs with no problems once I passed the ribbing. No hand cramping, faster knitting.  Plus I look all fancy wielding 4 little sticks in Starbucks.

Back in my Baltimore appliqué days my fellow quilters used to debate the integrity of using a wooden skewer to turn seam allowances under. Is it still needle turn appliqué if you use something else to do the actual turning? [I was quiet during these conversations, as these women were 40 years my senior and I was desperate for some street cred.]

In the same vein, should I wear a scarlet "C" because I use circulars and DPNs to knit socks? Nah.

Springing for a Spray Gun

This is the unhappy result of Createx transparent gray airbrush paint sprayed through a "fine-mist" spray bottle.

My ever-supportive sweetie has offered to buy me a spray gun as an early birthday gift, so this is on its way:


Instead of a compressor I ordered a 2 cans of propellant. It comes with a free "how to airbrush" booklet. Good thing!

Fireworks Socks

Okay, so really they're Father's Day socks for my sweetie. But the color way is kind of fiery, and I'm embarrassed by how long it took me to blog these.

The yarn is Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball Crazy Sock Yarn in #1537.  It was a real pleasure to work with, and one ball was more than enough for a pair of men's size 12 socks. Had I known, I would have made the leg longer!

The pattern is Adrienne Ku's Simple Skyp Sock. Will I ever knit a sock pattern that Jolene has not tried first? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop? The world may never know.

The balls themselves are little works of art. Photo from Paradise Fibers.

Making an Alabama Chanin Stencil

At long last, I'm going to embark on an embellished Alabama Chanin garment.

As the moocher of countless online tutorials, I thought I'd actually contribute some "instructions" of my own to the blogosphere.

I'm not posting anything revolutionary here--just using the techniques suggested in Natalie Chanin's books.

But I always learn something when others document their processes, so I'm hoping that this will help someone out there.


I bought pennant felt from the Alabama Chanin web site,  as recommended in the books. Totally worth it. Stiff, light, and durable. One yard will be enough for several stencils.

The jersey is luscious, too.

I downloaded Anna's Garden from the web site, took a flash drive to Staples, and had them print it at actual size for me (18 x 24). A bargain at $1.92. I was probably the happiest person the Staples kid saw all day.

I cut a piece of felt slightly larger than the print, sprayed the back of the print with repositionable adhesive, and stuck the two together.

Do this outside!!!

I placed the felt on a self-healing craft mat (the kind quilters use) and am using an x-acto knife to cut out each piece. Did you notice how I switched to the present tense? 211 shapes to cut out. I'm hoping to have the stencil finished before I leave on vacation in 10 days.

Eating an elephant. 

I better go get some bourbon to chase that Kool-Aid I drank.

Ei!een Fauxsher

It only took 2 hrs to stop obsessing about my sub-optimal stripe trimming. New record!

 Not much to say here, except that I made this after ogling a mariniere and flippy skirt ensemble on the Eileen Fisher site in February (outfit no longer online).

The top is Vogue 8904, again, sans shingles. I love the bateau/scoop neckline and the subtle waist, and this will probably be my go-to top for  a while. The fabric is a peacock-and-white terry from Finch Sewing Studio:

Image Source: Finch Sewing Studio

The skirt is view B of Jalie 2681:

Image Source: Bonnies Pattern Shop

Ho-hum. Lots of basics lately as I bust my stash. Makes me want to embark on something epic once my supplies are depleted....

Product, Process, and Noro

For someone who knits, I don’t actually visit yarn shops very often. It’s a good thing, too, as I cannot walk past a shelf of Noro without picking up a skein. And it’s practically guaranteed that picking up leads to purchasing. It’s kind of like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie.

I love watching the colors unwind as I knit…but somehow I’ve never wound up with a useable FO. Process: Yay! Product: Boo! Until now.

I found these easy-peasy “Orbits” on Ravelry via Fibre Space. I think of them as “cowl lite.” The yarn is Silk Garden in #252. I’m becoming obsessed with this indigo-teal-black-green yarn. Jolene has long known the beauty of teal but I’ve just recently clued in.

This is a checkerboard “scarf” for the top of the toilet tank in our downstairs bathroom (as opposed to the toilet tank in our living room, you ask?). Yarn is Silk Garden Lite in #349.

These humble projects have brought new understanding and acceptance into my relationship with Noro. I won’t make technical demands and Noro will cater to my color whims.

Trivets? Let’s go. Pot holders? Bring it. Toilet lid covers? It could happen.

What’s your favorite Noro yarn and colorway? What have you made with it?