YARN DYEING CYANOTYPE Summer Knit Series


Hi, Guys! I’m Kristen and Welcome to
STUDIO KNIT. So in a recent video I created really a pretty watercolor prints on paper by stretching our knitted pieces over cyanotype processed
paper well while I was in my makeshift darkroom working on that I had decided
to see what would happen if I painted a little bit of the solution onto a
knitted swatch well it’s been a couple of weeks and I’ve been doing a lot of
testing because the first time around didn’t really yield very good results
some were okay some weren’t so great but I finally perfected it so today I am
going to show you my tips and tricks for creating your own really cool Sun art
cyanotype knit swatches the Sun art magic happens when these covered areas
when you wash away the solution they remain the original color of your yarn
and the exposed areas in the Sun those turn a beautiful vibrant Prussian blue
for your yarn you absolutely want to use a natural fiber and I found that cotton
yarn works best acrylic I knew wouldn’t work because that’s not natural and well
I thought it might but I guess there’s like oils from the animals and the
cyanotype just doesn’t hold and the whole design just washed away and for my knitted swatches I did the stockinette stitch because it has a really nice
smooth finish let’s make some Sun art our work area I’m putting some plastic
down and our little knitted swatch first I figured out that prepping it with
water not getting it too saturated just lightly spraying it with a little spray
bottle on both the right and the wrong sides of our work is something that
really seemed to do the trick so once you have it just slightly damp then it
is time for our cyanotype of course adult supervision is required
and protective gloves are great because you’re working with chemicals here so
anytime you’re working with the liquid part you’ll want to make sure that your
hands are protected and if you’re enjoying this video please like it up if
you haven’t already subscribe it really helps me out the complete instructions
on the cyanotype process are written out on my website so when you’re ready to
get started on your project you can head on over there where I also have all of
the materials that you need from my Amazon shop you can check out what you want and shop directly from that working in cyanotype is best when you work in as
little light as possible so today I’m going to bring you into my darkroom I’m
using this it’s called a Paterson safety lamp it’s from my dad’s old darkroom when he would do black-and-white prints in our
home darkroom so it’s really special to me and it’s a good way for me to be able
to show you what I’m doing but you can just work in as little light as possible
just have the door cracked open enough so you can see what you’re doing but
have the room sort of dark the cyanotype set that I have there’s bottles a and B
so you start out by filling those up with water they say distilled water but
I just use tap and that worked perfectly fine and then you shake them it’s best
to do this in the dark and then you set it aside for 24 hours coming back the
next day it is time to paint and just a little plastic cap I’m using here you do
half of solution 1/2 of solution B just mix it up and on those knitted pieces that we already prepped with a little bit of
water go ahead and paint on your solution and thoroughly cover all of the
knitted swatches that you prepared another trick I figured out is squeezing
all the excess solution out of your knitted swatch this allows the drying
time to speed mine are drying in less than a day and
when I was doing the trials before when they were really saturated with that
solution they were taking about three days to dry meaning that the cyanotype
process was already started your eye piece was already turning blue getting
some on the design it was a little bit muddy even if it was coming out it
wasn’t that crisp design that I was hoping for so squeeze out the excess I’ll
quickly turn the lights on so you can see the really pretty sort of a lime
green color that are knitted work is and we’re going to want to let it dry I am
going to string them up onto a plastic hanger you’ll want to hang your pieces
up to dry in a very dark location where family members want to serve it so I’m
going to place mine in a hallway closet that closes and it’s pitch dark when the
door is closed and I put a little note on it as well to discourage people from
opening it now for your design objects you can get really creative what I found
for knitted swatch cyanotype is that a really solid object or solid design just
black and white is what works best so what I was doing the transparencies of
black and white and gray those weren’t turning out very well now when I tried
them on paper or even fabric I turned out great but for the knitted swatches
you definitely want really bold black and white strong strong designs I was
inspired to give this wall hanging that we have in our dining room a try so I
started out by taking a picture of it and then I turn it black and white
I reversed it and then I inverted it to turn it into a negative and then I
wanted it to be that solid color so I turned it into straight black and white
and then printed it out on to my transparency film and let it set out to
dry for at least 15 before I cut them out oh and you’ll
notice on the transparency film instructions that you want to make sure
that you print on the rough side of the paper and not that really slick smooth
side or else your ink is totally going to smear one of the transparencies that
I created was of my dog Roxy this is a drawing that my very talented aunt Paula
did I loved it and I thought it would look really cool in a cyanotype process
now I figured out that for knitting it wasn’t working because there’s so many
different shades of black and gray and white in it that it just didn’t pop
however when I tried it on some fabric just a little piece of muslin it turned
out beautifully it’s the next day our pieces are dry and
it’s ready to go into the Sun and just like we did for it the paper prints the
best time to go out into the Sun is at high noon so I have a website linked
below and you can check out exactly when that is for your location you’ll start
out with a board for your base and then place your knitted work right-side up
then your artwork place a pane of glass over that all I did was pop some glass
out of a picture frame and then have something to weigh it down a little bit
to keep it in place especially if it’s a windy day it’s recommended to have the
best in the Sun for 5 to 15 minutes super bright day I did about 10 minutes
and you’ll see you get it swatches turn sort of this grayish blue tone and now
it’s bath time I like to save water so I found that just running it under some
water with a little bin to catch the runoff and I kept doing it until the
water ran clear which was only about five minutes for me and then just help
speed up the process to make those colors really pop add 1 teaspoon of
hydrogen peroxide per one cup of water and just let that sit in a bath for
about 5 minutes and you’ll see just how vibrant and beautiful they are and
during bath time you can also wring your knitted piece out it’s still lies flat
dries beautifully you can either hang it or lie it flat if you’re not in a hurry
and in less than a day our pieces are totally dry they look beautiful a really
nice deep dark Russian blue so I hope you are inspired to give cyanotype
printing in the Sun a try either by doing it directly on your knitted work
or go check out my previous video where you can do it on watercolor just by
stretching out your knitted piece so thanks so much for watching guys and I
will see you next time BYE!

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