Saturday, February 26, 2011

New Shirt Image

 I think I have been working on this for a couple of years. Originally I was looking for an old found image I had in my head but never found. Erica loaned me a booklet of craft instructions that had it almost, but not quite. Eventually I had my daughter take a photo of my hands knitting with a piece of white paper in my lap. I tried to do something with it and realized that I needed the hands from the knitters view. About a year ago I had my friend Peter the photographer take a photo of my hands knitting with me on the floor and the hands in the air in front of whiteness in the photo studio at Meredith Publishing where we were working. I tried to trace it with tracing paper and couldn't see well enough and gave up. Just last week I finally traced it with acetate and started working with it and realized that the knitting was too detailed in relation to the hands...then I went to Michaels and spent too much on their fattest yarn and some big needles. Knitted up a little piece and called Peter and demanded he take another photo. Went over to his place and  we set it up in his shop. Me sitting on the floor with my hands up in front of a little table with some pieces of whiteness behind. He did the lighting right like he always does and it was perfect.

I came home and traced the image on acetate. Then I blew it up a little on the copier/printer. Then I cut it out of rubylith, an obscure art material formerly used in commercial art. It is acetate with a layer of red stuff on it. You cut through the red with an xacto knife and peel away the parts you don't want to print. I like it because you get a nice sharp edge and it's like drawing with a knife. Before I got very far on the knit stitches I realized I didn't like the shape of them. I retraced them, paying more attention to the shape of each stitch.

Finally I recut everything so it was just right. I spent 12 hours on this on Monday. I would guess I spent a total of 25 - 30 hours on this project counting all the false starts. I will have it put onto a silk screen and print it on shirts and tote bags.

Image copyright Diane Muse 2011

Then I got an idea for another knitting shirt. I had Peter take a couple of more photos and am working on it today...


  1. Thank you for sharing your process! I don't know anything about screen printing, and have always been curious how you get from point A to point B (more like point Z, maybe?).

  2. I love this design Diane! I also echo what Brooke said that it's great to read about your process.

  3. This is really great and super realistic. Good job!!! I can't wait to place my order.