Mix it Up! Mixed-Media Projects to Enhance Your Knitting
A note from Kathleen: I have an embarrassingly vast collection of rubber stamps, scrapbook paper, and papercrafting supplies. I make cards, little books, bookmarks, calendars, folded paper creations—I absolutely love papercrafting! I have a craft group, too, called Women Who Run with Glue Guns. We usually end up working with paper in some form, and I've gotten so many ideas from the magazine Cloth Paper Scissors.
Papercrafting might seem like a stretch to us knitters, but when I had a chance to talk to Jenn Mason, the new editor of Cloth Paper Scissors, she had a bunch of cool knitting and fiber related ideas. I was so inspired that I got out some cotton ribbon, a permanent-ink stamp pad, and some stamps (I love the bird motif that's so popular right now!) and I crafted by own labels! Aren't they cute?
Here are some more wonderful ideas from Jenn. I hope you'll try some of these, and check out Cloth Paper Scissors, too. I think you'll be inspired just like I am!
Unlocking Your Creativity
Although I get all dreamy about mixed-media and collage, my truest passion is encouraging others to live more creatively every day. No matter what you do, I think you can do it with added flair.
I know of no group more dedicated than knitters to finding that time to be creative. In Boston, where I live, I see you on the playground knitting fab scarves, working up hip fingerless gloves on the subway, and tackling a gorgeous fisherman's sweater in the evenings at the local yarn store as I walk by.
I myself am a struggling knitter—I have no patience for a complete sweater, but you will find me often wandering in and out of little yarn shops. I love to use the fibers in my art. This got me thinking about how knitters could add mixed-media art to their work—you know, living more creatively. Here are some fun ideas.
Custom Labels: Hand-carved stamps, with your own custom image or name, make lasting impressions as personalized labels when stamped on twill tape or ribbon.
Buttons: Use mixed-media jewelry techniques, polymer clay, and resin to make smashing buttons.
Needle Holder: Dye, print, and embellish cloth to make a needle case that will be the envy of all of your fellow knitters.
Felted Finds: Combine felted knits and other mixed-media techniques and embellishments to make clever card holders, clutches, bags, scarves and more. (Above left and right: Wool Sweater Cupcakes by Betz White; Artist Trading Cards by Kelli Perkins.)
Jewelry: Little knitted, crochet, and felted flowers make a stunning centerpiece on mixed-media necklaces or brooches.
Tags: Small, mixed-media Artist Trading Cards (ATC) make the perfect tags to include with knitted gifts. They're an ideal place to jot down the suggested washing instructions.
Art: Use your knitting in a new sculptural way by knitting with wire, paper yarn, or other inspired fibers to create a one-of-a-kind piece such as a vessel or wall hanging.
Just from these seven ideas, it's easy to see how a little mixed-media knowledge can make you a more creative knitter. And Cloth Paper Scissors is the best place to garner inspiration, learn new techniques, find creative ideas, and gather the inspiration to make one-of-a-kind works of art.