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What Not to Do: Yudu Screen Printer Edition (…and a Cute Baby) {0}

Two significant things happened yesterday:

1. I finally unpacked my Yudu machine and gave it a whirl (I think I’ve had it over a year now), and

2. Keani Kai (9 months old now) ate curry.

Item #1: If you’ve ever heard anything about the Yudu machine, you’ve probably heard that you will mess up the first 2 emulsion sheets which are included with the machine. I was determined not to let that happen to me under any circumstances, so I read the manual (twice), watched the instructional DVD (twice) and then watched a few user-created videos on YouTube for good measure.

So, I wet down the screen, applied the slightly annoying sheet of emulsion, and took a good look. It looked weird. I smoothed it out with the squeegee. It still looked weird. “Oh well,” I thought, “it’s not changing any no matter how much I smooth it out, so I’d better dry it now.” I put it in the machine and started the “Dry” cycle.

Then I sat down to watch more YouTube videos. When I got to this video, Kendra-the-Cricut-Lady explained in detail how to make sure the emulsion was properly adhered to the screen. When she held it up and said “It shouldn’t look like this,” I knew I was in trouble because that is exactly how mine looked. So, what did I do? Genius that I am, I ran over to the Yudu, pulled out the half-dry screen, and re-wet it, trying to get it to go on right. It started coming off. Yep, the emulsion started washing right off, so I stopped, stuck it back in the machine, and put it through another drying cycle…and another…and another…and another… after about 2.5 hours, I was tired of waiting, so I just pulled off the protective plastic coating, and big wet gobs of emulsion came off with it. It was too bad. I wanted to get to the printing part.

 

Emulsion coming off a Yudu screen because it was not dry enough

Emulsion coming off a Yudu screen because it was not dry enough

The two pieces of text I had prepped were small, so I fit them into some undamaged areas on the emulsion, and exposed for 8 minutes. I should have done 10. Anyway, at the end of 8 minutes, I went to rinse off the unexposed emulsion, and this happened:

A ruined Yudu screen

The ruined "Team Baby" Yudu screen

Yep. It all started coming off.

Lessons: Get the emulsion on right the first time, then leave it alone. Make sure the emulsion is totally, completely dry before messing with it. Expose for 10 minutes.

The good news is that this experience was very liberating, and I am now ready to experiment and play with my Yudu machine. I went at it with an uncharacteristically laid-back attitude because I realized that the reason I’ve let it sit in the box for a year is that I was afraid I’d mess up. I wanted to wait until I was a pro before using it. Duh. How will you ever be a pro at anything without making a bunch of mistakes first? So I went for it. And I messed up. I completely wrecked my first project. And now I can get on with perfecting it.

As for the baby eating curry, well, I took some curry, turned it to mush in the Magic Bullet, and fed it to him. The look of delight on his face after the first bite was priceless. It was as if he were saying: “Mom, are you sure this is for me? It’s delicious!” It was kind of like this, but a little more on the tickled pink side:

Baby Boy looking up with a puzzled but happy expression

Baby Boy looking up with a puzzled but happy expression

And now, as I type this, he has pulled one of the air tubes off the breast pump and is trying to learn everything there is to know about it. So, until next time…

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Tropical Storm Warning Flag Knitting Pattern {1}

Knitted Red and Black Tropical Storm Warning FlagThis red and black flag signifies a storm warning. One flag means Tropical Storm Warning, and two flags together mean Hurricane Warning. (The signals for Gale Warning and Small Craft Advisory are two red pennant (triangle) flags and one red pennant flag, respectively.)

I thought these marine weather flags would make kind of cool throw pillows, so I’m knitting up a couple of envelope-style pillow covers. I’m just making it up as I go along, but I know that if I don’t write it down I’ll forget how I did it.

What this means:

I just finished writing out my first ever knitting pattern. It is very simple– just a black square inside a red square, using very basic stitches (it’s only the front flag part, not the entire pillow cover), but it was HARD to write the pattern, and I’m still not sure it’s accurate and user-friendly. So, if you use the pattern, please help me out by leaving a comment about how easy or difficult it was to follow, and what I should do to make it better.

The way it’s written assumes you know how to make basic knit and purl stitches, as well as how to join a new color in an intarsia style. (It’s not as hard as it sounds! I learned it pretty quickly from YouTube– check out these videos for instructions: Intarsia Knitting Basics and Intro to Intarsia. The second video is by KnitPicks, and it features nautical flags, so yay! Perfect.

Click here to download the PDF pattern.

Thanks!

Sarita Li