Tuesday, February 16, 2010


Recently I've been reading more artsy/craftsy blogs. Towards the end of January Alice at Future Girl Craft Blog posted a link to a postcard swap hosted by Hanna. I absolutely loved the idea.

Making and receiving any type of mail is pretty much the most awesome thing ever. I've been known to send the occasional random piece of mail to a friend just because I love it. And actually I have made my own post cards before even! But to do a swap with a group of other serious artsy people....well that was intimidating. I started thinking on what I might be able to put together.

The afore mentioned post cards were simple little things (word clouds) designed using this nifty little tool/website. And I didn't want to use that for an art-type swap. Most of the ideas/suggestions were things like drawing/paining/mosaic/decoupage. All things I can do but I'm really exactly wild about. So I considered what I have been doing as of late: yarn-craft. On a whim I googled "knitted post card" and struck gold.

It was a busy day and so it wasn't until late that night when I should have been sleeping that I whipped up my own knitted post card. I took a picture but it was dark and horrible. I slapped like 3 stamps on that sucker and sent it off through the mail to my local friend to test that the thing would actually go through the mail.

Sure enough a few days later she had received the post card and I embarked upon a mission to knit up the things en-masse. I needed 10 for the swap and wanted to make even more as valentines to send to friends. At some point I settled upon making 20 cards. This is possibly in part owing to the fact that I purchased a 'book' of $1 stamps to use for mailing them all and that is of course 20 stamps. I figure the process for each card was somewhere around 2 hours.

I was using pink, white, and black carron simply soft yarn I had left around the house from other projects. After a bit of experimenting I settled upon 23 rows of 27 stitches on size 6 needles. I made a seed stitch border 3 stitches wide around the whole card and left the center a flat knit. Then I used a contrasting color to embroider on a heart. The tricks I learned to stitching on a not so tight knitted fabric are: use a hoop, trace the pattern onto a piece of cloth in the back, and poke the needle through the strands of yarn. The hearts weren't at all perfect but I'll pretend that adds to the hand-made qualities. I spent a bit of time modifying a post card back designed by Hanna which I could then print 3 up on a piece of card stock. I also cut out a second blank piece of card stock to the same size becuase it was relatively flimsy. My modifications included marks around the boarder ever 1/2 inch where I needed to poke holes. To poke the holes I took an old shallow cardboard box and pre-poked in appropriate holes. Then I could take up to 6 layers of card stock and pinned them down in place on top of the box using push pins. Then I poked through each hole with another push pin, then moved up to progressively bigger knitting needles or just using alot of force (and sometimes ripping the paper) with the larger needle. This was easily my least favorite part of the process. Lastly I stretched the knitting over the card and secured it with clothes pins then secured it with my contrasting yarn.


I didn't know how I was going to get them all done in time but then mother nature snowed in the whole city and I used the day to finish all of the cards! Stupidly I never got around to taking a picture of all of the finished products, the sheer volume amused me greatly. But here is a picture with all of the color variations.


fromthehills said...

I received one of your postcards in the mail today and I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! It's so soft and cozy, like a little sweater in the mail. I wish I could take a pill like Alice in Wonderland and shrink down small enough that I could use my knitted postcard as a snuggly afghan. I can only imagine how much time you spent knitting all of them! I've only ever knit scarves and hats and found it to be enjoyable, but a good bit of work - Thank you so much for such a wonderful piece of hand-crafted goodness!

Friday Eudaemonism said...

Wow! What a lot of work you've put in to these postcards! They look fabulous! :)

Carlin said...

fromthehills: Hooray! I'm so happy that it made it intact. I was nervous about my non-paper making it.

The positive comments that I'm receiving from you all are the best!

gm glimmerglass said...

Oh. My. Word!

Carlin - Your postcards blow me away with how wonderful and creative they are.

I never would have even conceived of something so cool (yet warm) in a million years!

You are a true artist.

Let me give you a standing ovation on this one.


Lucky folks getting these!

:-) Genevieve

Quiltin' Mama said...

Hi- I received your Postcard on Tuesday the 16th, its wonderful. I had 2 stamping friends here at the time and lots of oohing and ahhing was to be had. I will eventually have the postcards I sent on my blog. Having technical issues right now with photos downloading to computer etc.. How I do love getting real mail!

Carlin said...

Genevieve: Thank you so much! :-)

Quiltin' Mama: Thanks for the compliments. I agree that real mail is the best. I'll be keeping an eye on your blog to see your cards.

scj said...

Thank you SO much! I received my postcard last week and was completely bowled over by it! Such a lot of work and it is just so very beautiful. As you didn't leave your name I wondered how I would be able to thank you but am glad I have found you. It is just such a creative idea - that I am sure had the post service in both countries inspired and amused as they processed them. Thank you again for your thoughtfulness. Sheila

Carlin said...

Sheila: Thank you so much for taking the time to find me! And I'm so glad you enjoy the postcard :-)

Linnea skriver: said...

Thank you for your kind posting on my blog.
And what wonderful and inspiring cards you have made!

iHanna said...

OMG Carlin, seriously, these postcards are amazing, I'm both impressed and so jealous of the swappers getting one of these from you! Thanks for joining the swap - you rock!

U2Kitteh said...

Found your blog post from a tweet by iHanna :

I totally had to see a knitted postcard....These are incredible! =cD

Fromthehills and the rest of your recipients are so lucky, lucky,lucky!

Carlin said...

Hanna: Thank you so much for the comment and especially for the "tweet". I feel like a crafting rockstar!

And of course thanks to everyone else for the kind words as well :-)

EWian said...

Thank you for the card, I loved it! and blogged about it here http://ewian.blogspot.com/2010/03/february-postcard-swap-card-from-carlin.html