- Leonard Nimoy, March 26, 1931-February 27, 2015
27 February 2015
Talk about luck of the draw!
Exactly one week after Friday the 13th, I was the 13th person to join Crazy Mom Quilts' weekly Finish It Up link-up. I've always contended 13 is my lucky number.
On my (choke, choke) "speed limit birthday", I was the 55th person to link up. !!! (I should type 55 exclamation points, but I'm being lazy today.)
I recently ran a list of unusual search terms people use to find my blog, and the very next week, someone used one of the best search terms ever, as far as I'm concerned. Someone else used the weirdest one yet, but it's overshadowed by the warm, fuzzy search term!
We recently made a stop at a home center to pick up terracotta pots to transplant our collection of Christmas cacti out of cheap plastic pots. The garden centers of most home centers this time of year are mostly devoid of shoppers, so the birdies know just where to escape the cold weather. And find good food!
26 February 2015
When you're trying to train for a 450-mile cross-state bicycle ride and the weather does nothing but pound you with snow, might as well get some color going!
22 inches were forecast; we had 15 after the first 36 hours. Not quite the Storm of the Century predicted, but still enough for another round of snow-dyeing!
Five hanks of cotton yarn were prepared for dyeing (hanked and then mordanted), then a hank of cotton thread, two yards of cotton fabric, and finally, one hank of wool yarn. This would be my first time using snow to dye wool, as well as my first time ever trying fiber-reactive dyes on wool. The dye process for wool is completely different than for cotton, so my efforts with the wool were experimental. Didn't know what to expect, and didn't really care how it turned out, as long as the wool didn't felt (shrink and coagulate). (The wool turned out just fine!)
I was hoping for lavender and violet this time around; the color broke once again, which is one of the magic aspects of snow-dyeing, so initially not the color I envisioned after the snow melted, but still not bad. Four of the cotton yarn hanks are to return kindness to friends who helped me through various difficulties, and I thought they'd each be happy with the results.
This time, I did an entire 415-yard skein of size 10 Baroque crochet thread instead of winding it into individual 100- or 150-yard hanks. I decided I want enough of one colorway to make something besides snowflakes. Especially if I like the finished color.
The wool is totally different in color from the cotton, but I think it turned out great. I think this will knit up beautifully!
Then came the washing stage. Eek. Sometimes washing is the make or break in dyeing. I'd been doing only natural dyeing for most of the last 18 months. You don't use hot heat in natural dyeing; it messes up the colors, typically resulting in standard grays and browns. Not fun after experiencing color heaven.
This was my first time using professional dyes in quite a while, and I mistakenly applied the natural dye washing rules to the cotton instead of the professional dye washing rules. Professional dyes need heat to set.
My cold cotton color did not set.
Fortunately, I still like the faded pastel pink, and I can always overdye if necessary. I also learned a much-needed lesson and hopefully will not need to relearn it. With 16 more inches on the way and yet another winter storm in the extended forecast, I want to take another stab at lavender and violet, without so much color break this time, if possible. Reducing color break in snow- or shaving cream-dyeing is a challenge, and challenge is one of the dyeing aspects I apparently enjoy. I keep trying again and again and again...
Meanwhile, this pastel pink might work very nicely for me and my friends, each who've had personal close calls with breast cancer, actual breast cancer, or loved ones facing close calls or the real thing. Pink is always sentimental in my neck of the high plains meets foothills.
Linking up with Confessions of a Fabric Addict.
24 February 2015
When we first began redoing our front and back yards, we bought a truckload of river rocks. I salvaged many of the red rocks in the collection because I wanted to cover them with crochet. In particular, a nearly heart-shaped red rock.
The backyard still isn't done yet, and the red rocks aren't covered with crochet yet. Which means that heart-shaped rock is the perfect surface for trying to catch and photograph snowflakes!
Initially, the rock wasn't cold enough. The snowflakes melted the instant they hit it. As the temperature dropped, I began to have more success.
It is SO good to have my Nikon D300 back and for it to be working as good as new!