Friday, September 02, 2005


This idiot Damselfly-woman managed to bash her stupid head on a cupboard door this morning while clearing out the stuff so we can start painting the nook area of the kitchen. That smarts! Bled quite a bit too. I was home alone and I can't see the ouchie on the top/back of my head so I do hope it doesn't need stitches or anything. It stopped bleeding fairly quickly so I suspect I'll live. I'm not doing any more in the nook until Thom removes those darn cupboard doors! Not taking any more chances that one will sneakily swing back over my head right after I bend over. And I was accomplishing so much today too. Poo.

Of course my tiny problems pale in comparison to the disaster wrought in the Gulf States by the combination of Hurricane Katrina and human stupidity. I can't understand why the worst in people comes out when things are in such dire straights. It's taking way too long for help to get in where it can do some good. I like that our local Urban Rescue Team has gone down there where they can get some real experience but they aren't allowed to do anything until the folks who are shooting at everybody are stopped. I'd rather hear about the brave and selfless people who are doing their best to help in what seems to be an increasingly desperate situation down there. Not the greedy creeps who are taking advantage or who are just plain nutso. My heart goes out to everybody who lost everything. I can't imagine how horrible it would be to be in the midst of that kind of destruction.

On a lighter note, something good to blog about: my one-and-only brother and sister-in-law are celebrating their 25th wedding anniversary tomorrow. I found a set of silver napkin rings that just needed a bit of polishing (did I get them for our 25th?) and 4 white damask linen napkins that I had bought years ago. I planned to dye them but never got around to it until I had a good excuse! So first I soaked them in hot water with a drop of Synthrapol to break the surface tension. While that bucket was soaking, I measured 1/2 tsp each of purple, midnight blue, turquoise, and emerald Procion MX dye into 4 plastic cups. Then I poured in 1/2 cup of warm water slowly and mixed until the dyes dissolved. I squeezed out the napkins and scrunched them up one by one into quart canning jars.

Each one got a different colour of dye but no stirring or poking. After letting them sit for 1/2 hour I used the same cups and mixed up 1 tsp of soda ash in 1/2 cup of hot water in each. I poured this over each napkin which just covered them and left the jars overnight.

This morning I poured out the dye and rinsed the napkins well in cold water first, then into a dye pot with warm water and a wee bit of Synthropol. I brought the pot slowly up to a boil and simmered for about 10 minutes. This really speeds up the rinse-out of unfixed dye. After a squeeze out, the napkins went into the washing machine for a regular cycle (no soap) just to make sure everything is thoroughly rinsed out and then I hung them to dry. This last step is because I really don't like the smell of Synthropol at all plus I don't like to give away something that might bleed later. (OK, I promise no more mention of bleeding...)

I was a bit disappointed with the turquoise and the emerald ones. The patterns are very minimal especially on the turquoise. But then that dye is the most quirky of all the Procions. The emerald didn't "crystal" as much as it has done in the past. Maybe I didn't scrunch it hard enough? There weren't any white areas left on either of them. The midnight blue and purple ones are very nicely crystalled and the purple has divided into more purple and more blue areas. I like that one best.

Perhaps if I had mixed blue and yellow instead of using turquoise straight up I would have gotten better results. Dyes that are mixtures "break" more interestingly with this technique. To accentuate the effect even more you can divide the dyes and pour one colour over and then another. I think these look pretty nice anyway. They'll for sure brighten up dinner at my bro's!

I think the Advil is wearing off. Deciding if I need another one...

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi louisa,
remeber me
Elizabeth from Mackay Aus? I have read about your recent trip, and your shopping spree, you had a great time.Love your knitting the-what I call fair isle on the socks is really great, I used to be able to do that, but live in a tropical climate with no call for it now. Ye I love the beading but like you find it slow going, altho I want to keep going to see it finished.I am into many other things now, and I think your name of Damsalfly would suit me to.