Sunday, June 14, 2009

Gimp The Limp

Well if you were wondering, the foot is actually much better than we thought at first. After removing the dressing – and washing off all the Flamazine goop – there doesn’t seem to be much damage besides some blisters and a few sore spots. We promised the doc in Emergency who wrote the prescription and the cute nurse who put on the first dressing to keep up with the three more daily applications of Flamazine anyway. It keeps down any infection. On top of that there are several more layers to keep the goop in place: non-stick pads, stretchy gauze bandage and an elastic mesh stocking. (My foot looks like a white roast ready for the oven!) I’ve modified my Birkenstock straps to accommodate the bandage so I can at least get out on the deck but I’m not really up to much walking yet. The fun part was trying to get myself clean this morning without getting the wrappings wet. I’m normally a shower girl but that’s not going to happen for a few more days. The burn is ok in coolish water but the rest of my body doesn’t want a bath in that temp. And I wasn’t ready to reapply the dressing yet anyway. So I lay in the tub in nice hot water with my Sock Monkey Foot propped up and had a soap and a soak. I always feel so much better with clean hair! Unfortunately at one point I got stuck in an awkward position and T-Man had to come rescue me with his strong arm. He’s been pretty patient and helpful though tomorrow I’m on my own when he goes back to work.

I’ve had lots of time to work on Secret Project #2 while sitting around. It’s nearly finished. I can’t blog about it until I can blog about Secret Project #1. It’s related though not for the same person. If you’re dying to find out, you have to be on Ravelry to see the details. Sneaky, aren’t I?

Luckily I have lots of time to read because I just got a really good book (yes, another one!):


Teach Yourself Visually Hand-Dyeing by Barbara Parry. It’s another of this series of books that rely on great photographs coupled with less text than usual, and suited especially for the visual learner but greatly inspiring for the rest of us also. Barbara presents the most techniques here that I’ve ever seen in one book! Just about every way you could think of to apply dye to fibre and several more you may not have considered are illustrated here. Since the focus seems to be mostly for spinners and knitters, she confines most of her discussion to acid dyes (several types, though not Lanaset/Telana) on protein fibres (yarn, roving and fleece). She only includes a short chapter on fibre reactive dyes on cellulose and only briefly mentions the nifty fact that you can use fibre reactives as acid dyes, even if they no longer work as reactives. There is also no discussion of dyeing woven fabrics or using natural dyes. The latter would be a whole book in itself!

Safety is properly stressed, including safe storage and disposal. I really appreciate Barbara’s inclusion of a chapter on colour concepts and a section on colour inspiration, plus one on using your dyed fibres in spinning and knitting. As far as I can tell she has pretty much covered all the bases and anyone should have little trouble following her directions to create lovely dyed yarns and fibres to rival those of the best commercial/indie dyers. In reading through, I found very little that I would argue with (a first!) in either the dye chemistry or the techniques presented. they are just personal quibbles such as I usually use 56% acetic acid instead of either citric acid powder or vinegar. They all work pretty much alike anyway. I also use pickling salt instead of Glauber’s most of the time because it’s much cheaper and works just as well, at least as far as I can see, and I use Orvus to scour and rinse off protein fibres instead of Synthrapol. I really don’t like the smell of Synthrapol and find it a bit harsh but do use it for cellulose fibres because it works better for them. As a beginner you might want to follow directions more precisely and as you gain experience you can deviate to some extent.

All in all, this is the best dye book (synthetics) that I’ve yet seen and it makes me want to get down to the dye studio and play! I want to see if I can get my old knitting machine to create sock blanks for dyepainting. Hmmm…and maybe some solar dyeing would be good with this sun we’ve been having. Assuming it holds out until I’m able to walk around more again. Sigh.


yarnpiggy said...

Glad to hear the foot is better than originally believed!

I like the "Teach Yourself Visually" books -- I have the Knitting and Knitting Design (not really read yet!) books, as well as the "Crochet Quick Tips" one. They're really I know I can trust the Dyeing one!

Unknown said...

Hey Lousia,

Is the secret Project #1 or # 2 for our New Baby Nicholas who will be joining us very soon! Only 7 more weeks to go!

Love Nicole

Louisa said...

Now that would be telling, Nicole! You'll just have to wait and see - kind of like waiting for Nicholas himself, huh? ;)