Monday, January 27, 2014

Dyeing Tencel Fabric

Apparently acid fabric dyes are not the best to use as a dye for synthetic fabrics like Tencel, according to several searches.  Acid dyes are taken up best by natural protein fibres like silk or feathers or wool. What most dyers use on synthetic fibres is a product called Procion MX.  But what I had on hand was my trusty Jacquards.  No worries, I plunged ahead using Jacquard acid dyes.  What was the worst that could happen?  Obviously I thought it was worth the risk.  The kitchen wouldn't blow up, right?

This link will lead you to a natural dyer of cotton and linen scarves, all with edges left unraveling for that couture effect.  She is French and sells her scarves for a dear price.  And they are pretty.  Go have a look.

Taking inspiration from her naturally dyed scarves, I played with a few colors on Tencel yesterday with interesting results.  Each scarf was dyed with three different compatible colors and set with steam (2 hours steaming in rice steamer), then dried and pressed.  Here are two pictures of the peachy tones and the greenish teal hues.

My husband was unimpressed and said I should hem the edges of the scarves.  What does he know.  He would not wear a scarf beautifully draped around his neck at any cost.

On to other things. I ordered a new scanner yesterday and am supposed to get it tomorrow.  The intention is to scan all the photos in all the albums collecting dust in the closet.  Once scanned, I will upload them to the heavens and see if Google asks for money for all that storage space. We shall see.  I started this scanning process a few days ago, and is it ever slow on the old clunker.  Maybe the new scanner will be miraculous and save loads of time.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

You Don't Know What You Don't Know

Daughter Julie who has had a shunt (since birth) for taking fluid build up/pressure off her brain is again having headaches.  Always worrisome since neurosurgery is no walk in the park for her.  It starts off the same way each time she needs a shunt revision, generally caused from protein building up in the tubing leading from the brain to the heart (or lungs, or abdominal cavity or wherever it happens to be placed from the last revision).  The headaches are intermittent, since the blockage in the tube can often be dislodged almost spontaneously, and with no apparent reason for the build up to be cleared by her body's defenses.  But at some point, perhaps a day or two after a shunt headache begins, sometimes after a week or ten days of intermittent headaches, the blockage will not pass down the tubing, allowing for the CSF to be shunted off.  She has had so many revisions and hospitalizations that we have lost count: over 100 at least.  CT scans are always taken, and the results of these scans, to this point after her entire life, have always shown "no appreciable difference in the suture line", although the build up can be so tremendous that she will be in a coma-like state. Mind you, I am not using medical terminology, because by this point you would have almost certainly given up on reading this post.

Julie and Muggsy, 2008

And for over five years, she has been mostly doing fine with this particular shunt and tubing.  And her breast cancer seems to be at bay.  She has a husband who is very supportive, a dog she dearly loves, and aides and nurses and doctors she schedules responsibly.  She is lucky in so many ways, and has stayed out of long term care facilities for most of her life.

The last time I posted about her shunt problems was the time I went to Charlotte, NC to be with her at the Carolinas Medical Center.  You can read more posts about her at these links:

Like my SIL Charlotte says, "you don't know what you don't know".  And we don't know why or how the time comes for a revision, but it will likely be sooner than later.  But it is a concern, of course. Your prayers and concern are appreciated.

Regularly scheduled arts and crafts will resume shortly.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Cornbread, Cardigans and Canines

A few days ago, I shared some cornbread with a friend.  The recipe had absolutely no flour in its list of ingredients, so I figured it would be good for her "no gluten whatsoever" current diet plan.  Warning her that it would be very filling and loaded with calories because of the butter and cheese involved in its makeup, she willingly took it. Click for recipe.

The next day she e-mailed me and said something like "thanks for the cornbread...very light and delicious." Thought that was hilarious as she obviously had not even taken a bite of that dense cornbread.

On to my cardigan knitting, the Delancey Cardigan found here. It has stripes that point downwards with a chevron stripe motif which makes it a flattering style.  Thinking I had memorized the pattern well enough to continue knitting on and on, I later found out (and too late!) that I had missed a "slip two, knit one" at the beginning of the side, so had to rip out an hour's worth of work.

It actually could have been worse, since when knitting the Delancey I was watching the latest episode of "Downton Abbey", not really paying much attention to the knitting.  Friend Jan said the Brits were a bit up in arms about that episode with Anna Bates being victimized.  You can see an interview with Anna (Joanne Froggat) at this link as both she and writer Julian Fellowes discuss the episode. It's a wonder I got even a stitch made since the episode caught me in its emotional and visual grasp.

Of course, I was using my shrinky dink Downton Abbey knitting markers with the tv up loud and clearly empathizing with Mr. Bates.

I do have a few markers left from when I made them last year, so if you want two, I'll send you them postage paid.  Just leave a comment telling me your favorite actor from the series. Will draw from comments for the winner if there is more than one reader interested.

And the canines?  They are an expensive pair this month as BOTH had to have their annual check ups, vaccinations and dental cleanings.  We are not the first to think the IRS should give us a tax break on their medical expenses.

"We are cute and our teeth are clean."

Reading The Gravity of Birds, courtesy of sister Pam.  Sewing on a Vogue Pattern ( 8731).  What are you up to?