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Sunday, December 31, 2006

The kitchen smells like vinegar and sheep!

... the vinegar smell has been in the air for an hour or 3 ... the sheepy smell has not quite been there so long.

oh ... I guess you are wondering WHY the kitchen smells like vinegar and sheep?

well ...

it started here -
- I fell over the blog that this is on ( a couple of days ago, while taking a break from sorting out my sewing/etc room.

for a while I resisted the temptation to dig out some yarn/etc and have a play ... but then this evening I was sorting out a box of yarn/etc and I found this small bundle of boring pale yellow 4 ply crochet cotton ... so I decided to have a play. My excuse was that I had half a bottle of vinegar in the laundry (I have been using it when I had been "undying" fabric ... which is kind of like dying, except you start with black/strong coloured fabric and take some of the dye out by putting bleach on it, then vinegar, then rinse it ;-) ... and I already had some food colouring - not a huge range of colours - dd seems to have used up all the colours except some green, blue and "egg yellow" ... oh - and some black, which I only bought recently, but I decided not to bother with that at the moment.

so ... I dug out the vinegar and food dye, and a bowl/etc, and wound the little bit of cotton into a long skein thingy, and also dug out a weird synthetic kids t-shirt thingy (I have a whole bag of them - the whole lot only cost me about a dollar at an op shop!) and I also found a ?linnen thingy that looks like a lace-edged hanky but it is a bit stiff to blow a nose on so it must be a place mat thingy or one of those things that you use the same way one uses a crochet doily (put it on a shelf, often under something else, to look "pretty").

Of course none of those 3 items were actually made of WOOL ... which is what the instructions on the blog said to use ... but since when have I been the sort of person who follows instructions?!

The colours looked really pretty when I put the items in the microwave.

They still looked really pretty when I took them out ...

... methinks I should have taken photos BEFORE I rinsed the things!

yep ... the blue sort of stayed in the synthetic shirt (the green and yellow didn't even do that) ... but I think it would wash out if I actually put it in with a load of washing (which is what one eventually has to do if anyone actually wears the shirt ;-) ... the yarn ended up almost the same as it started out ... and some colour stayed in the ?linen thingy ...

I guess this means that food dye is one of those things that works best in wool ...

(I suppose I could get all technical and waffle on about how some dyes only work with animal protien, such as wool, mohair, silk, etc, and others only work with plant matter, such as cotton, and some only work with various synthetic fibres ... and some actually work with more than one thing ... but those who want to know more about that can go search google or find a book on it or whatever ... but it was rather interesting to notice that there is one strange looking spot on that bit of linnen (or whatever it is) where the dye seemed to "stick" really well to what I can only guess must be a stain that came from something animal ... )

so ... "if at first you don't succeed, try again"?

well - while the other stuff was soaking/cooling/etc I continued with my sorting out, and ...
Yes - I found a ball of boring not quite white WOOL ...

The wool was cooling down after it's first "zap" in the microwave when I started writing this - and hot wet wool, which this was, tends to smell like ... sheep ... LOL

This time I took a photo before doing the rinsing ...

(drats ... I should have put a fork in that bowl before I took the photo! ;-)

now ... fingers crossed ... time to go rinse it.

btw ... lucky for me, I LIKE the smell of wet sheep!
(probably because it brings back childhood memories of growing up on/near farms :-)

*Andrea goes and rinses her wool*

Wow - it actually worked!

... what? you think someone like ME would actually do things the "correct" way and wind it and tie it into a skein first?! ... nah ... why bother - I didn't want it to be perfectly "self striping" or whatever ... I was planning to crochet a beanie or a bag or something with it and have the colours sort of end up wherever they happen to appear ...

I think it may even be colourfast (the owner of that blog knits socks with it so I think she would have noticed if it wasn't - even here in Canberra we DO wash our socks once in a while! ... )

If it isn't colourfast (I might have done things wrong ;-) and I crochet a beanie and wear it in the rain it could be rather interesting seeing me with green dribblies running down my face!

hmmm ... getting a bit technical again here ... "colourfast" isn't just "washfast" ... dyes also need to be "lightfast" if you don't want them to fade too quickly ... I wonder how badly food dye fades in sunlight? ... if I wear it on a sunny day, will my beanie (or whatever) be 3 shades lighter at the end of the day than it was when I put it on in the morning?! LOL

Anyway ... I am living up to my blog title again ... it is almost 3am and I really do need to go get some sleep.

but ... I won't post this quite yet - I have not put the photos in ... I will probably add those in the morning - at the moment they are still on the memory card in the camera ... except for the last one, which I have not even taken yet!

*Andrea goes zzzzzzzzzzzz for a while ... *

... good morning ... er ... afternoon ;-)

(actually it was morning when I got up, but I did a few other things before I came in here to do this)

photos are (hopefully) uploading as I type ... once they are there and I put them in the right place I will hit the "publish post" button and all one or 2 of you who actually read this blog will get to see this.

I was going to take another photo this morning when the yarn was dry, but it isn't dry yet ... it has actually been damp and rainy ... which is a good thing, because we sure need the rain!

anyway ... photos are now in here ... and this is probably going to be the last thing I put on here this year ... (well - there IS only a few hours of this year left ;-) ... so ...

Happy New Year!


Monday, December 25, 2006

Season's Greetings

Is it that time of year already?!

Where HAS the year gone?!

May the joy and peace of Christmas be with you now and throughout the New Year ...

Yes - I have been messing around making silly "Cards" out of my photos - this one is a small gum tree beside the footpath near here.

Of course I couldn't stop at one ...

This was a beetle that I found as I was walking out the door from work last week ... it stayed around long enough for me to take a couple of quick photos then it flew away.

One for the "city folk" ?

I took this photo during the TASDA exhibition at the CSIRO Discovery Centre this year (it is a gum tree, and it's shadow, outside the building).

This is the one I e-mailed to friends/family ...

Yes - it is our dog, Diesel.

Guess what this one is?

- it is actually a lettuce (I think) plant in the vegetable garden at the resteraunt we had our work Christmas dinner at! (there were all sorts of lettuce and broccoli etc plants and they were starting to "go to seed" ... I took some photos because the colours/textures were interesting, then when I was putting the photos onto the computer today, I noticed that some of them look like little trees ;)

I hope you all have/had a Merry Christmas ... or a Happy whatever else you celebrate, or not, instead ...