Tuesday, April 9, 2013

April's Fool and Flu

I was really excited for my first really busy weekend at the nursery this past weekend.  The older staff talks about those days like they are battles or storms that nobody could fathom forgetting. So I was really disappointed when I came down with food poisoning at 2 in the morning, 6 hours short of my first busy weekend.  When after a few hours the chills and headache began, it was pretty clear it wasn't food poisoning.

I didn't think I'd ever been too sick to knit, but this weekend I truly was.  I seriously laid on the couch for 16 hours, trying to summon enough strength to go refill my ginger ale that my uncle had brought me. I'm loads better, but still a bit wobbly.  I did go to work yesterday, but not for a full day and I bleached everything that I touched after I used it. I still haven't eaten a proper meal since this all started Friday night.  And that was my weekend.

I did manage to finish one little project I had started last week- yet another stash busting shelter blanket. Tada! I think I have enough stash left for one more...
If you're new to the blog, I routinely do destashing projects like this: Crochet a square using a giant hook and at least 6 strands of yarn.  This blanket probably ate 6 pounds of yarn (that I was never going to use), unraveled 3 sweaters (that I was never going to finish) and is now headed to the Humane Society where it will serve as a bed for a homeless animal. So these blankets are a great thing all around. And they don't have to be beautiful- animals are color blind and probably just happy to have something of their own. 

That was finished on Sunday night.  After 19 hours of sleep on Saturday, I was feeling a lot better on Sunday, albeit still a little wobbly and green around the gills. I tried to work on my Harvest Home cross stitching and decided it's probably time for it to go back in to stash room for a few months.  I was tired of trying to figure out which of the unmarked 12 shades of green went in to this one part and I decided I needed a new project for a bit. Plus there's been one cross stitching project calling to me since I got the right fabric and threads for it back in September...

Well...almost the right fabric.

I began this Halloween cross stitch project a couple years ago and after I got about 1/6th of it done, figured out I didn't have enough fabric. And the bad thing about cross stitching is that you can't really add more to it once you made that first big mistake.  I was also using a really rough aida cloth that was almost burlap.  I loved the look of it, HATED touching it.  I also wasn't thrilled about my selection of thread- it was a tad big for the project.  So I wasn't too terribly upset about the mulligan. When visiting a yarn shop in Bloomington, IL last fall I had some time to kill before my meeting.  They had a pretty fantastic embroidery section and I found my perfect thread- a Shaker Sampler cotton called Raven.  It was black from a distance, but close up it had a beautiful, hand painted green in it as well. The fabric I saw was amazing- a gorgeous tea stained antiqued cream color that had a personality but wasn't too demanding for attention.  I had to have it.  But it was $40 a square foot- and I wasn't sure how much I needed.  I opted for the stuff that was $8 a square foot and decided to bust out the tea bags the other day.  Surely it can't be that hard.  Can it?
I did some research online and found warnings to crafters of the dangers of dyeing fabric with tea, which made me even more excited/determined to do it.  I wanted a nice, spotty/splotchy fabric that had a few highs and lows, but nothing too extreme.  Since I was only going to be using one color of thread (black) I wasn't too worried about how it would stain my threads.  I'll just try not to sit on a white couch while I'm stitching- problem solved.  So I put on the kettle and got to work. 

It was pretty easy.  I thought I'd dab the wet tea bags over the dry fabric before immersing it all into a very large, very strong cup of tea and letting it sit for a while.  The dabbing really didn't do anything, so I just put it all down in there with the tea bags. I did get a few darker spots where the tea bags actually sat, and I love that. As I was taking the tea bags out and rinsing the fabric to eliminate the excess tea, I noticed that one of the spots was a little more red than the others- I dug out the tea bags and saw that I had accidentally used a roobios (red African tea leaf) in there too.  You can see that splotch in the hoop. 
I set the fabric in the screened in porch and there was enough wind to have it dry in a few hours.  I began stitching a bit later, and I'm thrilled with this project now.  Love the pattern, love the fabric, love the thread.  I'm so glad I decided to try again with this project. Probably should have ironed the fabric before I started but I'm not too worried about it. 
So that's my crafting for now- a change of cross stitch projects and a few other knitting projects that I'm not really wanting to do right now but need to finish regardless. I'll try to finish up another one or two before my trip to Paris next month so I can start something exciting and new without project-guilt.

So I'll leave you to your needles with a few pictures of Spring at Chez Paige...

1 comment:

Bonnie said...

I'm so glad you're feeling better. That sounds like a rough virus. I don't do embroidery, but I always love to see your progress. I think the tea worked really well!