Tag Archives: rug

Dyeing for a new bathtub

The days of our shitty acrylic almond bathtub are limited.

And I remembered just in time that I had a pound or so of dye to yellowize an old rag rug.

Last Saturday N was out, all current and terrible big house projects were waiting for the plumber first, the dog was deep snoozing, and it wasn’t raining.

I could tell a story about the rug, but it probably wouldn’t be very interesting. But the short version is I got it in 1996 after moving to my former city and setting up an apartment with a few new things from Ikea when all I had before was used – some good used, some pathetic – and it was my first adult-looking space (I later regressed). The rug was originally very peach – in the store it was pale orange, and in my sunny apartment, it was very peach. It was too close to the ’80s and I didn’t want a peach rug, but the room was warmed up for it and I wasn’t going to return it – and – it quickly began to fade.

It was in another apartment, then a house, then in storage, and back to a house – since the first house, it was in my workrooms or places where dripping things on it didn’t really matter. I had been eyeing it for the basement lounge area, but we managed to find a few others new and used and besides, by then it had faded to beige or beige-ish and I had it folded up for a dog bed, but then the dog got furniture privileges and didn’t need it.

It has been washed many times in the big machines at the laundromat, and was still mostly clean, but it still bled a tinge of peach when I tossed it in the tub. (When wet, it was a nice color again…) I thought I had iDye for cotton in a mustardy/saffrony/ochre color, but I think it’s “sun yellow” – not a lemon, but not an ochre.

I didn’t measure the dye, just dumped 3/4 of it in, and I didn’t measure the salt, but it definitely wasn’t enough – maybe just a bit more than a cup, and the water was far from simmering, just tap hot which is almost tolerable to the skin.

It looked like a very terrible chemical spill.

And I muscled it around once in awhile and left it in for a few hours.

I liked the school bus yellow-orange of the water, but knew that could be a bit deceiving.

Then a sloppy cold wash with a little detergent, and likely not enough of a rinse, but that shit was heavy – the water was running a pale lemon though, so it was mostly washed out.

And lugged it out to hang dry off of the high stoop stairs (it’s going to take days to dry).

It turned out both darker and brighter (more intense) than I expected, and it likely could bleed more, but it will most likely end up on the basement laundry floor so that doesn’t matter (but what might matter is that it’s probably too big – 5′ x 7′ in more of a 4′ x 6′ space…)

And since it’s in the basement, it doesn’t really matter that it is a revived yellow instead of just faded beige/peach, but whatever, it will turn any area sunshiney.

(And the tub was actually a bit cleaner in the end, not yellow, but I wouldn’t risk my luck with dyeing in the new bright white tub…)


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The Magnolia did its big showoff thing, and has packed it in for another year…

I wish we had more than just a week or so with the bombastic blooms.

magnolia vs gazelle

However, I also wish that we didn’t have evil everlasting Japanese Knotweed!

No more knotweed

I can’t keep up with those petal-pink phallic fuckers…

I swear it grows at least a foot overnight.

I finally found the pliers I’ve been looking for for nearly a year.

pliers, once

I’ve no idea how they came to rest in the middle of the backyard, but that was where they wintered.

It’s a  shame too – I’ve had those for decades…

I’m also back to waging a dark horrid war on poison ivy

I got rid of so much of it last year – carefully pulling up every bit of brittle buried vine – but it seems that there is even more this year.

The days at home have been busy and tiring and we’ve been on the road often again, so I haven’t been making fibery things much…

But I cut up three of N’s old t-shirts to make some tarn for a tiny clog rug.

tarn rug

It isn’t all that, but it is the perfect size to make up the difference from the less than perfect sized rug by the door where I kick off my muddy clogs.

tarn rug for shoes

I’m not a fan of knitting with cotton and things on big needles and tarn sheds a maddening fine clingy fuzz, but I’m itching to make some large basket/bowl things…

but I’d need a helluva lot more t-shirts…

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Long term UFOs – part I

I was inspired by Completely Cauchy’s post about her long-term relationship with George, a beautiful (now finished) quilt.  Hers was a relationship of nearly three years that reminded me that I have some so old that they’re common law now, or maybe they could even claim abandonment and neglect.  But in my head, I see them finished and functioning in my life and I forget why they stalled.  I know that I’m only to blame for my very whimsical approach to making things (whim in a bad unfocused sort of way, not one of quirkiness and smiles) and that is why I take months rather than days to finish some things, but other things came up too, right?  I needed more materials, or thought I did, or if it was intended for a gift, the event passed by and then way by, or I thought it was something I could sell until I realized it took too long and I was my own sweatshop bastard boss, or, or, or…?   So I am going to attempt to find out why a few select projects have languished (one for more than a decade!) and resolve* to finish them or send them to the scrap pile.

The t-shirt rag rug.  I started this shortly after I moved into the house I moaned about in the first post, so that would make it around 6 years old, not too bad.  I bought a giant crochet hook to make it and I told myself this was the excuse I needed to finally commit to learning how to crochet.  I vaguely remember watching a few videos and starting it, but then I stopped…I think it was because I had cut up the shirts without any regard to keeping a uniform strip size, or else I just encountered my weird mental crochet block.  So I started braiding the scraps.  This was not an unfamiliar act for me – when I was around 10 or 12, I made a braided rag rug out of my mom’s old fabric and clothes scraps (including a 1960s era cotton paisley, and some suit wool) to rest on a brick dais of sorts where the wood stove was in our old house.  I sat on that thing next to the stove nearly every day in the wintertime, then it became a favorite place of the dog’s as well.  Needless to say, it was well-worn and probably thrown away when they sold the place.   I had the intention of using my newly created t-shirt rug in my studio, but I ended up liking the bare floor since it was an easier surface on which to cut and smooth out materials.  The shirts were all mine and mostly from the 1990s and early 00s and had become cropped from the dryer or had some other fault I couldn’t tolerate.  And I have a vague memory of becoming annoyed with the balls getting twisted up while I was braiding them…but I quit the project about three years ago, though I think I may have gotten it out once in the meantime.  Yesterday, I emptied out the box of rug snake:

DSCF7017 - Copy

It is much bigger pile than it appears, so I had the giddy sensation that maybe it was closer to being finished than I had remembered, so I tested it out.

DSCF7024 - Copy

Nope, it is still too small – larger than a doormat or bathroom rug, but too small for under the desk or kitchen table, or as I had originally wanted, a decent middle of the room-sized beast.  But I’m also conflicted about not really loving the look of rag rugs – I abhor country decor for the most part, so now I think I’m remembering why I really stopped….

But I will finish it since I still have some balls of t-shirt and it requires no mental capacity.


*This is not a New Year’s resolution – the timing is pure coincidence.

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