Sunday, September 5, 2010

On the plus side, having a blue tub is basically the same thing as having a pool

(Happy Labor Day weekend, everyone! While most people lament this weekend as the unofficial End of Summer, I am celebrating the official beginning of Why it is Awesome to Work at a Bank, because from now until March there's at least one paid holiday per month. So, the rest of you, have fun being at work on MLK Day. Bitches.)

Back before I was living in sin with Ryan I was way into bed sheets. I have a queen-sized bed with a pillow-top mattress and I think at the height of it I had close to 10 sheet sets. Fancy sheets, in every color of the rainbow, each more thread-county than the last. And oh, the duvet covers! I coordinated my sheets to the season, guys, and I'm not ashamed at all to admit that. My bed was an experience.

But now that I have a roommate who's also a bed-mate that's all fallen by the wayside. We each have our own bedrooms with our own beds, but I spend a lot of time in his room (in his awful, small double bed with the saggy's just not fair), so I'm not as invested in the look and feel of my own bed anymore. This was made painfully clear to me a few months ago when I realized I still had my Christmas flannels on my the middle of summer.

So a few weeks ago I decided to revive the old obsession and went digging through the things that never got unpacked when I moved in three years ago for my favorite sheets, a baby pink 300+ thread count Egyptian cotton set. The fitted sheet looked okay, but the flat sheet had been exposed to the basement grossness, so I threw it in the wash just to be safe. Good idea, right?

Except that I threw it in the wash with a cheap-ass green beach towel from Walmart that I had just bought. And this happened:

That, my friends, is the color of failure. And I should know, I'm kinda synesthetic.

So I decided to make lemons out of lemonade and dye the sheet. I've only ever used fabric dye once before, and that was in the washing machine. This dye (if you can't tell from the picture above, it's navy blue) didn't have instructions for that method. Luckily, I had an extra garbage can, the thinking man's washing machine.

You put the water in the trash can, put the dye in the water, and put the fabric in the dye. Then you stir and stir and stir (this is where the washing machine would have come in handy). It smells awful, and despite your best efforts, you are getting dark blue everywhere, even your hands, even though you're wearing gloves. But keep stirring. Say to yourself "Double, double, toil and trouble, fire burn and cauldron bubble." Then spend a few moments contemplating fate, revenge, and how weird it is that they knew how to do c-sections in medieval Scotland. That'll take a couple minutes. You still have an hour to go.

Once the hour is up (and you only have to stir occasionally after the first 15 minutes, so the time goes pretty quickly), it's time to rinse the fabric out.

All I could think of while I was rinsing was "How am I gonna get all of this blue out of my tub?" And then I thought, "acid, of course." Because I am a nerd. And also, an idiot.

After the rinsing, which takes almost as long as the mixing, and is just as skin-staining, you throw the fabric in the washing machine (without anything else, lest you start this whole ridiculous cycle anew). And this is the result:

Not too bad. The color in the picture isn't very accurate; it's not so purple (although in a few places is looks tie-dyed. Guess I'm not that good at stirring). As much as I loved these sheets I think I'll use this for sewing now. So watch for a crapload of blue things in the future. And picture me sleeping in a double bed with scratchy camo sheets, and pity me.

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