Sunday, August 19, 2012

another swoon and a lesson about cotton (and what to do when a CSI van is in front of your house!)

This was a full weekend - I feel like I got a ton done!  (not rebuilding the fence gate, or replacing the curtain rod in the bathroom - you know, that'd be stuff that actually needed to be done!)  On Saturday I got up early and went to the Yellow Springs book fair and farmer's market (both fantastic!) then in the evening I went to a special knit night party at Carrie's house.  I'm super jealous of your fun kitchen, by the way Carrie!  (in case you couldn't tell!)  On Sunday my eyes popped open at 7:20, for some reason, and as usual, my brain started reeling off all the stuff I should get up and do - so i got up and did a bunch of cleaning and little things that needed to be done - that always makes me feel accomplished.  Then in the middle of my cleaning I realized I was hearing a lot of talking outside and I peeked out the front door to be nosy.  Well it was 2 cop cars and a CSI van in front of my house!!  whaaat?  I went out to get the paper, just to see what I could see and it was just 2 cops talking and a couple neighbors down a ways - I went back in, but kept peeking out!  At one point I thought I heard one cop say "blah blah blah blood trail" and I went out and said "uh, i'm sure I'm not supposed to come out here and ask what's going on, but what's going on?" (i'm just basing what i'm supposed to do and not supposed to do on episodes of Law and Order!) and the rest of the conversation went like this:

cop - "one of your neighbors found a gun in your front yard"
me - "you're kidding!!"
cop - "I don't make up stuff like that"
(at this point I look down and see a gun right by my crab apple tree! )
me - "oh my god!"
cop - "yeah, you're our prime suspect! haha!" - I'm pretty sure that was meant to translate as "ok, just take your ass back in the house ma'am" so I did!  oh, I don't think anyone actually said "blood trail" because I didn't see any of that.

They never knocked on the door to ask any questions, after a while they, and the gun, just went away.  Yikes!  Excitement!  Ok Hannah - I may not ride city buses, but I do have guns in my yard so I don't think you can call me "country mouse" anymore! haha!

Anyway, I made some popovers for breakfast and then made another Swoon block:

This is the FIRST one that I made without having to rip anything apart and redo it!  you wouldn't think making a damn quilt block would be rocket science, but I never fail to f*#@ something up!  It's more turquoise-y in normal light, but that's what I get for waiting until 8:00pm to take a picture.  The red is the same gingham that I used to bind the baby quilt.  4 blocks down - i need 9 for the quilt (these are BIG blocks - 24"x24")

Oh, and now for the lesson!  At Carrie's party we were talking about mercerized cotton and wondering just what that meant (guess that's the kind of conversations you get when you have nothing but knitters in a room!) so I googled it and here's the answer from :

Mercerized cotton is cotton which has been treated with sodium hydroxide to bring out certain properties first discovered by John Mercer in 1851. In 1890, Horace Lowe added an additional step to the process, and the British cotton industry began to take an interest in mercerizedcotton, which is available today in a wide range of incarnations from thread to completed garments. When treated properly, mercerized cotton is stronger, smoother, and shinier than regular cotton. In addition, it takes dye more readily so that manufacturers can create rich color saturation in their cottons. The brilliant, lustrous hues of Mercerized cotton can be found in fabric stores, yarn shops, and department stores all over the world.
John Mercer discovered that immersing fibers such as cotton and linen in a caustic soda bath would increase their strength and also allow them to take dye more readily. He patented his fiber work, but the cotton industry did not express very much interest in it. It was Horace Lowe who popularized the process, by discovering that keeping the fibers under tension while they were soaked yielded a more lustrous thread. Mercer's name is presumably given to the process to recognize his important initial discovery, which paved the way to Lowe's refinement of the treatment.


1 comment:

Catherine said...

Good grief! You did have a full weekend missy (a. gun. in. your. front. yard. eeeek!)

Love your new block.

Thanks for the info on mercerization; interesting!