Gene and Brandon had a bunch of folks come over to their place to make tie dye this weekend. (Gene is an art teacher, so he knows how to do this kind of thing up proper with fiber reactive dye and stuff.) We also got to make shibori, which is Japanese tie-dye done with indigo.
The shibori was cool; to dye stuff with indigo, you put the dye in a bucket of water with some kind of activator and wait for a chemical reaction to happen that reduces the indigo molecules. You dip your (tied-up) fabric in it for a couple minutes and the pigment binds to the cotton. You pull it out and it's a pale green color, but you let it hang for a few minutes and it turns blue as the indigo molecules re-oxidize. And then you do it a few more times to get it darker. (The indigo dye is also fairly stinky, in a sort of sulfurous outhouse way. I thought it was bad but not horrific, but most of the others thought it reeked. I guess my comparative insensitivity will come in handy if I ever get sent back in time and have to find a job.)
I don't really like wearing t-shirts anymore, so I did three dress shirts: two long sleeve and one short-sleeve. I did one of the long-sleeve shirts traditional tie-dye and the other two shibori. I was really pleased with how they all came out! You can see the traditional one in the picture below.
The BBQ portion of the gathering was provided by Brandon, who made excellent pulled pork and hot wings. And there were two inflatable wading pools for the pool party. They were a mite brisk at first (filled by garden hose that morning), but made for excellent cooling off during the hotter part of the day.
Later that afternoon, after things were winding down on the tie-dye front, Jerry and I persuaded Cris & Steve to come along with us to walk up to Sloan's Lake and check out the Dragon Boat Festival. It tried to rain on us on the way over, but then it just turned into nice cool weather with clouds and a breeze. A nice walk with lovely socializing.
It was a most excellent event, and I'm excited to wear my cool new shirts at work.
That was Saturday. Yesterday we did not very much (Jerry from some sunburn, and me from unhappy feet and calves, protesting mightily from wearing older shoes with no cushion left all day.) But then Garrett & Tim invited us over for dinner and a bit of Rock Band. So I whipped up a coconut custard pie and they fed us a really excellent meal: grilled steak and tuna with artichokes. Delightful!
And I mustn't forget that last Tuesday, Jason H had us over for dinner with him and housemates Stu & Nick and his visiting houseguest (whose name I have forgotten because I'm a terrible person). J made very tasty pasta with red sauce, with the pasta cooked in chianti. Yummy! We also played a bit of Cards Against Humanity, but had to pumpkin before it got too late.
So yeah, good socializing of late.