Dyeing for a change.

The nerdiest hobby I can think of is making your own fishing lures. How can something so redneck also be arts and craftsy? But if someone were to put a DIY lure kit in front of me, I’d probably happily participate.

I loved the sand art stand at the PNE. You’d get a clear bottle to fill with layers of differently coloured sand. When your bottle was full, you’d hand it to the carny who would then hot glue googly eyes, a golf tee on the bottleneck, and then seal the sand in with hot glue with a few feathers stuck in, transforming it into a bird.

All this is to say that I’m generally in favour of custom items.

Remember this fuckery?

There’s even a post about the shirt. I immediately returned the shirts I ordered from Simons were after I took the above selfie because that’s how aggressively I disliked them.

They were replaced by Gildan brand tees, from the aptly-named website: tshirt.ca. The armholes of the Gildan shirts are on the small side, and cotton is rough. I’d say the prices of the shirt, which were a little over $3 each, implied they weren’t of stellar quality. Also, Jeff Bezos doesn’t own the company, which was a bonus. (Another guy named Jeff runs tshirt.ca. Yes, I Googled that.)

The t-shirts were good enough. I didn’t know if I was going to ruin them. I’d never tie dyed before. Made sand art? Yes. Tie dye? No.

So, I invited expert colourist, Kristina:

A squatting Kristina squirts a bottle of blue dye onto a scrunched up white hoody bound by rubber bands. Kristina's short pink, purple and blue hair is falling in her face.

I learned that on top of enjoying experimenting with colour, she hates touching rubber bands, which made for conflicting feelings about this project.

Everyone has their weird thing: mine is small, round objects. I don’t like touching them. This is why I don’t wear clothes with buttons. I stretched my earlobes to a size that is of an acceptable diameter. Neurotic? Sure, but everyone has their thing, and this happens to be mine.

My strange aversion came up in a conversation with an old friend a few weeks ago after I mentioned my moth tattoo (I used to be creeped out by moths):

First text reads: Whoa, you've changed a lot. What about round things? Do you have tattoos of small round things now? Second text, which is from the same person reads, "I still hate stickers. David picks them off for me now."
See: everyone has their weird thing! And, no, I do not have tattoos of small, round things.

I don’t have a problem touching rubber bands (except for when they’re balled-up), so my first tee used up 90% of the rubber bands provided with the kit. I call this design:

Squid Ink

Laura is wearing a blue tie dyed shirt that has a pattern of multiple white rings. She is wearing translucent lavender eyeglasses and her hair is a light pink to mauve gradient.

I don’t think this is a face I make in real life. The t-shirt was folded in an accordion pattern vertically and bound with two rubber bands. The lack of effort was translated into this one, as it is my least favourite. I call this design:

My Least Favourite Shirt

Laura is wearing a tri-coloured tie-dyed t-shirt with three blocks of colours interrupted by vertical blank spaces. She is looking at her phone's screen, looking slightly dejected.

I couldn’t even bring myself to look happy in the selfie. I look like a funky, but disappointed soccer ref. Design number three required a similar amount of exertion as design number two: scrunch up fabric, fasten with rubber bands intersecting in the centre, and then squirt alternating colours in each wedge. I was surprisingly pleased with the result. I call this design:

Mr. Tibbs!

Laura poses smirking. She is wearing an indigo and cyan splotched white t-shirt. She has the tips of her fingers of one hand in a pocket while holding her phone with the other hand.

I’ve maximized my smug expression with a smug hand-in-the pocket pose. What am I reaching in there for? Certainly not a small, round object. It’s also not to keep my hand warm: I wear women’s pants. They don’t come with proper pockets.

The final design was based on the amount of yellow dye we still had left. I tried recreating one of my favourite t-shirts as a child by saturating the shirt with the yellow dye, then misting it with magenta dye, starting from the bottom up. I’m sure you can figure out the technique just by looking at it. I call this design:

I Felt Sorry for the Bottle of Yellow Dye

Laura bares her teeth in a smile. Her t-shirt is an orange to yellow ombre. Her hair is in a braid, pulled over one shoulder. A black and white cat can be seen sitting on the couch in the background.

If you look closer, you’ll see that I have teeth. Also, note that I went the extra mile and got the best two shirts embroidered. It says JRA, which stands for Just Riding Along. It sounds innocent, but the meaning comes from a place of disillusionment. I’m deep like that.

I hope you enjoyed the variety I put in my selfies. I hope whoever prices My Least Favourite Shirt and I Felt Sorry for the Bottle of Yellow Dye at Value Village (the thrift store where I dropped the shirts off) values them at more than $3, because that would mean my artistry increased their resale value. I may revisit Value Village within the week to satisfy my curiosity.

Also, please don’t miss the blush in my hair. The bottle of dye cost me $24, and I’m pretty sure it’s going to fade fully within two weeks.

Finally, this post isn’t a suggestion to tease me about my thing by leaving small, round things in my space. I don’t enjoy that kind of teasing, so please don’t. I’m not as free-spirited as I look.

2 thoughts on “Dyeing for a change.

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