Saturday, January 8, 2011

Some Me Time

My mother is the Crochet Goddess. She's taught many people to crochet, including me. I'm not nearly as gifted as she is. She'll be the first to tell you that.

"Your tension is all over the place," she'll say.

She's right. It is. But if you're a knitter or crocheter, you know that novices have a hard time controlling their tension. I don't crochet often, so it doesn't come naturally yet. But my mom? She sits in front of the television and crochets. Without looking at her work. And still keeps count of the stitches. It's a gift.

I can't make clothes. I don't even sew clothes. Clothes are hard!

What I like to crochet are afghans. And not just any afghan. I like to work with Granny Squares. You crochet as many squares as you need to create the size of afghan you want, then sew (and by "sew", I mean crochet) them together and voila!, you have a cozy afghan made with love and care. And a little bit of cussing. my case, a lot of cussing.

I haven't made an afghan in a while. The last one I made was this one, at least five years ago. It lies on our bed and I add it to my side (it's only big enough for that) for extra warmth.

As I took this picture, Fred-the-Cat wandered over for her closeup. Yes, Fred is a girl. We thought we got a boy cat and had already named her Fred when we discovered she was a boy. She was already answering to it, so we left it.

Then she has to show me her tricks. "Look what I can do!"

Good girl, Fred. Mommy has to go and make a new afghan now.

I'll post pictures as squares are completed. Don't expect that to happen any time soon, though. The pictures will be few and far between. Just warning you.

To tide you over, here are a few pictures of the wool I bought today. Use your imagination to visualize how fabulous the afghan will look when I'm done.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Living the Life

Many people ask me if I practice what I preach.

Do I actually use my placemats every day, like I say I do? Do I really just throw them in the washer and dryer, then use them without pressing? Even when I have guests?

The answer is yes. To all those questions. This is not a case of the Shoemaker's bare-footed children.

I made a turkey dinner yesterday. While the bird was baking, I set the table. It looked so nice, I thought I'd take pictures for the site.

I used my own placemats for the general shots.

We have used those placemats and hot mats for about nine years now. They are washed repeatedly and are none the worse for wear.

The other day, we made a delicious ham and corn chowder. Same mats.

And last night, after cleaning up the dishes from a fabulous turkey dinner, and taking the dog for a walk, we came home and had a little blueberry cheesecake and cappuccino.

Though Urban Contessa only makes white napkins of durable broadcloth, I really liked the decadence of linen napkins, so I indulged, and made some mocha-coloured ones for me.

It sounds lavish, but it's not. No matter what we are eating, no matter how simple it may be, those placemats come out for every meal. Even if it's Mac 'n Cheese.

It's a new year. It's time to live the life of royalty. You deserve it.

Happy New Year, everyone!