Grandma’s Potholders

My grandmother, June Glaser, kind of was a big deal. She crochet and sewed like a madwoman. I however, was more interested in worms, bugs and playing outside. Oh sure, Grandma made cool stuff, curly cues and little dresses for me, but I was a tomboy. My favorite was when she fixed the hell* out of my jeans. Then I could go ride bikes and look for frogs and get dirty. She had all boys, all sons and my uncles and my dad taught me that life was fun getting dirty.

*literally fixed the hell out of my jeans. like, satan himself would have had trouble getting through her patchwork.

When I got older, I started to appreciate her craft more. My brain suddenly realized that she had made things, by her own hand. That was important. She made herself skirts mostly and a bit of crochet here and there. She taught me how to chain stitch in crochet, but I think I was like 6 and again, more interested in climbing trees. But there was one thing, one mountain of thing that she made that every single family member had to the point that I was shocked when I realized not every household in the world had them…

Crochet potholders.

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a meager few of my collection…

She had a ball of yarn and a potholder going wherever she went. She had a literal stack of them, taller than me that she would give away to everyone. When I moved out, question 1 was “What color potholders do you want?”

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the answer was red and black. my kitchen was adorable. 

Not only are they the most beautiful potholders ever, they are functional. I’ve seen people use inferior potholders and burn themselves. Not so with Grandma’s!

I never really thought about replicating them until I was at a bridal shower for a friend and she got a cast iron skillet and…ready? A granny square. It was the “potholder”. Like, the gift giver said it was the potholder. For the skillet. Raise your hand if you know how amazingly hot a cast iron skillet gets? Now raise your hand if you would use a single layer granny square (with the holes and double crochets, mind you) to pick up said skillet. Jokes on you, if you did that, you wouldn’t have a hand to raise because it would be BURNED THE HELL OFF.

One of my pet peeves with crafting is function and form. Yes, I want something pretty, but it has to function as intended. I’m not making an apron with holes in it, I want a sturdy apron. I’m not making a blanket that is super short, I need a big enough blanket. I’m not putting glitter and stuff in my soap, I want it to just be soap. It has to have a purpose. I tell everyone that I will repair any gifts I give them because I want them to be used. Beat them up. Get em dirty.

So I took a good hard look at the potholders.

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starting chain?

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sewn together?

wpid-20140716_112527.jpgsee how it folds?

I noodled around with it for a while, racking my brain. These are some well loved potholders. It looked like they were worked in a round. And then I remembered:

THE INTERNET.

You know? The amazing interwebs that have more than just pictures of cats? I went over to the crochet group I follow on Facebook and armed with pictures and whatever information I had and in, I kid you not, 40 seconds I had like 8 replies. Three videos and several links. I’m okay with patterns, so I went with the written link. Oh man, it’s easy as pie.

CROCHET FOLDED POTHOLDER. Now, I prefer Grandma’s Magic Awesome Potholders That Are Better Than Yours, so that’s what I’m calling them. Judging that the pattern is pretty much everywhere (unbeknownst to me) I feel okay with that. I’ve already made 3 and I am working on a fourth.

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angie helped. as usual.

*Aside, ever since Angie got her bad teeth pulled, this happens:

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LMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m yarn bombing. With potholders. I’ve already attacked two of my friends. Third one is getting bombed tonight.

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stitch faster!!!!!

The pattern is an excellent yarn eater, it takes about a 1oo yards? I’m guessing. I timed how long they take to make and it is about an hour and 40 minutes. So goodbye, yarn hoard! Hello potholder bombs! I hope you take a chance and make at least one of these, they are amazingly useful and hold up well to abuse and washing!

Falling Face First Into Fall

Dear Illinois:

You’re terrible with the weather.

Love, BMary.

I believe it was, oh, two days ago, was 80 degrees and humid. And now, we are in the 50’s, if we’re lucky! Bonus if there is sunshine! Who the heck plans this stuff? I know it’s September, but seriously! Calm down, Illinois, you’re drunk. Go home, take a pill and lay down. Pluto is not a planet. How much did you drink?

Anyway, apparently it is FALL RIGHT THIS MINUTE YOU GUYS CEREALLY, RIGHT THIS MINUTE. So my husband and I hit an apple orchard and got some (duh) apples, cider, doughnuts, fudge and possibly diabetes. I can make that joke, right?

We had a great time, I completely forgot my phone at home so I have literally no pictures of this grand outing. Which, in hindsight, was all right. The place had just opened for the season, so just the store area was open. No corn maze or hay ride or petting zoo yet. Damn. Also, we’d need to borrow a kid if there was a petting zoo, because you bet your back end I’d go in there to pet the baby goats and whatnot. It’s the kind of thing you need a kid to get away with though, it’s weird to see some almost thirty year old squeeing over baby animals. That almost thirty year old being me. Don’t judge me. I like animals and I like to pet them.

I did get something productive done, however, I finished the Road Trip Scarf! I wrote about it’s beginning here and I got stalled by not calculating the right amount of yarn needed. Even after 3 skeins of 145 yard yarn, I still needed to borrow from my stash for the tassels and flowers. I went tassel crazy, not going to lie.

wpid-20140914_145401.jpgI PEED IN THE POOL!

I was sort of inspired by the shirt I procured the other day. Fringe is back, baby! I love fringe! So I went nuts with the tassels. Instead of weaving in any ends, I just added a few more strands of yarn and braided them together. Best idea ever. I got the buttons from my grandmother’s stash that I inherited.

I’ve also already started another version…and ran out of yarn…I am terrible at thingslike countingor making adult decisionsand portion controland rambling

wpid-20140914_191215.jpglove me some UGLY yarn! I was dying to think of a project for this yarn.

wpid-20140914_162833.jpgAngie helped.

Tomorrow is that husband and I’s “dating anniversary” which is silly to celebrate, since we’re married. But only freshly married. Like, we still haven’t managed to squeeze out a honeymoon yet. So we’re going to celebrate that for the last time. Probably dinner and drinks and fart jokes. You can’t go without fart jokes. Ben Franklin rolled with the fart jokes and he’s on the $100 bill.

Keeping it classy over here in Illinois,

xxxbmary

WIP PARTY!

Despite my god-awful last couple days and my insane schedule I have been crocheting away. It’s kept my mind off of things and I’ve made some decent progress. I will admit, a stuffed-crust pizza, ice cream and a lot of Jack Daniel’s has made things easier. It’s a weird ritual. Every problem is solved with stuffed-crust pizza, whiskey and ice cream.

Anyway, I feel better. A little lonely, but better. Angie is doubling her cuddle efforts.

So here are my WIPs,

THE BLANKET OF SHAME:

wpid-20140912_074508.jpgit’s a bit of a mess, but it’s getting there.

This poor blanket, a stash buster that just would not be square. I’ve frogged quite a bit of it and reworked it. It’s square so far, thank God! Hopefully I will have it done before next year…maybe…? I made the new version a bit larger than the old version because seriously I have so, so, so very much yarn in my stash. And I’m using stitch markers! I’m a big girl!

THE…PONCHO? RUG? I DON’T EVEN KNOW AT THIS POINT:

wpid-20140912_074334.jpgalso square, thank God!

Well, I needed a new distraction and I needed it now, so for some reason I decided I wanted to do a single crochet poncho type thing. I really wasn’t making brilliant decisions at this point. I guess this would be part of the back. I dug up the yarn leftovers from this project and just whacked away at it. About at the point pictured here I decided maybe having two WIPs that were long term and single crochet was not my best idea. It might end up being just a rug or something. I’ve been itching to make a rug and it’s kind of small, but nothing some border work can’t fix. Also, I’m not sure if I have enough yarn, nor the will to purchase more of the same dye lot. That one’s on the back burner.

THE ROAD TRIP SCARF:

wpid-20140912_074243.jpgfinally, I decided to make a quick project!

This scarf is HOT on the Facebook group I follow around. I swear, 10 finished scarves get posted per day. They’re pretty darn cute, the final project and instructions are from Zooty Owl, and the link to the pattern is here. Nevermind how dull it looks right now, just go get that blog some clicks and see for yourself. They are adorable. I don’t know, nor do I have any contact with Zelna Olivier, but I think I might pay some attention to her blog. You guys first though. I haven’t been keeping up!

I’m hoping to have this guy done this weekend because my husband and I are hopping off to an apple orchard to get some apples, cider (no alcohol, promise! I’ve had enough!) and at least 15 caramel apples. I have an apple addiction, I swear. If I don’t eat them often enough, I have dreams about them. Not even kidding. I love apples. So does Angie, because she is crazy. Since she has no teeth and she doesn’t like apple sauce, I, um, well, um, baby-bird it to her. Use your imagination. How would you resist a cute pooch begging for an apple??

So I’m going to make some tea, check out your blogs, crank out a few more rows, go to work, come home, crochet til I drop!

xxxbmg

P.S. I also made a poo-necklace and snuck over to my friend’s work and shoved it under his wiper on his car. Because I’m a good friend.

wpid-screenshot_2014-09-12-09-00-28.png*snickers wildly, winks 100 times, falls down an escalator forever*

And now for something completely different.

Ever have one of those days where you want to bash your head into a wall until you stop moving?

Work was a mess. I blew a bike tire on the way to the bank.

Positives:

Going to see a friend’s brand spanking new baby! :-)

Please enjoy some pictures of me as a “groomsmen” for my friend’s lesbian wedding! I channeled my inner dyke.

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I look like my brother. Only attractive. Ok, off to see that baby! Have a good one, guys! :-)

Taking a Break

So I know I haven’t been posting much at all, and not for lack of going ons! I did work on that commercial I talked about, it went lovely. My good friend got married in a beautiful ceremony. My brother had a wonderful birthday. We’re dog sitting a very silly collie named Dolly. I discovered one of my old friends is a bee keeper. My dad is building his dream home. I’ve been crocheting away.

But I just can’t. And, here’s where I ramble and get overly personal.

Lucia the cat is better. She’s responding to fluids and the antibiotics. She getting a ridiculous amount of foods she deems tasty, chicken, tuna. She is getting a constant lap to cuddle on, as she prefers it. She purrs, she kneads. She’s has another vet appointment next Tuesday. We’re basically on kitty dialysis and it reminds me of when my mother was sick before she died in 2003. I’m just so sad and worried. Lucia has been with me, ever since I moved out of my dad’s home. I found her sitting in the passenger seat of my jeep two days before I moved. She was friendly. I took her to my new place. She was with me when I was counting change for food and gas. She had food, obviously. I never could afford to get her fixed until she was entirely too old for that nonsense. She cuddled lonely cold nights away, when the heat went out in the winter. Right next to me, like a little spoon. She does this still. She was with me when I screwed up, when I was a horrible excuse for a human. When I was mean and bitter. When I lost my grandparents to old age. When I lost my aunt to cancer. When I lost my childhood best friend to cancer. She mothered a rescued kitten that was not her own. She mothered Angie, the dog. She protected a roommate’s hampster from another dog, on of her friend’s dogs was too keen on it. Jumped right on the hamster and turned teeth and claws to the dog. She grooms Angie. She’s very tolerant of bathtime and purrs and tries to cuddle with the vets. She got out once, it was New Year’s Eve and she got into the hallway of my old apartment and a neighbor threw her outside. Despite her collar. This was before I tagged her, I figured she’d have to escape two doors. I didn’t notice because I was tired and it was late. A girl found her, right outside the window.  Thankfully, she was a friend of a friend of a friend and word got back to me. I was so happy when I took her back home. I moved shortly thereafter. She was there when my old cat, Vincent died. She called and looked for him. He was a rescue too, from a parking lot.

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My three idiots. Years and years ago. In order, Lucia, Angie and Vincent.

I love my kitty very much. Who’s going to check if my crochet is comfortable enough to sleep on?

So I’m taking a break, even though I’ve sort of been on a break. Until this is over. I will let you all know. Who knows? Maybe she’ll perk up and I’ll have a good laugh about how much of a downer I’ve been about this later on the road. Maybe I have months left with her. I don’t know. And it’s breaking my heart. Thank you for reading.

We’re on Borrowed Time.

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On Thursday evening, my old cat, Lucia,  made it quite obvious she was not feeling well. We’ve known for a quite awhile that her kidneys are slowing down. The next morning I called the vet like a forlorn ex girlfriend and rushed her in. He ran the usual battery of tests, but our initial concern was the fact that she smelled like infection. We were given clindamycin and sent home. The next morning, Lucia smelled much better and we received word from the vet that her kidneys are almost tired out. However, Lucia insists that she receive her quota and beyond of cuddles before she leaves this mortal coil. Our option is to make her comfortable by providing fluids, through an IV starting Tuesday. Since the infection seems to be clearing up and her attitude is much more lively, we are of course doing this. We’re on borrowed time, but we’re going to make the best of it. If you pray, I ask you please drop a note for a comfortable hospice for Lucia and for us, the wisdom to know when to let her go home.

She’s is currently glued to my lap (pretty typical for her, she loves her cuddles) and purring away.

Thank you, and I will keep you updated,

brittanymary.

Quick Hi!

I promise I’m not gone! Just very, very, very busy! Hope to be back to hanging out with you all by next week!!!!

Recent:

1. Dog dental problems (she’s ok! Just needed a whole lotta bad teeth out! Still eats like a cow!)
2. Fun with insurance companies! Thanks, Obama! (Do I have to hashtag sarcasm?)
3. A very gay wedding. (It was awesome! I wore a tux!)

Coming this week:

1. A straight wedding!
2. My brother’s birthday!
3. Possibly staring in a commercial…? Probably not due to not enough hours in a day…boooo!

So I’m stretched pretty darn thin here, people! See you as soon as I can!

xxxbmg

Oh Greyhound, My Greyhound

So, aside from yesterday being absolutely crazy, I had the in-laws coming over and I had to work so my morning was cleaning, afternoon was work and then hanging out with the in-laws! It’s all fun and games until the greyhound, Angie, while zooming off after a tennis ball, suddenly stops, howls in agony and is carrying her leg up close to her.

*drops beer, runs after dog*

It was six pm, which is precisely when you are least likely to find an open vet. I scooped her up, she wouldn’t put weight on her leg. I fiddled, fondled, nothing broke that I could tell. I pinched, nothing…hmm…Unfortunately, as I said, it was either take her to the vet immediately or wait til morning. If it was morning, I would have given her an hour as I could see no external injury and feel no broken bones and could pinch her toes, leg, knee and move her hips with no complaint from her. Still she wouldn’t put weight on it. And then she put just a little.

“All right, who’s the most sober?” (fortunately one of us was!)

We called the emergency vet and got ready to take her in. Then she started bouncing around like normal, mostly, just a little limp. I decided it was worth the money to not wait til morning and just take her in. I’ve seen a dog break it’s leg and no one was the wiser until the next day at the vet. The owner felt awful, she thought the dog was just a little dazed. I wasn’t risking that with my little stinkhound!

So we got to the vet and Angie was acting quite herself, insisting on sniffing everything in the waiting room. I felt better, she wasn’t whimpering or carrying on anymore. We finally got to see the vet about a half hour later. She checked her over and pronounced:

Vet: “Ah, it’s her knee, I can pop out her knee cap, I just put it back in.”

Me: “Luxating patella?”

Vet: “Um, yes.”

WELL THEN MISS ITALIAN GREYHOUND OF STINK GLORY. You big faker, you. She’s had that since she was a puppy, very mild, her first visit they caught it, the next visit, they couldn’t find it. I assumed it had righted itself, the prior vet had told me that was possible. It explains a lot, I’ve seen her limp, just barely, on and off on that leg. I’ve kept my eye on it, but she runs around like a lunatic most of the time so the occasional boo-boo isn’t exactly rare. Or she’s buried under as many blankets as she can find and asleep. She’s a 2-speed greyhound.

I am quite relived that she is all right, though, I can tell you that. I was in totally freak out mode for a minute. By the way, as I write this, she is chasing the cat, Lucia, around the house. You go, Angie, get that bad kitty.