Vacation week has been lovely... Sunday and Monday DH and I got away and rode our bikes down in the warm spring sun of the valley, while on Tuesday we explored our foothill region as a storm slowly worked its way in place. The past two days have been rainy, showing spring's other side; I am hoping the forecast for a dry weekend holds, as there is an egg hunt planned for Saturday here, and an Easter brunch up in Lake Tahoe. All in all, spending my vacation at home has been a good thing.
Except for my bad case of Potholder Fever. I didn't see it coming, just happened to pick up a nice, colorful doily while exploring....
However, it appears the lovely yellow and turquoise threads were a clever disguise for a contagion to work its way into my house.
Next thing I knew, all I could think of was what pattern to use for the Potholder Swap. My first trial was the Sunrise Sunset pattern I had found as a free leaflet at the local crafts store, for an afghan made of multiple squares. I already knew I wanted to use a bright, variegated cotton worsted paired with natural, so was off and hooking early yesterday morning.
I had come upon this great link for a vintage design, which gave me the 'ah ha!' moment needed to make a plain back, as I want my design to come with a thick backing, and be vastly usable (the baker-person in me speaking here). The finished combo is shown, posing on my woodstove top.
The design was fun to work up, and the puffy stitch part in the middle adds charm, but I really liked the vintage possibilities and kept experimenting.
My next try, also with a plain back, came out with the right balance of color/neutral rows, but the curves, under my experimental direction, were tooo curved. As you can see here, this five-sided potholder fits the grip of my favorite teakettle very nicely, but will probably never lay flat!
Not to give up hope, I promptly 'gave' these first two potholders to DH (he loves it when I say "Here honey. look what I made you!"), and kept right on going... this time, instead of fiddling around with my not-so-bright ideas, I followed Cathy's (My Little Kitchen) pattern using worsted instead of thread, and just quit when I got to the size I wanted...
This potholder doesn't have a backing yet, but I think it's first of the five... I love this vintage design! it incorporates the five-sided retro look of the thread potholders popular in the 1940s and 1950s with the granny square craze of the 1970s!
I would opt for thread, but my hands disagree. Too much hooking really gets to my left wrist (did ya'll know I am left-handed? I taught myself to crochet left-handed as a teen, by looking at drawings).
I was also making a loaf of bread late yesterday afternoon while crocheting, and thinking about how hot my oven was as I preheated my cast iron dutch oven to get a crusty, well-browned loaf. Even though I slip a handle cover over the pot's arm and then wrap it with a potholder to move it out of the oven and pop the dough in before returning it to start baking, I wasn't sure I would ever consider a thread potholder adequate enough. I do think these double-thickness, worsted weight ones will do the job, but haven't tried one yet, as I am still admiring their clean, unstained appearance!
I now have 4 1/2 potholders to go for the swap, but took a break to go shopping with DD, whose center is also closed for spring break. We went to our favorite discount stores down in Auburn, and I came home with new shoes... almost as good as an antibiotic for Potholder Fever. They broke the spell, and my hands got a rest!
This pair of Tevas features a wide toe box, as I had gotten some rather nasty blisters this weekend on my outer toes, wearing a pair of shoes I hadn't used all winter. Go figure! I have always believed that 'broken in' shoes would fit, no matter what, but something was amiss, and I have been wearing thick socks and heavier boots on my morning walks the past few days as my toes heal back up. New shoes will need careful breaking in, but help with keeping me fit!
We also got a few last-minute Easter supplies and caught up on our grrl talk over a great shared lunch at one of our favorite Cally-Mex restaurants, Chevys. Having a daughter is such a great gift.
Now, while I still want to get those potholders made up, I just might take a longer break, in hopes of preventing a relapse into Potholder Fever, and work on my Garter Rib sock for a bit!
I hope you and your family and friends enjoy some time together celebrating the newness of spring and/or the joy of Easter over this holiday weekend.