Monday Musings

And so it begins…

OK…I’m starting my first blog post.  I have no idea what I’m doing.  When have I ever let that stop me? OK…often.  I’m human.  But, I’ve been inspired.

There have been a lot of little and not so little things that have prompted me to make this (for me) giant leap.  I miss writing.  I used to write short stories, poems, and who knows what else.  However, one of the “drawbacks” with being surrounded by incredibly talented people is that I end up comparing myself to them, and find myself coming up short.  So, I let it slip by the wayside.  Now, I *could* journal.  But I am so weird about that, I get to thinking that I must do it daily, or I must do it a certain way, or…. Yeah, like I said, weird.  Somehow, I never got into letter writing.  Plus, many of these posts would be super weird to be received as a letter.  I can imagine Margot’s phone call now.  She would be all worried that I’d suffered a stroke, or something.  That’s not actually true.  She would be super happy to receive even the most rambling of correspondence.

Some good friends have a project starting, and they asked for some help.  But, for reasons unimportant to this endeavor, I need to have a blog, or a podcast.  Since I sound weird recorded, and DO NOT need the TV 10 lbs (not to mention my technical skills, time, and capacity for terror are not sufficient), I am blogging.  I was already kind of kicking around the idea of a blog, but wasn’t really sure if I’d have anything to say.  It probably would have stayed just an idea except I was asked for help.  I’m still working on saying no to people.  I’m getting better.  According to the people I’ve said no to, I’m too good.  I still think I have some ways to go on that, though.

I’m not sure where to start, so I’ll start at the beginning.  At nine, I learned to crochet from my Aunt Char.  My first project was a potholder.  It’s a super simple pattern, and great for beginners.  However, my tension was all over the place.  I’m not sure where you, Dear Reader, are in the crafting spectrum, so if I over-explain, I apologize.  Tension is how tight or loose you work the yarn.  Uneven tension creates uneven fabric. In my case, the potholder was not the flat, double-layer fabric it was intended to be.  Rather, it laid flat on one side, and the other side had a mound…like a bubble rising from inside.  My dad made fun of it. I cried.  My mom said (not for the first, nor last time)  “Don’t worry, honey.  We’ll take it to Grandma Bonnie.”

The next time we went to visit my grandma, we took my deformed, red variegated Red Heart monstrosity to her.  I reluctantly passed over the potholder, and she was so excited. She told me how the bubble actually made the potholder fit better in her hand.  Even at nine, I knew she was lying to me to make me feel better.  It was hideous, and should be burned–except it was Red Heart, it would just melt.  Except….

Except, she kept that stupid potholder until literally the day she died.  And she used that potholder.  She didn’t keep it to pacify her distraught granddaughter, she kept it to use it.  And use it she did.  When she died, that thing was frankly gross…and not from my handiwork.  It was like the Velveteen Rabbit.  Nothing had worn off of it–did I mention it was Red Heart? and not the cool stuff we have now.  The nasty stuff from 30 years ago.  It was stained and melted, and just really unusable for anything.  My grandma wasn’t lying to me.  She wasn’t trying to make the best of a bad situation.  She just really thought it was cool that the potholder conformed to her hand.

I’d love to say I learned from that something profound, like “even in flaws, perfection can be found”.  I was nine.  I learned nothing.  But, clearly, the experience stayed with me.  And I built upon it.  Just like anything else.

I know this post doesn’t have pictures.  I’m learning as I go, and I wanted to get a post out so I could see how it works.  Also, I have no pictures of the potholder.  Who takes pictures of potholders? Remember, when I was nine, digital cameras were not even thought of.  And if my dad laughed at the potholder, he would have been furious over wasting film and processing on it.  Even by the time grandma passed, digital photography was just beginning.  We ended up throwing out the potholder.  I’ll try to do better on future posts.

Huh, WordPress says this is over 700 words already.  See, I do have lots to say!  Not sure how much is interesting to you, Dear Reader, but this felt cathartic to me.

9 thoughts on “And so it begins…

  1. Oh Red Heart! The sweaters my daughter outgrew 25 years ago could not be worn out by a rambunctious 5 year old and are still in my closet! I’m not surprised your potholder survived. Thank you for sharing those memories. Look forward to more because just like the Red Heart pot holder and sweaters they stay with us for decades!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Mea culpa! It was not longer after your Red Heart potholder escapade that I discovered cotton yarn. Now I use Sugar n Cream and whatever Bi-Mart carries. When I gift the famous Origami potholders I always advise they are the best potholders to use when pulling a hot cast iron skillet from the oven. The response: “What is cast iron?” I know you know!
    Gramma Bonnie was raised during the Great Depression. To quote my friend Shirley (who is Gramma Bonnie’s age): “Use it up, wear it out, Make it do or do without.” Gramma Bonnie wouldn’t even use new towels she received as a gift until she had to throw out well used ones.
    And you did learn something from that first Red Heart potholder: Gramma loved you unconditionally. And she did not criticize. Just critique when needed. And she knew a first potholder did not need her critique. You had already learned the value of stitch tension.
    Have you seen the Red Heart Scrubby Yarn? It’s polyester so don’t take your hot cast iron out of the oven with it!

    Like

  3. I love It! I remember that potholder. I have a later version. Mine isn’t as unique as gramma’s. I did melt a little of it on a cast iron skillet, so now it has character.
    Can’t wait to visit your blog again soon. I am going to be hitting you up for pointers when I finally get mine up and running.
    Huggies!

    Liked by 1 person

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