Friday, December 31, 2010

Mom's Mat, or: How Little Dogs Claim Everything as Their Own

Both my parents have been retired for a few years, and so, they've had a while to get used to the time they have at home. Not only that: their year has been organized into seasons:
  • January to March: Holiday in the Philippines to escape the winter.
  • April to May: Mornings walking the track in the leisure centre, afternoons pottering around the house.
  • June to October: Mornings walking in the park, afternoons cooking and gardening for Mom, working on cars in the garage for Dad.
  • November and December: Home renovation for Dad, general cleaning insanity for Mom.
I know: why on Earth would you start tearing down walls in your house in November? I'm not entirely sure. I know the house needs work, and I think my dad prefers to do it in the winter because it's too cold to be out working on cars then. And it seems to keep him on time: he usually gets a bunch of it done just in time for the hundreds of holiday visitors to their house.

Anyway, Dad's really good at it. He's ripped down drywall, re-insulated the walls and now the house is much warmer (at least, the parts he has finished are) and the floors are nicely done. And I have to hand it to him: his finish is really nice. No seams, all level, no streaky paint. Nice.

Now that they've finished re-doing their bedroom, the carpet is gone and has been replaced with laminate. My mom is one of these people who is perpetually cold, so I decided that it would be nice to make her a mat for the floor on her side of the bed, so that she could step out onto something warm before she puts her slippers on.

I dithered about what kind of yarn to use for it, and settled on wool. At last year's Olds Fibre Festival, I picked up four skeins of some metal grey wool from one of the vendors. They were a good price, about $4.30 a skein, but a bit coarse for next-to-skin wear. I was a little stumped about what to use them for, but they were perfect for this project: sturdy and solid, unlikely to pill, yet comfy.

I worked it in crochet basketweave, which was perfect for this yarn, a kind of DK weight wool. It was a good, mindless project, but I have to admit: it got reeeaallyy boring towards the end. How boring? Well, here's a list of things I found to do instead of working on this mat:
  • cleaning out my bookmarked favourites and organizing my queue on Ravelry
  • cleaning my mom's kitchen
  • washing the dishes
  • cleaning the bathroom
  • playing fetch with an unresponsive dog named Rascal
I did want to get it finished before we left to go back to our own place, so eventually, I buckled down and got the main part of the mat done, then worked a border of half double crochet stitches three rows deep on all sides. Last night, I washed it in shampoo and conditioner, and it's come out nice and soft.

And guess who I found checking it out after I lifted it to vacuum the floor?


I'm happy with it, and Mom was too. It's a little wonky because my tension changed about halfway through the project (I finally started to relax, I guess). I don't think she realized I was going to give it to her until I finished it. And I got it just in time, since we're leaving tomorrow. It was a nice, easy project, but yeah... kinda boring.

So, last night, I cast on for Alisa Daly's Red Emperor Shawl with the Rocky Mountain Sundance Sock I bought last spring in Canmore. Beautiful lace, intricate and delicate...

... and fricking difficult after an easy project like that mat. I've been counting and re-counting stitches for hours now. Who knew it was so hard to count to six?

It's probably just as well I'm doing a more difficult project. I need to get the ol' brain back into gear in time to go back to work. A week and a half off has made it a little weak and flabbby...

..among other things. Ahem. The diet starts next week!

1 comment:

YarnKettle said...

Your shawl will be beautiful. I thought for a minute that you meant to do it in the green yarn, then my brain caught up with your post. It does look delicate, work that brain!