05 January 2012

2011 CM4: Trivety

In addition to Miss Sadie Joy, my family drew my mom and dad in our Giberson Christmas lottery.  You'll have to wait to see what I gave my dad because it's one of the more impressive and extensive things I've ever made.  For my mom, I did a sampling of littler presents...nothing very grand but all given much thought and made with love.

At the beginning of November, my mom had knee surgery.  I'll save you all the gory details and all of the reasons it's totally unlikely that my mom would rest through the prescribed recovery period and just suffice it to say that I went down to Jersey for an extra week before Thanksgiving to help out.  In the midst of helping to prepare for Thanksgiving dinner, I noticed that my mom was in need of a few things in the kitchen: kitchen towels, potholders, and trivets.  So I set to work on putting together a lovely little set of trivety* goodness.

*Trivety is a word that I have invented to mean having the properties of a trivet, which are to save whatsoever you desire from getting a nasty surface burn.  You're welcome, English language.

I originally thought about buying plain towels and appliqueing on them and making potholders from scratch, but then I got reasonable and went to Target.  I found a set of blue kitchen towels that I liked and set to work crocheting a few trivets.  I started each using this book of crochet motifs and then improvised my own extra rows if the pattern was too small.  Here's how they turned out:

(Click to see in more detail.)
I made a few of these a while back just because I wanted to make them.  I didn't know what I would ever use them for, but I wanted to try my hand at some crochet motifs beyond the simple granny square.  I really enjoyed making them but since they didn't have much utility, I forgot all about them and hadn't made any since.  But recently, I've been using them as trivets and hot pot lid grabbers.  They are absolutely perfect when you have something that's too hot for your hand but not quite hot enough to justify putting on the full oven mitt.  So there you have it: trivety pot lid grabbers.

So...towels, check (thanks to Target).  Trivets...check (thanks to the magic of crochet motifs).  Now for the pot holders.  I found some simple potholders (also at Target) that I intended to embroider.  But as impeccable as my hand-stitching is, it is not one of my speedier skills, and that Christmas clock just doesn't yield to embroidery.  Also, I figured that potholders need to hold up in the washing machine, and I didn't want my handiwork to unravel.  So I decided to use fabric paint instead.

I had done freezer paper stenciling once before on a lion burp cloth for Judah.  (It's cooler than it sounds, but it has gone missing, so I can't prove that.)  The lion was pretty detailed but it was nothing compared to my idea for the potholders.  I wanted to copy the design on the set of towels I bought.  But my freehand drawing skills are just not up to snuff with my visionary skills.  So I brought the towels up on the Target website and traced them.  Then I traced the design onto freezer paper and proceeded to cut it out with an exacto-knife.  Twice.  (Because you need 2 matching potholders, obviously.)  I ironed my stencils onto the potholders, sponge brushed the paint in, peeled off the stencil, and voila!  Custom potholders to match the kitchen towels!  (For a thorough tutorial on freezer paper stenciling, check this out.  It's even Harry Potter themed.)

The paint ran a little, which is disappointing.  I'm not sure if I used the wrong kind of paint or just applied too much or if the design was too intricate to hold up or if I didn't iron well enough or if the fabric isn't conducive to this procedure.  But in the end, they are still functional and prettier than they were before I put my hand to them, so I am satisfied.

And now my mom has a complete set of kitchen linens to cook the day away without further damaging the nerve endings in her hands.  How perfectly trivety!

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