Hello! I hope you're having a good week. We've been working on an exterior painting project on the weekends lately. It's very hard work so the busy week almost feels like a break. The hard work of painting (not to mention scraping and sanding) is so worth it, though. We're painting our house's wood trim, as well as the vigas (beams) over the courtyard. Everything was painted a cobalt blue, a popular look here for pueblo-style homes, but ours was faded and we wanted a change. We're painting the trim around the doors and windows a buttercream color and the vigas, when we get to them, will be a dark brown with grayish-green undertones. The main color of the house, finished in stucco, is a slightly peachy beige. Someday, I'll have new stucco in an earthier color and natural wood vigas (ours have always been painted and are not nice enough to strip), but for now we'll work with what we've got. I don't share full photos of my house on my blog, but I'll try to share something when the painting is finished.
I've just finished a crochet project that I really enjoyed. I made apple-shaped hotpads as a birthday gift for my mother. She has a loose theme of apples in her kitchen and I thought she'd enjoy something to go along with that. The apple shape is not my own design but the hotpad aspect is; for the apple design, I used a pattern called Apple a Day Dishcloths by Yarnspirations (click here for the pattern; it's free but you'll have to download to read it). Here's how I made the dishcloths (which are lovely all by themselves!) into something a little more.
I started by crocheting the dishcloth pattern as directed, using worsted-weight cotton yarn - cream for the center and green or red for the outer edge (I made one of each). The pattern is really easy, especially if you're used to crocheting in the round, and it works up quickly with worsted-weight yarn. The stitch sequences to produce the apple shape are pretty clever; I was not at all sure how the shape would develop but it showed up all at once in that final cream round. As much as I like the dishcloths, I don't think my mom is very keen on crocheted ones, it's not really her cleaning style. I had an idea to make additional apples as backings for a double-layered hotpad instead, so I made two of them in solid green and red, following the pattern as written but without the color change.
I stitched the "seeds" onto the fronts, then I put the wrong sides of both apple pieces together and slip-stitched all the way around the edges to attach them.
The pattern includes directions for a leaf and a hanging "stem," both of which I added after the pads were slip-stitched together, to make sure they were securely attached through both layers of the pads.
Cute, huh? I think they came out really well. They're useful and versatile for the kitchen. They measure about eight inches across, large enough for most pans or dishes, or you could use them side by side for a bigger one. I'm not sure they'd work for super-hot pans fresh from the oven, though you could certainly add more insulation between the layers. They're thick enough this way for a moderately hot dish on the table or counter-top. Mom can put them in a drawer or hang them on a hook by the stove. I had fun planning and making them; it's always nice to be able to put an even more personal touch on a handmade gift.
Apple a Day Hotpads
I Love This Cotton in Rosebud, Green Apple, Ivory, Forest Green and Brown
Clover Amour hook, size G/6 (4.00mm)