Sunday, January 27, 2008

UFO Watch 2008: Pillowslip

Item: Pillowslip

Stage: Needed to be stuffed and crocheted closed

Reason Abandoned: I didn't like it much, and yarn is not my strong point

Time as a UFO: about three years (I think it got it at Christmas 3 years ago)

Time to complete: About 30 minutes (not counting trip to Ikea)

Work done to complete: Bought a pillowform from Ikea, stuffed it in, crocheted closed, wove in the ends

So, in the Great Craft Clean Up Event of 2008, many UFOs were unearthed. Y'all know I make no bones about my habits and slovenliness, so I'm not trying to make myself look unwarrantedly good when I say I don't make many UFOs. It's my one saving grace as a sewist and crafter in general. There are several factors involved: I get obsessed with whatever I'm working on and can only overcome the obsession by finishing it; I generally work a project to completion before going on to the next; and...ok, maybe there are only two factors involved. But "few" UFOs is not none. I knew they were in there, but they were kind of blending in with the mess. When I picked everything up, I had to face them.

Some of them I tossed, mostly of the "if I alter this fairly hideous article of clothing it will become less hideous but not actually wearable" variety. But there were a few I wanted to finish. I bagged them up in individual bags so I could have the satisfaction of ceremoniously putting the bag in with the re-use pile after it was emptied.

One of the first I tackled was a pillowslip from my grandmother. Now, I come from a family of women with exquisite yarncraft abilities. My mother wields the crochet hook with intimidating speed, and my grandmother's knitting output is phenomenal. Their work keeps me warm while I watch TV on the couch. My grandmother knitted the purple afghan in the background, and my mother made the multi-colored one in the foreground to match my condo decor for my birthday.

Clearly this amazing skill skipped a generation. I can allegedly "crochet," by which I mean plain single crochet chain stitch. Please observe the washcloth below. Also note that I tore the entire thing out not once but *twice* to get it so "nice."

When my grandmother gave me the purple afghan she gave me a matching pillow. Since my family lives in Texas and I received it in person, it made no sense to give it to me with a pillow form in it, as I just had to shove it in luggage for the plane ride home to DC. The pillow isn't really my style (I'm not hip enough to do ironic kitsch, so in my hands it's just kitsch) so I didn't bother dealing with it. For about three years it sat on the floor, waiting to be tossed or finished.

It seemed too rude to throw away my grandmother's work, so I decided to finish. I bought a pillowform from Ikea, shoved it in, and--with fear and trembling--set to work with the crochet hook and yarn my grandmother had thoughtfully provided. I had no idea what I was doing so I just kind of made it up as I went along, but amazingly it turned out pretty well.

I should have washed the pillow cover before closing it up as it was rather dusty from sitting on the floor all that time. Oh well. It's done! And it appears very happy to be with its sibling the afghan.

I just won my auction on eBay for the black version of the red boots I'm wearing here, which I got at Ross for $15 and have been wanting black ones ever since. I saw some at Marshall's for $40 and have been kicking myself for months for not getting them, but now I got them on eBay for $25, including shipping, so patience is a virtue? Or cheapness was rewarded? Or something. That means I can go to bed. I'll leave you with one of my favorite TSA jokes (which I think is an ironic comment on racism rather than racist itself; I certainly do not mean to offend):

Q: Why was the grandmother denied entrance to the airplane?
A: Because she was knitting an Aghan.

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