Clearing the decks

As the first of August nears, I am trying to prepare my home for the rigors of the next ten weeks or so.

To that end over the past few days, I have tried to tap into my grandmother’s cleaning skills.

My grandmother, Ljubica Likic, first arrived in the United States on January 3, 1910. She was on board the S.S. La Bretagne with her mother, her two sisters (one older, one younger), and her two brothers (both younger).

On the ship’s manifest, my grandmother’s age is given as 10, but she was, in fact, 12-and-a-half. There is some suspicion that her father, known for being tight with money, may have been less than candid about the ages of his two oldest children in order to secure a reduced fare for their passage

After arriving in New York, my grandmother and her family traveled to Los Angeles, where my great-grandfather had set himself up in various businesses, one of which was a boarding house.

Unfortunately for my grandmother, she was cursed with a strong work ethic, and while her older sister, who was not able to work to their demanding father’s standards, went to school with the younger children, my grandmother stayed at home and helped with cooking and cleaning for the borders that her parents took in.

I can’t imagine how disappointed my grandmother must have been to miss out on school, or how excluded she must have felt from her own family, but she did not have the luxury of being a hot house orchid, and so she moved forward with her life, and no matter what curve ball life threw her, my grandmother always had a wonderfully welcoming home.

The past two days I have been trying to recreate some of the magic of my grandmother’s house in the hope that the ambiance of of calm and order will permeate this year’s state fair project.

One aspect of the preparation is finishing work on a pattern I agreed to test for my friend, Kimberly Dori.

The project, Spiky Beanie, has been on my to-do list for several weeks now, and I today I finally got a start on it.

The exemplar with her pattern uses gray, black, and red yarn. I decided to go with Red Heart Super Saver blue, black, and soft white in an effort to replicate the colors of a local (to me) college basketball team.

The first five rounds were straight forward and easy:

crochet beanie begins
The first five rounds of the center of the spiky beanie

As were the next three rounds in which the spikes began to emerge:

crochet beanie
The cool, spikey design begins to emerge

But when I got the ninth round, there was a slight (ever so slight) glitch in the directions that I was not immediately able to sort out.

And that is, no doubt, a prelude to the next 10 weeks.

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