Spring brings on the homing instinct in me. I arrange, re-arrange, dust, tidy, throw out, buy, paint, scrape, fret and generally get on everyone’s nerves in the house. The cats hate this as it disturbs their control over their environment. The dog is excited and cares not a jot as long as she’s in the middle of all the action. This year, there is none of the usual hullaballoo (got it out of my system when we moved recently) – instead, I’m really into the gentle art of soft-furnishings. Now that my family are past the stage of making-the-kitchen-wear-what-they-eat and have also progressed past wearing-what-they-eat, I take more care with laying the table, especially at dinner time and when we eat outside (those Jones’ have to be kept on their toes). Plus I came across this rather marvellous yarn. It’s 55% paper, comes in a range of colours and nubbly too – I just couldn’t resist it.
Now I can’t say that this was an easy project. The finished item is the third attempt. However now that I have cracked the pattern to use, the other mats will be a doddle.
Each strand of yarn is a thin ribbon – about 3 ply, spun with viscose and polyester for durability. When you first start, the yarn is quite crisp and papery. With use and handling, it becomes soft and pliable. I held the yarn double to provide thickness in the finished mat and used a half mm smaller crochet hook. Neither is necessary, I just wanted to achieve a really sturdy mat. I started with the green colour scheme – almost military with khaki, bright grass green, sun yellow and white. When I finished, the mat still wasn’t. So I cracked open the blue colour too – dark blue, light blue a sort of Summer stormy sky palette, and set about threading blue chains into the green trebles and then edged the lot.
My corners are a bit elongated, I think I may have introduced one too many stitches. Fear not, it will all come right with use.
Having a mat alone just didn’t feel satisfying enough. We would never use coasters – my lot just prefer to mark tabletops instead, and I’ve given up the fight. I’ve opted to support our local french polisher instead. Napkin rings have become quite ignored recently and I think they’re nice. I’ve decided to make slightly different ones for each member of the family. Here’s the first. It’s mine : )
I’m glad I persevered with this yarn – Velina Paper available on monsteryarns.co.uk in Blue and Green for £2.00 for 50g (only blue is currently listed). Crochet kit (pattern, hook and necessary yarn) for mat and napkin ring coming soon, or email me if you’re interested soonest.