From Rug to Table Runner; OR, I Didn’t Buy Enough Paracord

Sometimes I remember things or objects from my youth that have literally been forgotten for decades.  One of those bits of flotsam and jetsam that recently floated across my consciousness was the rag rug from my childhood we had on our living room floor.  The colors were drab and muted, very utilitarian in nature; however, put on the old wood floor, it really fit.  Around 1975, my mother decided she’d had it with her young daughters cleaning the floor by using Pledge and creating a dangerous, slick surface for her stockinged feet – don’t do it! – and she had the standard gold shag carpet installed.  Goodbye wood, goodbye rug.

Flash forward 41 years, and here I am, wanting to make a rug similar to the one from my childhood.  This transmogrified into wanting to make an outdoor rug for our new deck; a rug that wouldn’t require washing and was durable.  I’d read somewhere that it was possible to use paracord for certain crocheted objects and the said material could be purchased at a craft store.  Without further thought or research, I did just that.

I purchased 120 yards (really?) and a more ergonomically friendly size “N” crochet hook.  With only a vague notion as to how I should proceed, I powered through it.  I’ve done enough crocheting through the years to improvise, even though I’m not a big fan of it.  As you can see, the yardage fell far short of the imagined rug, but at least it made it outside.  It’s sturdy, a bit rough on the hands, but it will last quite a long time out in the elements.  My family was so impressed by this little place mat that now they want me to make a bigger one.

Will I?  Yup.  But later.  My fingers got callouses from this!

 

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That Takes Me Back…and a little forward

So I’ve been a little wicked because I’ve watched I don’t know how many episodes of Mad Men on Netflix, and it’s 5:00 am.  Yea.  In the morning.  And I need to get up in a few hours.  I know, I know, I just discovered it.  Still in season 5, so no spoilers!

I think one of my big draws to this particular series is remembering so many things that you’d forgotten you’d forgotten!  No, it’s not a typo, just a fact.  The producers and set designers either did their homework or were there in the 60s and had great memories, though I can’t see anyone being old enough to remember all of this in such great detail actually working on the series, or even working at all!

beigeselectric

This was cutting technology back in the day.

But what prompted this particular post is a scene where the character, Peggy Olson (played by the inimitable Elizabeth Moss) is working a late night in the office and just punching away at the typewriter.  And it hit.  The sight, sounds and smell (yes, there was a hot motor smell!) of the IBM Selectric that she’s abusing.  I was a typical teen-ager filled with angst, rebellion, drugs, and the need to set the world on fire with the Great American Novel.  My long-suffering mother did moonlighting as a medical transcriptionist, so she had the most up to date equipment she could afford, which included the IBM Selectric ii.  Ahhh, I’m sure some of you out there remember and are nodding your heads ever so slightly of the recollection.  The font key ball that could be replaced so you could work with either Courier, Script, or Delegate, the ink tape cartridge that was such a breeze to replace.  No messy ribbons for me as I sat there, night after night, trying to think of how to put on paper what I felt so eloquently in my heart, feeling the buzz of the motor under my finger tips, and when I was at it too long, smelling it heat up.  When hitting an odd writer’s block, I would fiddle with the power rocker key (it’s there to the right if you’re unfamiliar with this piece of vintage stuff) by turning it off and on.  That couldn’t have been good.

Now I’m sitting on a couch with a laptop in front of me, the keyboard being pounded on by hands accustomed to punching keys on, first) a manual typewriter; then, second) a slick electric typewriter (well, it was slick then).  I am able to choose from thousands of fonts at a keystroke, access information on anything I would want to know at a moment’s notice, play games, keep in touch with friends and family, be current on the latest news and weather, and the list goes on.

Now we’re looking at something like this, and this is already 3 years old!

I used to say that humans would start having simple outpatient procedures to incorporate the computer with them wherever they are, but I’ve had a think since then.  With technology always advancing, who would want to have last month’s widget melded on their body?  Something to think about.

I’m not anti-technology or anti-advancement.  I really can’t wait to see what’s next.  How about you?