It all started with a quilting pattern called “Toasty Mittens,” (Like I need a pair of toasty mittens. I have about five hundred pairs of gloves.) I had purchased the pattern when I was in Spokane. My mother and my quilting guru took me to this awesome quilt shop. There were all these amazing quilts, baskets, an entire set of dresser drawers—okay, maybe not, but you get the point. I got punch drunk on quilts. So I was out of my head when I bought the Toasty Mittens pattern. The woman said they wouldn’t be getting any more patterns for the Toasty Mittens because winter was in its final throes. She said I was the lucky one.
I’d put off making them for a year. I mean, who makes Toasty Mittens in July? I found the pattern and the powers of guilt for buying the last pattern shamed me into making the mittens. So I laid out the pattern and pulled out the instructions.
They read as follows: “PLEASE READ THROUGH THE ENTIRE DIRECTIONS BEFORE STARTING! Ok-we had to say that and we know no one ever reads the directions first—BUT—please at least take a look at them.”
I was offended. I always read the directions and the safety warnings before I begin anything, especially, things that might prove to be hazardous to a person’s health and well being.
I read the directions before I began. But, somehow, that didn’t save me from ending up with mittens about 100 sizes too large. So, I did what I do best… I went rogue. I turned the Toasty Mittens into a pair of Toasty Oven Mitts.
I finished the mittens and gave them to Layce. “Here ya go. I made you a pair of oven mitts.”
“Wow, these are nice,” she said, turning the mitts over. The oven timer went off. “Perfect timing, the chicken casserole is done.”
I beamed proudly as she put on the oven mitts and pulled the casserole dish out of the oven.
Then the mitts caught on fire.
Layce dropped the casserole dish and waved her hands in the air, shouting, “My hands are on fire, my hands are on fire!”
“Put them in the sink,” I yelled, turning on the faucet. Layce held her hands under the cold stream of water until the Toasty Mittens fizzled out. The kitchen reeked of burnt quilt.
Layce stared at me. “Why did that happen? Why did the oven mitts catch fire?”
“I think maybe I was supposed to use another kind of fabric, the kind that retards fire.” That fact had been niggling around in the back of my mind but I had chosen to ignore it.
“So you had me stick my hands in oven mitts that actually promote fire, not retard it,” Layce said.
“In a manner of speaking, but it wasn’t my intention. Who knew one could make self-immolating mittens?”
“Evidently not you,” Layce said. She looked down at the ruined casserole on the floor.
“I’ll clean it up and I’m sorry I almost lit your hands on fire. And I’ll never make mittens again. I promise.”
Layce took pity on me. “They really were quite toasty.”
I looked at the mittens still smoking in the sink. They were toast all right—a soggy burnt testament to my failure. I sighed.
“It was the thought,” Layce said.
Emma came in kitchen, looked at the casserole on the floor and the burnt oven mitts in the sink. Unfazed, she said, “I take it we’re going out for dinner?”
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