Tuesday, February 17, 2009

: : Blanket : :

Here is the blanket I just finished. I can't believe I remembered to take a picture, at the very last minute, before I put it in the box to pass it on to the new owner, my dear friend Monica.

This is a close up of the detailing. Each of the squares is about 7x7 inches, and was made in the round with front post double crochets to make the pinwheel effect. (Ohhhh! Technical!! If you're really interested, the pattern can be found in the first quarter 2008 Crochet Today magazine as the 'Sunny Spread'.)

As 8 of the squares are completed, you have to sew them together with a whipstitch, then those long strips are sewn together. See them over there? Those two are the ones I had to run through the washer after Erik dumped a bowl of oatmeal on them. It turned out okay, really, but I just have to shake my head and laugh. This thing has been toted, stored, cursed, and reworked for over a year. In the final 12 hours it gets destroyed? Come on!

See all those strings hanging off the bottom strip? Each square has two (sometimes I could work them in as I went along, other times not so much). Then, each pair of squares has two, as they are stitched together. (sometimes I could work them in as I went along, other times not so much). Then, each strip of 8 has two, they are stitched together. (sometimes I could...well, you know!) 64 squares x 2 + 32 squares x 2 plus 8 strips x 2...what, something like 188 tiny bits of yarn that needed to be threaded through a needle and worked into the stitching? Give me a break!

Also notable in this picture: Scotty's GIANT Speed Racer car, and his play boulders for his front loader, and the legos on the back of the couch, all of which are constant reminders of my 'little helpers'.

There are a couple of things that are interesting about this project for me....

1) I had to remake about 15 squares after a while. The problem, was that I had set the project down, and when I picked it back up, I must have used a different size of hook, because following the exact same pattern, some squares ended up so much bigger! It aggravates me, but I have to admit, if you plan to make things, you've got to be willing to remake them. I don't always do it, but when you're making clothing or an intricate pattern, you're better off trying to be a perfectionist. Other things? Eh, not so much. You can hide some sins.

2) I had just enough of the yarn to make all the squares. I have a small ball left, but not enough to do the edging. This was a 'no dye lot' yarn, so I thought that meant I could go get the same brand and color of yarn and just keep going. Friends, I wll tell you now, that is not true. I will also tell you that there are close to eleventy million shades of white, none of which matched my white. Erik says it's 'oatmeal' because it matched his spill pretty well, but I have 8 skeins of cream, off-white, snow, oatmeal, and jump rope, to name but a few, and I can tell you that NONE OF THEM IS RIGHT.

You can see in the picture that the edging is quite a bit lighter than the blanket itself. It took me a while to come to grips with this situation, but in the end, I had to just put my hands up on the situation. I think it's okay?

3) This is one of the few things I've made that Erik really likes. He wanted it. I can't tell you how unusual that is! He says you can really tell it was some work, and he liked the size a lot. It's funny, because it was a lot of work. It's one of the reasons I was so happy to give it to Monica. She makes things too, and if anyone can appreciate what went into this thing, it's her.

When you give things you make, you have to let it go. The recipient may be quite touched by your gesture, but when it takes a year to make a blanket, it's hard for somebody to really muster the inappropriately enthusiastic reaction that is warranted by the situation. How could the average friend or family member really know what it means to spend hours and months perfecting the execution? And then who, besides Monica, could really understand what it means that I couldn't exactly match the white edging? And who, besides Monica, knows what it means to spend entire crafting sessions (oh, those precious few stolen moments, often with at least one kid on my lap) doing nothing but threading a needle and working in yarn ends?

Believe me, it's right where it's supposed to be. I hope she likes it!

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