Wednesday, March 11, 2009


I am finishing piecing together this blanket for my dear friend Maia. Maia was married last June. Her wedding was a blast! She is so special to me, and this proves it. I really don't like making big blankets like this. It exhausts me! I have great stamina the first half, but then it hits me how much further I have to go and I just about come unhinged. The last third of any adult-sized blanket is like a death march for me.

Ironically, this is the third of four blankets that I've finished in the last two weeks alone! Before this, I don't think I made four blankets in the last four years, but here we are. There was Monica's blanket, my dad's blanket, and this one, which I need to get in the mail to London ASAP. Just a few months after the wedding, the blushing bride was whisked off to London for a couple of years by her groom. I'm hoping I can manage a visit before he's relocated back to the states! He does something in...sales, I think?

I started this blanket in November. I made the rectangle patches from chenille thick and quick using this free pattern from lion brand yarn. Lion Brand dot com gets some people pretty riled... they have some silly little patterns! But you have to hand it to them; it can't be easy coming up with reasons to use 'festive fur yarn' and, so, you're going to get the occasional pattern for what amounts to a fright wig. So, clearly, this is not the kind of fiber art that appeals to me. But I can forgive the transgression. Who am I to judge? I once made a tissue box cover out of plastic canvas. And glitter yarn. Glass houses, people.

There's absolutely no reason why I couldn't have made this pattern myself: each rectangle is 12 rows of 11 half-double crochets. Fasten off. Weave in ends. Sew together. Not exactly rocket science! But they graciously gave me the pattern for stitching the rectangles together to make that nice little step. Again, nothing I couldn't have figured out, but I like not having to reinvent the wheel. And you can see in the picture, there's my laptop, because I screwed up the placement twice just trying it on my own. I'm normally pretty good with visual/spatial kind of stuff, so I'm not sure what the malfunction was. I'll just say it again: I was only too happy to have had somebody else to do the gauge and the patterning on this thing.

I would have much preferred the colorway in the sample worked up for the pattern. The colors are very earthy. But the purple, periwinkle, and violet combination I landed on really suits Maia. Can I tell you how much I hated that lighter violet color when I opened the box that came in the mail? There was plenty of the purple and blue locally, but that third color was pretty elusive. I ordered directly from their site, based on the tiniest little swatch. I think in my mind it was more grey than it actually looked in person. Oh dear. I really just sort of kept at this thing, even though I was sure it would be hideous. But by the time I got it all pieced together and the sewing done, I have to's really pretty! What a pleasant surprise. So often it happens, when you are making something, that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.

A sweet lesson in having some faith.

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