Friday, November 25, 2005


A day late but I wanted to list some things I was thankful for.

My family - on the other side of the country.
My friends - knitters and bloggers and others.
My dog - who is mad I didn't bring her leftovers.
Sarah inviting me to Thanksgiving dinner so I didn't have to eat a turkey hoagie.
Surviving this year with some degree of grace, or at least not ending up catatonic in corner somewhere.

But what I'm really, extra-specially thankful for?

I finished this.

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A full bed sized blanket.

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Made of tiny, little squares.

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I believe I said I'd tell the tale behind this creation. Our story begins almost 3 years ago, with Christmas preparations. I was a young(er), naive crocheter who had yet to discover the joy of non-synthetic yarn or even a LYS that wasn't a chain. As you'll remember from previous family photographs my father is follicularly challenged and, as such, often wears hats indoors, especially if he's hanging out in the chilly basement. So I purchased a couple of skeins of Lion Brand Homespun from Joann's to make hats (because if my dad isn't worth $12 minus a 40% off coupon, who is?). Two simple, tube-type hats were made with a quarter skein of each color left over. When I arrived in DC on the first stop of my Christmas journey, my sister tried on one of Dad's hat and immediately asked for one of her own. On the way to Lancaster, we stopped at a Michael's and picked up a skein for her. After exchanging gifts, my Mom tried on one of the hats and claimed it as her own (playground duty and a coat match trumped Dad's chilly pate). So it was back to Joann's to get another skein for a replacement for Dad. And then when I got back home I made one for my dogsitter who was heading back to cold climes. End result = 5 hats, 5 quarter skeins of Homespun, 5 different colors.

At some point I had bought 2 or 3 skeins of Homespun in a green color that matched my couch. I had no idea what I was going to do with it but, c'mon, it MATCHED.

And an idea was born. A scrap afghan! These leftovers would be perfect! And since there were going to be such a mishmash of colors, little multi-colored granny squares would be the perfect pattern. And so many little squares were made. And along the way, I had some type of mini-stroke or something and decided the blanket should fit my bed. How cool would that be?

Many 40% coupons later, much Homespun had been purchased and transformed into tiny, little granny squares. A large plastic tub was also purchased to hold said tiny, little squares. A full size sheet was laid on the ground and covered with tiny, little squares until the quota of tiny, little squares was met. And then all the tiny, little squares went into the large plastic tub and sat for about 9 months.

During a parental visit the tub was extracted and Mom and I spent a happy hour or so placing the tiny, little squares on the sheet and rearranging them into pleasing color configurations. Then Dad got involved and each row was neatly piled up, placed in a baggie, labeled with the appropriate row number, stapled closed and, you guessed it, back into the tub. After my parents left, rows one and two were seamed and I completely lost patience with all the tiny, little squares and the tiny, little pieces of yarn that sewed that tiny, little squares together. Tub.

14 months pass. While stewing over a sweater sleeve that was determined to make me loco, my eyes fell upon the large plastic tub full of tiny, little squares and something miraculous happened. I started to seam. During the marination period, a superior method of seaming was created in my brain resulting in many less little pieces of yarn. And I seamed. For about 2 weeks.

Yesterday morning I finished the last row while watching the Thanksgiving Day Dog Show (which reinforced the desire for a Boston Terrier) (the dog show did the reinforcing, not the blanket) (just in case you were confused about the power of the blanket).

Last night, after a great dinner at Sarah's, the edging was begun (yes, I schlepped the blanket across town. The end was in site and Sarah told me to bring my crochet). Two sides were finished and the remaining two were completed while sitting on my couch, watching MST3K and digesting. And then it was done.

An uncounted number of tiny, little squares came together to make one very big blanket.

I do have a few leftovers, 2.5 skeins of couch-matching green to be precise. Which, oddly enough, is remarkably similar to the amount I had when I started this madness. I've hidden the leftovers in the bottom of my stash so it can't whisper in my ear while I'm asleep and convince me that pillows made of tiny, little squares would be a good idea.


Nancy said...

Wow! The blanket is gorgeous! I'm impressed that you managed to get all of the squares crocheted, much less sewn together. Wow!!


Deneen said...

Came out great and a wonderful story to go with it.

Glad you had a wonderful holiday-I am so understanding the thankful for family across the country, I wish it was me :P

Heather said...

Wow...that is a lot of squares!! Beautiful blanket :)

Lolly said...

The blanket is stunning, Pam! Beautiful work. I swear, I have to learn how to crochet! ;)

noricum said...

Wow! I would be thankful too. It's lovely. :)

If you feel at a loss of what to do now, feel free to come over and play with my afghan in progress. ;) (It's at least superwash wool.)

Kirsten said...

It's beautiful! Brava!

Creative Genius? said...

Oh that looks beautiful - glad I didn't have to sew it all together! :-)

Creative Genius? said...

Oh that looks beautiful - glad I didn't have to sew it all together! :-)

Rebecca said...

all those tiny little squares made one beautiful blanket! now, aren't you so happy it's finally out of the tub!?!
hmmm pillows, yup, sounds like a good idea to me!

ladylinoleum said...

follicularly challenged - that is priceless.

I love, love, love the blanket! It's ab fab!

The Shrone said...

Perhaps this story of your blanket would fit in with one of those fingerless farmer stories of inspiration in Reader's Digest? "A story of perseverance, yarn, crochet, and one woman's three year quest to create the ultimate mini-square blanket!"

It looks stunning!