Did I tell you I am moving? Like throwing or giving away half of everything I own, packing up the rest, and moving seven miles up the road? Well, I am. On Friday. My life is a complete disaster... but somehow I keep knitting, don't I?!
At the top of my bedroom closet, I found the very first thing I ever made: a white granny square afghan for my hope chest. I hooked it during high school after teaching myself to crochet using the Learn How Book, the venerable green booklet sold at every dime store in America for much of the 20th century. Someone gave me a bag of ancient knitting paraphernalia and this little gem was among the old wool and crochet hooks. The musty-smelling Learn How Book had vintage patterns that I'd never, ever make, but I could teach myself to crochet with the how-to photographs.
My mom passed on exactly zero crafty genes to me, but she did admire my zeal. I learned to knit from my Swiss aunt when I was four and my mother marveled at my natural ability. She was my greatest cheerleader and made sure I was always well plied with yarn. In fact, every time she went to a dime store, she'd grab another skein of white worsted. She didn't know wool from polyester; to her, white was the only thing that mattered. So I whipped up a white granny square wedding blanket from a gazillion different brands of white yarn.
It's funny... if I heard of a high school girl today who was crocheting a wedding blanket for her hope chest, I'd snap her retro ass up and drag her to a N.O.W. meeting. But back in the day, my hope chest was very important to me. A ridiculous waste of time and energy since I didn't get married until I was 36 and couldn't have children! Everything that went into that hope chest was completely and utterly hopeless.
I'm past the hope chest but still like to nest. Recently I've been cruising afghan patterns trying to settle on a block-based blanket for my new place. I finally decided to make Mary Beth Temple's Marmalade Skies afghan from the current issue of Interweave Crochet. Crochet, you ask? Yes. Crochet. Because it moves faster - I can make a square in 15 minutes every day without distracting from my main knitting tasks. If I plug away at it, the blanket will take care of itself. Plus I love the wacky new take on granny squares. I'm going to make a black and red blanket that will look like a falling checkerboard. What a hoot.
I chose Berroco Comfort Chunky to make the whole venture go even faster. I actually went to a LYS and bought the yarn since I was skeptical that I would like a nylon/acrylic blend, but I do. It's soft, plush, and perfect for an afghan. Nice stitch definition, too. Apparently it's washable but I don't believe in washing anything handmade. Too much work to risk such ruin.
So here's to hopeful middle age rather than a hopelessly naive youth. And to warm blankets made with love that last for years and years.