Tuesday, April 25, 2006
Kate and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Blanket
I just finished my first-ever knitting project. It's gawdy and hideous and visually offensive, and I love it.

The mid-size version of the story is, my great-grandmother taught me to crochet when I was 10ish, spending time with her at her summer place in the Adirondacks, in New York. Very fond, warm-and-fuzzy memories, all that. I always intended to learn to knit from her, too, but never got around to it.

Then when I was 25, she was hospitalized and then ended up in a nursing home, and a little reality bonked into me. That whole "Hey, we DON'T have forever here" thing. So I took Emily (who was about 3) and a big blanket and a bunch of toys and crayons, and brand-new knitting needles and yarn, and we camped out in Grandma O's room for 2 days, just chatting and knitting and intermittently napping (less me than the other two, on that last part). I didn't learn anything fancy, but I learned the basics and got to cross one more Big Regret off my potential list.

She died last summer, the day before we moved. That was chaotic. We had visited her just the week before - another Big Regret avoided.

So, on to the present. After she died, her belongings were farmed out to the family, and I was reminded once again that there are certain members of my father's family about whom I can only hope that the genetics lottery chose to sprinkle little in common between me and them. You know how some people shine under pressure, become graceful in times of stress, rise to the occasion? Yeah, not so much. But in that whole scramble-and-snarl experience, I inherited all of Grandma O's knitting and sewing supplies. And decided to start a project. But I wasn't yet ready for a sweater or anything comparatively complicated - I didn't even want a pattern for a blanket - so I decided to just start knitting rectangles of various sizes, however big the ball of yarn allowed them to be. I chose yarn based on texture first and price second, with colors that I liked, individually, but no thought to the overall color scheme.

The end result:

See? Gawdy... but somehow it clashes so much that it works. At least, I keep telling myself that. And it's *really* soft.