Tuesday, March 29, 2022

Thawing Out

In 2019 I started what I thought was going to be a little project, maybe a throw blanket for watching movies on the couch ...  What ended up happening is I spent the year knitting a Queen size bedspread because, of course I did.  I don't think I've met a thing yet that part of me doesn't love to over-complicate.  The point was, to take a moment out of each day, and do something solely for myself.  The cool thing about using this idea to make a tangible item is that at the end of the year you actually have something to commemorate the process, and something to serve as a physical reminder to check-in, and look after yourself.  I can walk through a room now, and see the blanket folded up, or draped over the arm of something, or rumpled up on my bed, and it prompts me to ask myself if I've bothered to do anything just for me that day, just because it feels good to do it, and for no other practical reason whatsoever.  Could I have achieved the same thing with something a bit smaller?  Perhaps, but I'm not actually sure about that.  I'm not really into hints, and subtleties.  I like BIG signs; things that are unavoidable; things with impact, so maybe this did need to be the behemoth that it's turned out to be.  

Looking back, the strange thing to me is why I picked that year for an activity like this.  Yes, I'm one of those weirdos who doesn't like odd numbers, and has never had anything particularly good, or exciting happen to me in odd numbered years, and as far as January 2019 was concerned there was nothing of interest going on in my life that I was super stoked to remember, like ... What at the end of 2018 was telling me to plan out and lay the groundwork for a year-long project?  Nothing.  After I'd already decided to do something, I did think it would be kind of cool to close out the decade with a little souvenir, but beyond that I didn't give it much thought.  Fast forward to 2022, and now I see that 2019 was pretty much the last time anything was remotely "normal," or at least what I had come to consider normal, and I'm glad I have something that celebrates, and marks the moment before kind of being forced to close the door on a certain type of innocence, and naïveté.  

Recently, I realized throughout the entire process I wrote exactly ONE update, and dassit!  So, I figured it was well past time to let everyone know that yes, I did, in fact, finish something I started.  It turned out pretty great, it's heavier than (insert your own idiom here), it's super bright, and a little bit tacky, and looks like it belongs in the camp trailer I spent most of my Summer vacations in as a child, and I love it.  Even though there were many days where working on the blanket felt more like a chore than a transcendental ritual, I'm glad I did it, and I'm happy to have something with which to look back on the Before Times fondly.  I'm super thrilled that I found Staci Perry's blog, and Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's pattern, and that I didn't have to do any of the actual work of figuring out stitches and rows.  Hallelujah, and praise Beyoncé's internet!  Now that I'm a couple of years removed from the enterprise, I'm looking forward to making a couple more bedspreads - I won't be doing the whole daily temperature thing again, but I'm definitely kicking around some new color combos I'm excited to try.  Alas, it will all have to wait for now ... I'm not allowing myself to start another new thing until all of my current things are buttoned up, but messing around with a little graph paper and some markers never hurt anyone, right?

If you're bored, or just looking for something new to try, or need to work your way through your scraps, then this is the project for you!  I couldn't recommend it highly enough, especially if you intend to stick with a plain ol' garter stitch through the whole thing, it's almost like meditating, plus the blankets make great presents!  Ok, maybe not everyone likes getting alarmingly huge knitted presents, it's just that I've never met a funky blanket I didn't like, so maybe don't use me as your gauge on that one!