A Long Time Coming

Hello again, dear readers–I have resurfaced! Thanks for your patience as I knitted, sewed, and crocheted like a fiend. Objective: finish my longest-running UFO.

Seven years ago, I made my mom the first squares for a patchwork blanket for Mummy. Why? I’m not sure. I don’t like seaming, and patchwork = seaming. But I had some super nice, wooly yarn, and after receiving the first few squares, Mummy was excited about the prospect of a whole blanket.

Um. Yeah.

For about a year, I worked steadily on squares, delivering a new installment at each holiday, until there were enough to warrant a Box of Squares. The yarn was quite nice: Harrisville Designs’ Orchid Line, bought on my 18th-birthday trip to Flagstaff. Along the line, I added in some Lite-Lopi squares in purple, knitted together with one strand of Classic Elite’s Sea.

(Notice how all those yarns are discontinued)

Then I lost steam, getting distracted by anything and everything more interesting than knitting squares and sewing them together. This lasted a year or so. Although the blog shows no evidence of it, there was a short period where my interest was revived. I laid out all the knitted squares, arranged them in a nice design, and in an amazing moment of foresight, graphed out which squares went where, which squares were knitted, and which had not been knitted. I think that was one of my best moments as a knitter, because the enthusiasm that I was so sure would stay me through the long, long process of seaming an entire blanket shriveled and died after twelve squares had been seamed into two strips. Two strips, out of five.

Once again, more interesting things that did not involve seaming took precedence, and the stack of squares went into hiding in their box at the back of the armoire.

Insert a few more years, in which two more squares were unenthusiastically knitted, and we finally arrive at the past year. The box of squares was unearthed: first, when I moved out and my room was redone, and then again when Monita moved out and was collecting things she’d stored in the space I vacated. Guilt began nibbling away at me, but oh how that stack of squares looked like an awful lot of sewing. Especially because all the squares were different gauges, with different stitch counts. Mummy swore she still wanted the blanket, and I wanted it to be finished…but I still didn’t want to finish it. I didn’t want to finish it so much that I offered to pay Hermanita to do that mountain of sewing. She declined, and I was left with no alternative but to finish what I’d started. The unfairness, right?

Very, very reluctantly, I packed all the blanket bits up and took them to my place. Mummy’s birthday was coming up, so I had a hard deadline, and it had occurred to me that it might be nice to not have this massive UFO hanging over my head. I got all the squares–and the two strips–out, marveled at my one instance of project documentation, and realized how wise Hermanita had been to turn down the sewing. There was a lot of it.

White cat sitting on a blanket

This is what it looked like every time I tried to start working on the blanket

A new challenge presented itself: the kittens were obsessed with the blanket. There was not just the interest that all cats have in things laid out on flat surfaces, or things that are occupying your attention when you should be petting them. No, this was full-on obsession. The second the blanket came out, Eloise was on top of it, snuggled into the rough wool and purring her heart out.

White cat playing with a straight knitting needle

It was a great place to play with my knitting needles

White cat cleaning her paws on a blanket

And a great place to wash one’s toes

Tabby cat asleep on strips of knitted fabric

Even the less-snuggly Malthus got in on Blanket Time

Fast-forward though much time spent chasing away kittens, mattress-stitching boring seams on different-sized squares, and a weekend of crocheting.

Knitted Patchwork Blanket spread out on a bed

Taken last-minute, before I rushed out of the door to celebrate Mummy’s birthday with her

I finished it in time. My presentation was totally lacking: I didn’t block it, and a few stray ends remained on the back. But it turned out all right: a nice size, with a crab-stitch crocheted edging that is so much nicer than a single crochet edge.

And most importantly? It. Is. Done.

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4 thoughts on “A Long Time Coming

  1. …And it’s rather beautiful. That’s a lovely story. (And I suspect that we’ve all got projects like that, the ones that follow us around and haunt us.)

  2. Glen says:

    Well done! Isn’t it jut The Best Feeling when a UFO bites the dust (especially if you’ve finished it, and not just hidden it in the trash… ask me how I know!)

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