Seven years ago this month (the blog tells me), I cast on for this giant of a blanket. Harper was just a year old, Annabel wasn't here, and we weren't even on the farm yet! It has sat, all this time, in an accessible picnic basket somewhere in the house, and from time to time (thought not terribly often), I have picked it up to knit a row or two. When I finished with a worsted weight project, the leftover bits would get tossed into the basket and eventually stitched into the blanket. There haven't been any rules, really - though I did leave out pinks, reds, and oranges. And there never really was a plan. I didn't know when it would be 'done' and I puzzled over how it would be finished (with fabric sewn onto one side? I really didn't know). I did know all along that I'd know when it was done, and I'd sort out the finishing then.
Rather by surprise to me (last time I thought about the blanket, I thought it would be twin size, and maybe even something I send Calvin off to college with...not the large throw for everyone that it ended up being), that moment came this week. It felt done, I was ready to be done with it, and a cozy squishy garter stitch house blanket seemed in order (the younger kiddos are a bit under the weather with a cold that's going around....staying cozy has been the goal of our days this week). With the added bonus of actually knowing how to crochet now, the 'finishing' became a lot more obvious. A simple scalloped edge to finish it off. And just like that, this casual seven year project was out of the basket, off the needles, and onto my littles.
I have to say, this silly simple scrap blanket holds a lot of emotion for me. Yes, there is the fact that I can point to nearly each yarn and say "that's from the sweater I knit Ezra when he was 7!" and so on down the line. But even more so, because it has been such a quiet constant for so long. For so long that basket has sat within reach as our lives have moved around it. And I can picture in my mind, so many times that it has been on my lap, needles in hand, as a child's hand, foot, a block, a toy, a doll comes into view. It's been in the background of so much. And all the same, it's been a comfort in the knitting. When I've been under the weather myself and couldn't concentrate on a pattern, or when I had nothing else that inspired me on the needles, or when I was in between projects, or when I just wanted mindless, meditative comfort in the simplicity of it....that basket with this blanket has been there for me.
Ah! But now it's off the needles and off to the races of life at home. Already dragged to the kitchen table today, then back to the couch by way of the wood chips around the stove. There might already be some yogurt on it. Later, some peanut butter might find its way. And surely soon enough it will get caught or snagged on something or other (a tooth? a wood chip? a big brother?) and I'll be making some mending stitches. I couldn't be happier for all of that.
Though I do feel like something is missing now without that basket and this big bulky thing filling it up. I suppose I will have to cast on for another right away.