Blanket- A Stupid Name But A Great Notion

One of my crafty girlfriends posted a question today asking how much to charge for a crocheted blanket.  Another friend replied “a million dollars.”  I totally understood where she was coming from.  Until you have made a blanket, I don’t think you can appreciate the hours upon hours upon hours it takes to make one.

I watched in interview with Michael Jackson in which he explained why he nicknamed his son “Blanket.”  He said something to the effect of his son being a person that “blankets people with comfort, blankets them with love.”  While it is still a crazy ass name, the sentiment is beautiful.

I crocheted a blanket for my favorite aunt, Lee Anne.  As I was stitching it, I thought about how as she snuggled in it, she might think of me giving her a hug on a tough day.  Or maybe she would feel warm and loved on a cold night.  It took me nine months of on again off again crocheting, but when I finally finished, I knew I was sending her a gift that would represent all the compassion, affection, and joy she has brought to me.

When my sons were born, my craft group made a collaborative gift for both of them.  Each woman in our group, and a few other women and men from outside the faction, knitted or crocheted a square.  We gathered at my baby showers to sew the squares together and form a blanket.  I am not as close with those ladies as I once was.  The time commitment of having children and other circumstances have kept me from being active in our gatherings.  But every time I wrap a child in those blankets, I think of the gift they gave them- of knowing they were loved and cared for even before they were born.  I don’t see those ladies enough, I don’t thank them enough, and I’ve certainly disappointed them on many accounts, but I hope they know I love and appreciate them.  These ladies taught me to crochet- a powerful gift I now possess for the rest of my time on this Earth.

Perhaps my favorite blanket story is born from sadness.  Another friend of mine had a dear aunt- the type of person who guided and nurtured her when her parents did not fulfill the job.  This aunt was part of a Buddhist temple.  One of the monks in the temple, a mentor to the aunt, became ill.  The aunt gave her a blanket to comfort and assure her while she was sick.  Somehow, that blanket was passed from person to person, and made it all the way to the Dalai Lama.  It then traveled back to the aunt, who had become stricken with cancer.  She was a young, beautiful woman and I’m sad to say that she did not make it.  But I like to think of that blanket going halfway around the world to come back and offer her warmth in her final days.

Walking on the street a couple of weeks ago, I saw a piece of knitterfitti attached to a stop sign.  I love yarn bombings.  I don’t know what the sentiment is behind it.  I’m sure it varies by the crafter.  Some might be making comment on choosing handcrafted goods over mass produced items.  Others might be taking a supposedly old-fashioned pastime and giving it a fresh update.  Or perhaps the maker just wanted to brighten someone’s day.

Today, I went and purchased yarn to make a new blanket.  At first, I sorted through the bins with a bit of reluctance, not looking forward to the work I would be signing up for.  But as I started crocheted my first row, I relaxed and remembered why I loved yarn craft in the first place.

Feel liked giving your own gift of comfort?  Check out Project Linus:

http://www.projectlinus.org/about/

Want to become a yarn bomber?  Info here:

http://www.mesaartscenter.com/index.php/events/free-events/internationalyarnbombingday

http://twilighttaggers.blogspot.com/2011/03/how-to-yarn-bomb.html

 

 

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3 Responses to Blanket- A Stupid Name But A Great Notion

  1. This is probably silly but I buried our dog, Sammy, in a crocheted blanket from Larry’s Mom. I know she was just a dog, but she was our family pet for many years and I wanted her to feel loved so I wrapped her in that blanket and put our family picture and a note telling her how we loved her and would miss her. I still have Larry’s first slippers that his mom chrocheted when he was an infant. I could never get past the first few stitches when I tried to learn. That blanket of Lee Anne;s is beautiful and I know she loves it.

  2. Kat, I don’t comment, but I read almost every post you write unless it’s just too, too, top-to-bottom busy like it has been since Thanksgiving. I read and loved the two recent posts, though–they’re timely, and I’m grateful for them. I haven’t gotten to see you a lot, but you’ve had a strong and positive impact on my life this year, and I’m grateful for that, so I think of you often and miss you every time we have a crafternoon and you’re not there. I totally understand and respect why you can’t be, though–I’m sure we all do!

    I have a long history of blankets. I guess everyone does, but I mean deep-seeded. I still have the ratty, cheap, store-bought, synthetic blanket I dragged around everywhere as a child. My mom would pretend to throw it out in hopes of weaning me off it, in grade school, again in junior high, and so on, and I’d always fall immediately into a depressed funk as I sulked silently beside her. Then, she’d lift up the cushion or sofa pillow or whatever next to her to show me that she hadn’t really thrown it out. I left it behind at first when I went to college, but claimed it again not long after, and it’s still with me. There isn’t even enough whole piece of it left to cut up and turn into a quilt or tiny keepsake. I can’t imaging how much more precious it would be if my mom, an incredible gifted and prolific crafter, had made it for me. Maybe that’s why she wanted to get rid of it–maybe envy or scorn.

    As for homemade blankets, first, thank you for linking to Project Linus. That group has meant a lot to me for almost a decade. I had to stop making blankets for a long time because I just didn’t have time or the room to store the supplies, but now, after learning how from our craft group, I still crochet a square when I have time that I’ll add to a pile and crochet into a quilt to donate. And I make blankets for friends and family, too. This year, Robert’s dancer was diagnosed with and (successfully!) treated for uterine cancer, and I spent months working on a huge blanket for her. I made an afghan for an old neighbor several years ago when she had to have a hysterectomy, and one for a good friend’s king-sized bed for her wedding present–it was single crochet, and it took a year to finish. Then, of course, dozens of blankets for Project Linus. There are things that come back to haunt you, and things that come back to comfort you in the making, giving, and receiving. That’s totally blankets. =)

  3. kattypants says:

    Happy to plug Project Linus. I had some leftover rainbow yarn that I had no idea what to do with, so I began work on a blanket for Project Linus. I loved your stories! When I first starting thinking of this post, I wondered if it was a weird topic to write about blankets, but then I realized I had a ton of stories about them- I only picked a couple to write about. Glad to see others feel the same way!

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