This Blanket

I have knit another baby blanket.

It’s a very simple pattern that seems to reside in the group consciousness of knitters everywhere. You cast on a few and knit every row, increase every other row with a YO two stitches from each edge, then when half the yarn is gone, you decrease every other row by framing the same YOs with K2togs. When you get back to having just a few stitches left, hopefully you haven’t screwed yourself over with an impossible yarn shortage (it was looking a little dicey around the 3/4 mark), and you have a diamond that is hopefully equi-angular enough to pass for a square.

This Blanket was intriguing to me because it is rather the opposite of everything I usually knit. The pattern was simple and unpremeditated; there’s not a purl stitch in the thing. It’s knit in Red Heart “Baby Econo” (it was given to me by some people I like very much), a 100% acrylic novelty-ish yarn.

Yet I really enjoyed this project. Since the two balls I had were of vastly different dyelots, I just held the two together, and I loved how the changing colors combined and mottled. This is the first pattern I have been able to do on straights for ages, so I could do the “pit knitting” I so like. I liked how the point at which to turn around and start decreasing was at exactly the max number of stitches I could stuff onto my 14″ straights. I loved being able to garter stitch straight through while reading or doing other things. I was almost sad when it was over.

This Blanket is the natural antithesis of the Evenstar Shawl, which was also knit for a baby it will never meet. Evenstar was a work of art that took weeks of premeditation and several months to knit; this Blanket was started on a whim and finished in two weeks. Evenstar was a heavy investment of time, effort, and emotion; this Blanket was let go of before it was begun. Evenstar was full of ideals and high thoughts about knitting; this Blanket was knit practically in a trance of inattentiveness. Evenstar was a huge community knit-along; no one saw this Blanket except my husband. Evenstar wins me prizes for knitting prowess; this Blanket will not be what I use to advertise my creative skills. Should Evenstar get slightly soiled, it will be carefully washed by hand and re-blocked; this Blanket will have to go through the washing machine five times just to be tolerably soft. Evenstar is for photo ops; this Blanket is for throw ups. The only thing they have in common is soft pastels.

It struck me that parenthood (extrapolated from early pregnancy, which is the only parenthood I’ve known) is made up of these sorts of paradoxes. Excellence and skill; cobbled-together improvisation. High ideals; practical acceptance. Photo ops and throw ups. Totally fun at different times and in different ways, but inevitably requiring serious perseverance to get through.

It was an interesting thought. But coming from me, at this point it’s little more than conjecture.

One thought on “This Blanket

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