It’s the same as the emotion that I get from you
Pattern: Woven Ribbons Blanket by Mary Ann Protus
Yarn: TLC Baby Amore (acrylic and nylon)
Needles: U.S. 8 plastic straights & Harmony wood Options circular (knit flat)
I was a new and enthusiastic knitter in May of 2007. I had made scarves. I wanted to knit something I could sink my teeth into for a while, like a thick summer beach read. My best friend was going to have a baby in a few months. After some research into free baby blanket patterns to be had on the net, I chosen a Coats & Clark freebie and ordered the specified yarn after a trip to Hobby Lobby didn’t turn up a likely substitute to my inexperienced eye.
Fast forward two years. No, two years and change. The baby is now about to turn two. The blanket has been stuffed into a storage cube since her birth. This now older and wiser knitter had been hipped to her mistakes by Ravelry: the squeaky acrylic yarn with the appalling sheddy texture (“it’s like you’re knitting with ramen noodles,” a co-worker observed), the fourteen-inch plastic needles now laboring to shift the weight of 2/3 of an entire blanket with every stitch. She’d long since moved on.
When WIP Wrestlemania 2009 rolled around, I was eager to put the finishing touches on any number of projects that had been languishing for a few weeks or a few months. But when I realized what my oldest work-in-progress really was, I had to pause for some soul-searching. Did I want to finish it? Could I stand to finish it, given the eight ends per stripe times 22 stripes not to mention the borders that needed to be woven in? Was I ready to face all the dropped stitches with their accusing stares?
I was. I could. I did.
Thanks to the support and encouragement of hundreds of other wrestlers, I pinned that sucker to the mat and finished him off as an appreciative crowd roared their approval. More importantly, I conquered my biggest knitting demon to date. With an unpleasant, abandoned project lurking in my history, I had two choices. I could dump the whole thing in the trash — I never wanted to use the yarn again and it was hopeless to frog, so no sense even trying to reverse my mistake — or I could grit my teeth and finish what I started. I set about moving the blanket off those damnable plastic monstrosities and onto my wood circs that are such a joy to use, and I devised a strategy of weaving in as many ends as possible as I went. Option B probably saved my sanity, in the long term. I don’t know what the psychological effect of succumbing to failure and futility might have been.
As soon as I can find a local agency willing to accept a donation, a perfectly soft, easy-care blanket will be on its way to a baby in need. It may not have been stitched with constant love, but it was started that way and finished with triumph. I don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder to record an object as finished. Perhaps that pride will inspire the recipient or a fellow wrestler.