Thursday, 5 June 2008

Christmas/Summer Blanket Stories


My Christmas and Summer Blanket started on Christmas of my junior year of college, four years ago. My grandmothers had given me carte blanc in the yarn store, and the result was me buying yarn for my first pattern where I followed the directions- almost.

From the first I knew this project was going to be big. I have a big family (two parents and four children including me) and we have an appreciation for a blanket that can span the length of the couch and cover all of our legs for movie night. It was no wonder that I wanted a big blanket, something I could imagine surrounding family in folds of love and bright colors.

However, having this big blanket did present some problems. Namely, ability to transport. I found after a certain size the blanket could no longer be comfortably carried in a craft bag, and it began being brought out less and less. Thus, it became my Christmas/Summer Blanket, because those were the times I worked on it- over Christmas when I had the leisure to sit down and watch a movie with my family while having the work cover my legs, or during the summer when, working at camp, I could pull it out during freetime and have a solid hour to work on the project.

It came with me on all the long drives with my parents to look at colleges. My father and I made the 12-hour trek down to Davidson with me merrily crocheting and chattering (when I wasn't driving). There's a series of four stripes (which I got done on the way there and back) that I associate specifically with my father and driving down to look at Davidson College. The talks about what I would encounter, planning my life, and good advice all seem to be embedded in the stitches.

So tell me... do you have a project that captures memories of when it was made, or in use? Just a reminder, commenting will enter you into my June contest for the mystery yarn!


allergicmom said...

Everything I knit has memories attached. I love my clapotis, which was done over Christmas 2006, and all the family visits and kids Christmas treats.

Kristen said...

I am a new knitter and have only made 3-4 things but I made a pair of fingerless mittens for a friend and I feel good whenever I think of them. I used the expensive yarn that I really loved and they turned out beautifully. So I feel proud of myself when I think of them.

MicheleLB said...

Hmmmm, two projects. The first was the afghan I crocheted in 1980 for my then boyfriend (husband now). I told him I was making it for my dad, and he believed me. Right up to the moment I gave it to him, and he said, "what are you going to give your dad?"

And the sweater I knit for DH when he was slated for surgery in 2006. I didn't pay attention to gauge, I was too busy being completely wigged out. The sweater was enormous! Last year I frogged the whole thing and reknit it. Perfect. And kinda like therapy.

ikkinlala said...

I've only been knitting for a couple of years, so right now I can remember pretty much everything I've made except for the dishcloths. Nothing in particular stands out, but if any of my socks last long enough they will definitely remind me of university (I knit a lot of them between classes).

Estella said...

Last year I made a log cabin blanket which I named my Baseball Blanket. I started it at my sons first game and for some reason we had a chilly season so by late May my husband was tugging at it so he could have a piece for keeping warm. I always had to make sure he had the side I wasn't knitting. Now my kids snuggle under it while watching still is called the Baseball Blanket.

KJo said...

Two years ago I knit a scarf for my dad and I remember it pretty well... His birthday is 12/10 I started about 12/3 and was knitting like mad! I was making it up as I went along and I didn't have enough yarn to finish it! So I was digging in my stash to try and find anything that would sorta match the denim color I started the scarf with, I finally found a denim color (it was considerably lighter than the first yarn, but I decided it was so subtle he'd never notice...) and started knitting again. I stayed up 'till 11:50am 12/10 to try and finish it I got it done and put it in a box with a card and put it on the table so he'd find it in the morning before going to work. He wore it to work that morning and asked later that night why I hadn't given it to him on his birthday... So I can proudly say I finished it on his birthday! I think I'll keep this memory with me for a long time to come.

I love your blanket! It reminds me of a beach.

Lisa L said...

I made a sweater for my mother-in-law several years ago. It was navy blue. I was returning to knitting after a hiatus. The sweater was worked using a chart - something I had never done before! I don't even know how many times i cast on and frogged that sweater. I was determined to get the chart right. Finally I had an epiphany! Work the chart back and forth! What a difference that made! The sweater turned out beautifully!

teabird said...

I made an afghan out of hundreds of little scraps of yarn in high school - my friends and I all made them, in fact. We crocheted from the center - I turned mine into a square, and it turned out about 4" square! I still remember the evenings when we'd gather and share yarn and crochet --

Good question!

teabird ; ravelry

CampCraft513 said...

So, when do you leave for camp? Are you already there?

A project I love/remember -- I made baby afghans for my children, my sister's children and a few of my cousins' children. I love when I go to their house and they still use them -- even though all but one child are not in their teens! :)

Your SP12 pal!

Hannahbelle said...

I have a Noro Seed Stitch hat on my blog and on Ravelry that is especially signifigant.

I learned to knit when I was seven years old in Kentucky, from a very nice woman who actually I believe is a knitwear designer (I'm not sure), named Mary Hal. She raised sheep and every day after church I would go over to her house and spend time with her.

I have such fond memories of that house! It was a renovated barn, with lots of strange nooks and crannies she'd filled with yarn storage, and almost every surface was covered with sketches, sleeping cats, or works in progress. Her yard had a tiny vineyard in it (I used to bring friends and pick the grapes, avoiding wasps all along), and she had a little stone house on the property. the way the green hills roll in Kentucky always made me think of the movie 'The Isle of Roan Innish', which is set in Ireland. My friend Colin and I used to run around pretending we were in a foreign land whenever we visited Mary.

She would often let me help with the sheep, and besides just teaching me to knit, also taught me a bit about spinning and cooking. She took me on my very first trip to a yarn store and bought me two skeins of Noro Kureyon. At the time, not only was the idea of going to a yarn store very new, but Kureyon was sort of new, too - I think she must have paid around $15 a skein, and they had a lot more in them than the Kureyon that sells today.

This last winter, I re-discovered a garter stitch bag I'd knit out of one of the skeins, and was so sad that it hadn't been used that I spent four hours detangling it, just to turn it into a hat. Even now, twelve years later, the yarn was still durable and beautiful, and I wore the hat all winter.

Turtle said...

i also believe that memories get attached to knit items. we spend so much time with them.
like the look of your bathmat you are working on.

Knitmomma said...

I haven't been knitting or crocheting all that long - about 4 years now. Most of my projects are small and portable, as I knit while I follow my kids around at events. Birthday parties, playgrounds, hikes...but no specific memory from a project I can think of.

OhAmyKP said...

So far I only have one such item... and its actually the time of year that reminds of the project and not the other way around. last year was my first year with the Knitting Xmas pressure. it was also the first time I had knitted a real person size sweater (Avast), and I was also kinda trying to finish it before my sister who was also knitting the avast. We were both knitting one for each of our 11yr & 12yr nephews.

Well the sweater was 1 month late, 4 sizes bigger than it was suppose to be and my sister of course won the non office race. then I had to shell out more money to buy my nephew a replacement gift since he was getting the sweater cause it was too big. I also suffered from mild guilt about failing my nephew on does something to an 11yr to only have 1 thing to open and you siblings have a couple more. and its not about whats in the gift but the fact that someone though about you..i guess.

So now when So this xmas I started my knitting in January instead of last years october. I'm also going for small objects... knitted Socks and Bags for everyone, Yea!

Anonymous said...

Wow, that's great!
I've not been knitting long and I've just gotten (back) into crocheting.
I have a hideous pink/orange/red/yellow variegated scarf that was my first crochet project. The first section is me blundering along. The next is where I got good, solid advice from a crocheter on campus. During that time, we basically became BFF. Of course, that section alternates her work with mine. Then I gave up because it was getting in the way of school. I'd pick it up when angry, artsy, bored, whatever. Some of it I associate sneaking in my backpack into the library to work on in my carrel. Some of it with boring Saturday nights when I had nothing to do but crochet.

I began knitting three months later. The only whole thing I've ever knit I finished during a Dance Ensemble show. As my friend Krysta was binding off the end (she was supposedly showing me), I was holding back tears because I had just found out that someone I was very interested in was not single.

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