Aah, the Evil Blanket. I started it in 2005, I think. It was right after my mom moved out of my dad’s house and into her new condo. I thought it would be nice to knit her a blanket for her brand new bed. Obviously, this plan worked out well because I’m still working on it. And she’s not getting it anymore. I don’t think I can inflict this kind of knitting pain on anyone else but myself.
It’s constructed to fit a queen-sized bed with a large border for the overhang. I really kind of hate this blanket now and I’d rip it out if it wouldn’t hurt so much. I hate the tree, I hate how it looks, I hate the enormous border I’ll have to attach in the future. The only good part is the Fall tree. It’s my favorite and it may well be the only reason I haven’t taken this baby apart yet.
I think I stopped paying attention to what the shape of the tree was because I was so focused on what the fall foliage should look like. I think the tree shape looks like a head of broccoli.
But here’s the bitch of it all: there is no pattern. It was all free-form, designed as I knit. Sure, I drew a picture of what it would look like but I never drew any kind of schematic. I used multiple pages of graph paper taped together and colored in the tree part and replaced the floor part with X’s. It’s a giant mess. I lost it for a while and started placing markers on the finished bottom of the blanket, moving them as I finished a row. Brilliant plan, I know.
Every now and then I bring out the blanket, untangle the mess and work on it a little more. I don’t want to get too far ahead because then I have to create tree branches on the Winter side. This terrifies me. Chris was nice enough to draw a tree in winter for me. This puts me at ease just a little but that man can detail like it’s his job. I see duplicate stitching in my future. Who knows? Perhaps Winter and Fall will end up being my favorite parts.
My vision only gets crazier.
I had plans to embroider flowers and maybe a butterfly or two on the Spring panel. I was also going to embroider some sort of swirl or something in the tree leaves of the Summer panel to show hot glistening movement. I still have that sparkling, glisten-y yarn and I can’t bear to trade it just in case I want to use it.
This brings me to the border. The awful, hideous border that has almost nothing to do with the blanket. See, I wanted to use some kind of color since the bulk of the blanket was going to be blue, brown and green. I thought, “You know what would be great? PURPLE!” Technically the color is called Dark Heather Rose but when I see it, I see purple.
I thought I’d build the border first on the bottom, make a separate piece and graft it to the top and then sew on the sides later. I got as far as the top and bottom before I took an epic break from my work. Then I forgot the pattern so I never made the side panels. The border was supposed to be a lace pattern when it actually looks like an eyelet. I am definitely going to rip this out and make a new one mainly because I’m more experienced in lace-making and I have a lot of written patterns I can follow.
I think I’m stuck with the purple, though, because it’s the only mass quantity color I have.
Here’s another genius part of my planning: though all the yarn is Lion Brand worsted weight, not all of it is the same type of yarn. 85% of this yarn is Lion Brand Wool-Ease which is an 80% acrylic, 20% wool blend. This makes it soft like wool but may be machine washed and dried like acrylic. Fabulous. However, the lightest green on the Spring panel is Lion Brand Lion Wool which may only be hand washed and line dried. The blue on the same panel is Pound of Love which is 100% acrylic. Because I had the BRILLIANT idea of making this the largest most difficult to clean garment EVER, it now has to be either washed on the hand wash setting of a machine washer or done old school in a bath tub with some Woolite.
This one tiny detail is also why I’m not giving it to anyone else and why I’m thinking of taking it apart. It would be rude to tell someone, “Here’s this blanket I kind of can’t stand to look at. Also, you can’t throw it in the washing machine on regular. It has to be hand washed and line dried. Good luck with that.”
Why on earth would I want to buy a few skeins of yarn that renders the whole blanket unwashable? Let me tell you. It’s very hard to think rationally when I have around 30 skeins of yarn in my arms and I have a 30-minute walk (yes, walk!) ahead of me in Boston weather. And no, it doesn’t make any difference if it were winter or summer, Boston weather is rather unbearable most of the year. I wanted to get my shopping done in one trip so I wouldn’t have to go back and hope for a new color. Internet shopping was out of the question because I had a very specific idea of what colors I wanted. I didn’t want to take a chance of there being any difference between what I saw on the computer and what would arrive in the mail. Plus, my mail carrier was a nosy bitch who spoke ill of me to the pizza guys downstairs. So, I talked myself into getting this bit of wool because “it wouldn’t be so bad.”
The Evil Blanket plagues me. It will be with me forever.