Friday, April 5, 2013

The Get Well Soon blanket - Why?

Last summer, I took a car trip with my family to Duluth, MN. I knew we were going to be listening to a John Grisham book-on-CD the entire way there. (I knew this because that was something we'd always done on driving trips when I was a kid, and because I was the one charged with actually checking the audiobook out from the library so I had the ultimate veto power!) I wanted to do something to keep my hands busy during the drive. I had bought a large quantity of a really pretty, brown homespun yarn a long time before. So, in the weeks leading up to our trip, all I had to do was figure out a pattern to make a blanket. You saw that pattern yesterday!

 I didn't spend much time on the trip knitting, and when I got home, I put the knitting aside in favor of lots of other projects. My "blanket" was about the size of a bandana -- folded in half!

I spent most of my time this fall focused on other things. In addition to the usual distractions, I was facing one big one: surgery. As I began making plans for what my life would be like after surgery, I knew I was going to be spending several weeks recovering at my parents' house. As sort of an afterthought, I tossed the bag containing this project into my duffel bag. Surgery was a huge success and within a week, I was resting in my old bedroom.

I spent a lot of time watching Hulu and Netflix in bed on the laptop. At first, that was all I had the energy to do. As you know if you've been around here for even a short time, I LOVE to read. But, it took me weeks after surgery before I had the energy to want to read. After doing nothing but watching TV for a few days, I was starting to get restless, even though doing more was impractical. Out came the blanket project! I started knitting. It felt so nice to have the yarn in my hands! They had been so swollen, they were useless the entire time I was in the hospital. Touching something soft, while also accomplishing something, was pretty much the best thing you could imagine! And I had to use my brain a little to make sure that I followed the pattern  and didn't drop any stitches. This project was also perfect because, when those inevitable waves of fatigue would strike, I could easily set it down and rest. Which I did. A lot.
When I was well enough to return to my apartment, I still needed to take it easy. My mind wanted to run out and do tons of Christmas shopping and host parties and make all different kinds of crafts to give to everyone. But, my body couldn't handle all of that. And, my incision was healing up and starting to itch. I knew it was going to be bad news if I started scratching it, but it would have been easy while just hanging out on the couch. I had to keep my hands busy as well as my mind! So, as I chilled out at home and tried to keep from going crazy, I again picked up this blanket and kept right on knitting.

One of the first big social events that I went to as I was recovering was the wedding of my friend Bee. I've known Bee for a long time and wanted to give her and her new husband a special gift when I attended their wedding in January. Over the summer, I was invited to join a group of ladies who were going to learn how to crochet a blanket. I chose colors I thought Bee would like and decided to make the blanket and give it to her as a wedding present. Unfortunately, the night of the first crochet class was the night I first wound up in the emergency room. I ended up having to give up on that blanket. So, once this knitted blanket was actually starting to look like something, I decided to finish it and give it to Bee and Mr. Bee. It seemed like an especially good idea since Bee loves Duluth, having spent summers there with her family as a child, and that's where the Bees got engaged. I decided that it was a good omen that Duluth was the destination I had in mind as I prepared this pattern.

I knitted along like a crazy lady, trying to get it done in time for their wedding back in January. No dice. I kept on going and going and going until finally, one day in March, it was done.
Here I am, checking out the blanket to make sure it's warm and cozy. Sure is! 

Last week, I packed up the blanket and mailed it off to Bee and Mr. Bee. They're back from their honeymoon and another scheduled trip and have probably already opened up all of their other wedding gifts. Hopefully this one was a nice little surprise for them. I made it with a little extra love since I was so happy to be getting better. And, it made me better each time I worked on it. I sent it to them with the wish that they'll have a long and happy life together!

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