Wednesday, September 19, 2012
My Stash Blanket
I first started my stash blanket on August 1, 2008. I had just graduated from high school and I was waiting to hear back from colleges. None of the schools had gotten back to me, but I was forever hopeful that I would hear from them any day. I just found the Mason-Dixon Knitting book and fell in love with the log cabin blanket. I decided to start knitting it so I would have a new blanket to use in college. A few weeks later, I got an acceptance letter from Sweet Briar College. My parents were proud even though they didn't like the idea of me going to an out-of-state school. I packed up everything I thought I needed and some extra yarn to put in my blanket.
I just finished the big brown strip when my dad pulled into the college campus. I knit on the purple stripe during the orientation week. During my first semester of college, I knit on the blanket almost exclusively. I made a few friends and went on a shopping trip with a girl named Jessica when I ran out of the pastel yarn. She wanted to learn how to knit and I needed some more yarn. She loved my blanket and I taught her how to make one of her own. Her roommate Alison thought the blanket was neat and told us about how her grandmother had taught her to knit. To this day, she knits back backwards when she is knitting flat. I never figured out how to do that. I expanded our little social group to Laura and she told me that she didn't knit, but she crocheted. She loved watching me knit so much and missed it so much that I gave her the rest of my purple ball of yarn and she crocheted one long chain out of it.
It was during my second semester of college when Jessica had to say goodbye to her life at Sweet Briar. Alison became my roommate because the roommate I was assigned never showed up and I wanted somebody else in my room. I had just got done knitting on the second pink and purple variegated section and I had my needles and blanket on my bed. Laura sat down and accidentally broke one of my needles. I had to wait to start knitting it again.
The blanket was stashed away in the corner after I wove in all the ends I could and I forgot about it until my second year of school. My boyfriend bought me a new pair of needles for Christmas and reminded me about my blanket. It was during the spring semester of my second year that the blanket got too big for me to carry around. I had gotten used to putting it in my large pink tote bag and taking it to my work study in the Academic Technology Department. As long as the student workers dropped everything we were doing to help a patron, our boss didn't care if we did homework, read, or distracted ourselves with other things. I got known for knitting.
My blanket grew into my Junior year and I was beginning to wonder if I would ever get it done. I went through a period of time where I was too busy to knit because I was reading so much for my classes. Halfway through the fall semester, I taught myself to read and knit at the same time. My rows were getting too long and it was taking me a half an hour to finish one garter ridge. So instead of dividing my time between homework and knitting, I could do it at the same time. Then my cable broke and I didn't have a spare. Alison broke her leg when she fell off of a horse. She eventually had to say goodbye to her Sweet Briar life and I suddenly found myself alone in my room once again. I threw myself into my schoolwork and other knitting projects.
I replaced my cables before I went back for my senior year. I was taking less classes and the classes I was taking felt easier. I felt like I was slacking off when I was knitting. I was determined to finish my blanket before graduating, but instead of knitting on my blanket (and using my new Kindle to read my books on-which made knitting and reading easier) I was knitting on a scarf for my boyfriend and I was knitting on socks. I also moved into a room with Laura, and a girl named Schwee. We ended up having movie nights with another girl named Emily who lived down the hall. That was when I really brought out my blanket again and started knitting on it.
During my final semester, it felt like all the seniors were swamped. Because of my Academic Technology job, I got to help Schwee set up all of her equipment for her senior project presentation and I got to support her. Emily and I discovered a common interest in gaming and our tastes in manga. Laura and I had fights every so often, but we always overcame them and grew even closer together. My boyfriend even proposed and let the engagement stay secret from everyone at my school so I could play the ring game. And I successfully crafted my senior portfolio for my English degree. Through all of this, I managed to get to the last two stripes before graduation.
I finished my blanket on August 28, 2012. A little more than four years after I started it. I finished it while watching Star Trek: the Next Generation in the afternoons after spending my days job searching. Whenever I look at it, I think of all the good times I had at school and I feel grateful that I have memories knitted into that blanket of my time there. I also love cuddling up with my blanket and I even take it over to my fiance's house when I spend the night because it is warmer than his blankets and it can cover both of us.
The only trouble is that I started this blanket to use up most of the yarn in my stash and I have more yarn that what I started with. That just means that I have to knit another blanket, right?