Last weekend, my BFF and her high-school-crush-turned-long-time-partner got married. Several months ago I had decided I wanted to knit them a blanket as a wedding present, and now that they have the present I can finally show it off. I'm really excited, because this is one of my favourite things that I have knit. Ever.
As soon as I saw Stephen West's Old Forge pattern, I knew I needed to knit it. Part of the reason may have been the model's "come hither"/ "I'm not wearing pants" look, but honestly it was the blanket that drew me in more than the model underneath it. I swear.
I decided to knit it with Berroco Vintage because it's a great worsted weight yarn that is soft, machine washable, reasonably sturdy, and comes in lots of great solid colours. Oh, and it's relatively cheap, which means that knitting a blanket with it is fairly affordable. Once I browsed the colours available at my LYS I quickly decided on grey and yellow (grellow) because I really like them together and I knew my friend would like them too.
I started knitting it at the end of January, and it grew very quickly because I just couldn't put it down. The "just one more stripe" pull was very strong.
Before long it came to resemble a giant jellyfish.
Partway into the solid grey section of the blanket, I realized that my colour choice reminded me of the sun breaking through the clouds on a grey day. It was at that point that I began to get the song "You Are My Sunshine" in my head nearly every time that I worked on it.
You are my sunshine,
my only sunshine.
You make me happy
when skies are grey.
You'll never know, dear,
how much I love you.
Please don't take my sunshine away.
Even when the blanket threatened to become a slog (the chevron ring just before the border edge has 600 stitches in every row… and the knitted on garter stitch edging has 12,000 stitches alone), I would sing this song to myself and smile. I would be reminded of the good things in my life and how much my friendships and relationships mean to me, and the feeling of drudgery would dissipate.
I finally finished the blanket in early April, and blocked it a few weeks later.
I think the blanket was either almost finished or already done when I was spending the evening with my friend and she mentioned that they were thinking of having the song "You Are My Sunshine" as part of the wedding ceremony. I could barely keep a straight face as I thought of this blanket, and I knew for sure then that I had made the right choice.
The ceremony was lovely, and when all of the friends and family that had gathered together spontaneously started singing along to the familiar song, there were more than a few eyes that were less dry than they had been before.
If it had been intended for almost anyone else, I might have been tempted to keep this blanket for myself because I love it so much, but since it was for my friend and her new hubby it was a joy to finally give it to them.
I suppose I'll have to make another one for myself. But first, I need a nest chair, because it would be the perfect blanket for a nest chair. And I'll also need a bigger house that can fit a nest chair. With the costs of the chair and the house it will become the most expensive blanket ever… Totally worth it.