Inspired by the enormous blanket knitted by Tita in Like Water for Chocolate. Also inspired by the Twitter hashtag #Page2Screen for #FiOSPhilly.
Using size six needles and balls of forgotten sock yarn, this blanket will probably never get to the enormous size of Tita’s blanket!
Tita grabbed it so tightly that there was no choice but to let it drag behind the carriage like the huge train of a wedding gown that stretched for a full kilometer. Tita used any yarn she happened to have in her bedspread, no matter what the color, and it revealed a kaleidoscopic combination of colors, textures, and forms that appeared and disappeared as if by magic in the gigantic cloud of dust that rose up behind it. From Like Water for Chocolate
When I first came across Frankie Brown’s 10 Stitch Pattern on Ravelry, I thought how hard can working over ten stitches be? The description was simple enough:
An Elizabeth Zimmermann inspired blanket worked in any yarn using only 10 stitches. You start in the centre and work in a sort of square spiral, joining as you go. No sewing up needed!
Since I hadn’t done more than cast on and knit random rows during my Friday Craft and Chat sessions, I was up to the task of a small amount of stitches and easy finishing.
After 4 attempts (full admission, wine was involved in two of them) I managed to get the rhythm correct. Unlike crochet blankets, there is no turning at corners. It also helped when I read the pattern in sections and consulted with pictures of other people’s finished blankets to get a visual. I also had the most success when I counted stitches during the “foundation” square in the middle. I had the most trouble when I didn’t “read” my knitting – that is not paying attention to the angle of a stitch. Last, don’t be deceived by a ten stitch pattern. Follow the rules.
I dub this the Tita Blanket because I began to knit this project during a dark period for myself. I hadn’t thought of “Like Water for Chocolate” for years but when I cast on I kept calling this my “Grief Blanket”.
— AndStarringAsHerself (@mrsrkfj) May 30, 2016
I was fighting through a crippling depression and needed something to ground me while I battled the darkness. Like Tita, I knit when I couldn’t sleep. The quiet hum of the refrigerator and an occasional meow from one of the cats kept me company as night slipped into day. Like Tita, there’s was no rhyme or reason for the color – I grabbed the first ball of yarn handy to continue knitting.
Once my insomnia broke, it was a habit to knit quietly for each evening. Even as the temperatures cranked up to Hell, I found that no matter what the work day rendered, how loud The Mister played Call of Duty, how messy everything around me was, knitting calmed me. I could zone out and click, working my way through the next scheme, the next calamity.
I stopped calling it The Grief Blanket I found relief from sorrow, and focused on the recipient. I had knit my way through sickness and this blanket is my salve. I want the person who wraps themselves on a cold day to feel not sorrow, but joy. I don’t want my pain to be an invisible cloak that clings to the finished project. I knit with a mind of love and blessings hoping to pass THAT on to the blanket’s owner.
From experience and weather forecast, I will not be making a blanket anybody’s kilometer long. The Boy has already found a pattern for a Tardis scarf that he’s been bugging me to make (he found the yarn online and sent me a message with instructions). Instagram features beautiful handmade socks and I’ve been patient about finding the right pattern and color to whip up a pair. I also have a wish to make baby hats for newborns at the local women’s shelter.
For now I’ll take my 15 minutes, my needles and yarn, and work ten stitches of love and inner peace.
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