The Times They Are A-Changin’

To circumcrochet, or not to circumcrochet: That is the question, even if it is not the word.

I could go around again, extending this baby blanket by the width of a pencil lead on every circuit until I have an ample edging, or I could call it done.

Baby blanket and yarn, showing size of each strand.
Look at that ample edging . . .

It is, after all, as functional as it’s going to get—which isn’t saying much—and perhaps as attractive, as well.  As I consider my options, I wonder what my grandmother would advise.  

My mother’s mother taught me all the needle arts I know: not much, but enough to make layettes and blankets for my own children, to churn out crocheted angels for church craft fairs, and to knit shapeless shawls for old ladies and teenaged nieces as well as singularly ill-advised hats for understandably ungrateful, yea, puzzled, recipients.

Years ago, I even bought a stock of fine baby yarn when I heard that the manufacturer was discontinuing it.  Not just discontinuing one unpopular colour, you understand, but the whole line.  Something about people no longer wanting to spend hours and hours and hours to make impractical baby paraphernalia.  I, however, was sure that I wanted to have enough yarn to make all the old-fashioned baby blankets I imagined I’d want to.

Translucent tub of ~75 skeins of baby yarn
A lifetime supply. And then some.

That was then.

Now, I find that it’s been a while since I’ve wanted to spend 100-ish hours making a blanket that isn’t soft (so Baby isn’t crazy about it) and that requires special washing care (so Parents aren’t either).  Imagine that.

In any event, I’m late to need, no matter how I look at it.  The intended recipient is one month old today, and the baby I started it for enrolled in Grade 1 six weeks ago.

I think we’re done here.  I’m pretty sure Gram would understand.  I’m positive that Dylan would.

 

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14 Comments

  1. Kate

    You made a beautiful yellow baby blanket for Aidan, that the kids still use today. The one you’re making now looks great. I think you can call it done, and well so. That’s a huge amount of time to put into a gift – very sweet of you. I hope it’s fun to make. I chuckled at your lifetime supply of baby yarn – that’s a lot of blankies!

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Kate – Well, I’m glad to know it has had a life after all. As for the lifetime supply of yarn, I suspect this might be a treasure for the next generation . . . 🙂

  2. I appreciate, admire, and treasure the creations of your devoted, disciplined craft. The few simple items I have made along those lines and a couple of colossal knitting failures deepened my multifaceted respect for people, like you and my grandmother and mother and their friends, who made gifts of such treasures and used them with quiet pride in their homes. The sector of the world I inhabit has little time to make and enjoy such beautiful, useful things, but I see the impulse lives in an expecting mother’s less skilled efforts to create cozy, beautiful bedding and clothing for a new baby. Then, the blanket may become a favourite of the child, who learns the meaning of devotion and skill along with the comfort the blanket brings. At least one of our children was inseparable from her grandmother’s “blankum” and may still have it tucked away. I am sure your labours of love have not been wasted.

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Laurna – In this day of cheap manufactured goods, there’s something to be said for handmade items as a testament to delayed gratification, that’s for sure. Some virtue in valuing quality over quantity, care over speed.

  3. Jim Taylor

    My wife Joan knits prayer shawls. That is, they’re given to people who need a warm hug, even when there’s no one there to offer the hug, or touch. She uses very good wool, so they’re nice and soft. But before they’re given away, they’re seen out in the congregation so that the whole community can also lay hands on them, and hopefully the wool (being just as organic as we are) retains some of that loving touch, and communicates it to the person who wraps that shawl around her/his shoulders. Despite my occasional skepticism about such things, I have to admit that a shawl, or a blanket, or whatever, that has been created with love and passed on with love feels better than a machine-made anything.
    Jim T

    1. Isabel Gibson

      Jim T – An interesting observation. And a lovely practice. Who wouldn’t appreciate a visible expression of caring concern from a whole community?

  4. Tom Watson

    Isabel
    When I was young, my grandmother taught me how to both knit and crochet. I never did very much with it, and stopped so long ago that I have long since forgotten. I have, however, for the past couple of years, been making small dolls on a 12 peg loom. I give them away to children.

    A multitasker by nature, I can work away at one while watching a Blue Jays game. There’s something satisfying about making things with one’s hands and giving them away. Benefit for both the recipient and the giver.

    Recently I wanted to give away a perfectly good…used maybe a dozen times…high chair. Not easy to give them away as nobody wants to take a chance. Then I found a place called “Better Beginnings Better Futures.” The manager there said, “Oh wow! Terrific! We have a place for it immediately. An 18 year old unwed mother just had a baby.” So I asked if they were interested in receiving dolls. She said, “Yes, but I’ll make you a better offer. Come and teach children how to make them. It would be good for the children to have a positive male role model.” I’ll see whether or not I’ll do that. A new career for an octogenarian?

    Tom

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