Friday, January 24, 2014

The Imperfect Source of Perfection

I just recently decided I need to learn how to knit, recent as in about 6 months ago. I have been crocheting since I was 8 or 9, never finished anything until I was 19 though. I had tried knitting a few times but never got the hang of it.

The day before I got married was the first time I met my mother in law. (long story on why it was so fast a marriage, will tell that one later) She was going to perform the wedding. We instantly liked each other and I learned that she was an avid knitter. When my son was born she came out to see him and brought him a blanket she had made. This blanket was my inspiration to try again at knitting, but once more it did not go well. When she was diagnosed with cancer, it lit a fire under my butt to really learn. I wanted to have something to share with her, something in common with her, something of her to carry with me forever.

She bought me some yarn on my trip to Mississippi to see her. I took it home to make a blanket for my daughter who was about 7 months old. I had finally gotten to start on the last of the three colors of yarn when I learned that I had been knitting through the BACK loop, all of my stitches were twisted. I debated finishing it that way, after all, I had put WEEKS of work into this thing as a new knitter working slowly. In the end, I decided that if I was going to learn, I was going to learn RIGHT. So I took the whole thing apart and wound it into a giant ball and started over. I knit the whole thing in  stockinette. This stitch curls, more than Shirley Temple's pigtails, it curls. I was aghast when my simple little border I crocheted onto the blanket did nothing to help this. I stared at my curling blanket and frowned. Should I take it apart again? I spent a day reading online what I had done wrong and how all stockinette stitches would curl due to tension in the yarn. I needed to make a border as part of the blanket that would ease that tension at the ends and stop the curling somewhat. Or I could block it, but as it got used and worn the curls would come back until I blocked it again. I looked at my three shades of pink with their dark purple border and decided to leave it as it was. I would leave it as a reminder to me to always do my research before jumping into a project so that I would be sure to do it right.


My daughter snuggles this blankie and snoozes with it, she drapes it over her head and walks around the living room laughing. She drags it across the floor, the curling edges mean nothing to her, they are just part of the blankie.

Somewhere in this blanket, and all of my worry and struggles with it, I found a lesson about how our children do not see our faults like we do. How they love us with all of our imperfections. They see warmth and comfort, not curling edges and the flaws of a first time project. In a way, our children are a first time project, even our second or third or fourth children, simply because no two children are the same. We make mistakes, we scold at the wrong time, and turn our backs for that second that they end up falling off the chair, we promise ice cream but don't deliver. We are not perfect, we are dragged across the floor and loved, our flaws mean little to them in the end. All they see is love.

The pattern for my Imperfect Love Blankie

Cast on as many stitches as you feel would make a good size blanket in whatever yarn makes you happy with whatever needles feel good in your hand that day.

Knit one row, purl one row. Repeat those rows until the yarn is gone.

Look up a crochet border that you like, Google it if you don't have one memorized, use another yarn that makes you happy to make the border and laugh when you find edge stitches that are too lose or too tight. Enjoy the freedom of accepted imperfection. Rejoice in the curling edges. Learn from it. Love your blankie. Love yourself unconditionally.

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