Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Blankets and Blankets

Here is my latest Operation Cover Up Blanket. Well, half of it at any rate. I had it out to check the pattern was working correctly and check how many squares I have left to knit. And a good thing it was too, as I have discovered I only need another 4 squares to be finished! YAY!!!! As an average blanket takes me about a year to complete, you can imagine the relief and excitement when I get to this stage!!

Half a blanket - I only managed to get 4 colours in enough quantity so this is the pattern I came up with using 4 colours!

Operation Cover Up is a ministry of Mission Without Borders here in New Zealand. They send hand-knitted blankets and clothing each year to orphanages and families in Europe. These children live in countries like Romania and Moldovia. There is often little internal heating during their cold, harsh, snowy winters so woolen blankets are a god-send. I first started doing Cover Up knitting around 5 years ago. I was sick with undiagnosed chronic fatigue, so had very little energy for anything. My mother-in-law was doing these peggy squares for blankets, so I thought it might be something I would enjoy doing - easy to pick up and put down, to do on the couch between naps, and feel like I was contributing to something bigger than myself without exhausting myself further. So she set me up with the basic instructions, showed me how to cast on and off (I first learned to knit when I was little by my Granny died when I was 12 and I hadn't knitted since), and away I went. To start with, I would just do a square, and give it to her whenever we met. Then I started keeping them...here is my first ever blanket. It was HUGE. I accidentally used 4.25mm needles instead of 4mm so whoever got this blanket got a really good deal. Grin.

Blanket #1 = easily covered a double bed!
Well, by the time I had finished this first blanket, I was totally hooked on peggy squares! I've been knitting Cover Up blankets ever since. Here is my 4th completed blanket.

This one was so much fun to knit - the 'squares' are actually knitted in rows, half the normal size of a square then the rows crocheted together as I went.

And another one...this one I did not complete myself. It contains many of my squares though. When we moved back to New Zealand in May last year, I started knitting squares and sending them to my mother-in-law's knitting group, thinking that I would probably only have a little free time before starting full time work. Well, the work plans did not eventuate, so I ended up knitting 56 squares between May and the end of the year...most of them before I started study in mid July. 56 squares is actually the exact amount needed for a blanket, so I could have kept them all after all! Never mind, this finished blanket looks gorgeous!

I love how the lady who crocheted this together changed the direction of the squares - doesn't it look gorgeous!?!

So now you know. I am addicted to knitting. But not just any knitting. While I can knit hats and have recently extended my repertoire to include booties, knitting squares is my first love. I knit during the ad breaks on tv (so much nicer than having to listen to all the sell-sell-sell rubbish!). I knit if I have a few minutes spare before leaving the house for work or whatever. I knit whenever I visit my mother-in-law. Sometimes I knit before bed, sometimes I knit when I get up. Some months I hardly knit at all (like the past few!), but eventually I get this feeling that something is missing from my life, and I pick up my knitting needles again. I sit there, knitting row after row of uniform stitches, and sigh a deep sigh of contentment. Ah, this is where it is at. It genuinely feels like I have come home. Knitting for me is a dual activity. It gives me a sense of satisfaction, seeing every row take shape, every square finished, each blanket sent off to someone in need. But that's not all. Knitting provides me with some space. It is my 'me' time. A lot of 'contemplation of the world at large and me in particular' takes place during my knitting times. Because it is so repetitive and squares are so easy to knit, there's plenty of space for me to think about the things that are going on in my life, what I am learning about God and this world, how I am feeling, and what I'd like to be doing. Knitting is just me! I think Granny would be proud. She was an incredible knitter. Most of my childhood memories of Granny include a set of knitting needles. She used to knit teeny tiny baby patterns and gift them to Wellington Women's premmie ward. She'd knit every single baby born into our church a pair of booties, complete with fluffy sheepskin soles. I'd love to be able to knit like that, but I think for me, I have found my niche.

Who knows how long it might be before this current blanket gets crocheted together. For now, I am just happy that it is almost finished.
I hope you've enjoyed the colour and pattern of all my blankets. Do you knit? What is it that appeals to you about knitting?
Have you ever thought about knitting a square or two for a good cause? It's satisfying, believe me...whether 56 or 1!


1 comment:

MaxineD said...

I really don't need to comment on this post, do I :-)

Bless you