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The Blanket: An Essay

April 3, 2013

Nightfall. It slips into my world with a wordless hush. The rushing events of the day fade into distant memories as our evening winds down. I have been working a lace project that requires too much concentration for the hour. Instead I pick up the blanket, always good to have multiple projects I think. Loop, swoop, pull through. The soft wool dances through my fingers. A small tug sends the ball flying, over the side of the bed where it bounces twice and lands just out of reach. As I sit there, under the covers and debate my next move, the soft snores from my husband and our cats washes over me. The night is quiet. It is in this time I can think. As I rise from the bed, and rescue the runaway I glance outside. There is a street lamp illuminating the parking lot and just the edge of the grass. A soft breeze shuffles the leaves that waited too long to fall. The cat shifts, his little snore growing louder as I crawl back under the covers.

I retrieve my needles and begin again. Loop, swoop, pull through. Loop, swoop, pull through. My index finger tensions the yarn, a faint groove forms where countless yards have passed through on their way, loop, swoop, pull through. My eyes are not heavy enough, sleep only just beginning to tug at the edges of my mind. Loop, swoop, pull through.

The row is finished. I readjust slightly, seeking comfort while trying to avoid waking my partner. Loop, swoop, pull through. I can see a glint as my needles catch the small lamp that occupies the space near my bed. Loop, swoop, pull through. Simple movements, repeated over countless stitches. I debate whether I can finish in time. Three months and a few days, that’s it. I question whether they will even like it. Loop, swoop, pull through. The knitting creates a gentle cadence for my thoughts. As my mind jumps to the days events, the worries over not finding work. Loop, swoop, pull through, The fear of finishing my book. Loop, swoop, pull through. The sadness of leaving school. Loop, swoop, pull through.

The row is finished and I feel the bed move, my husband rolls over, shielding his sleeping form from the soft glow of my lamp. I glance towards the clock, it’s late. I consider stopping the knitting and attempting sleep again. My thoughts leap to upcoming events. Loop, swoop, pull through. I begin again as I consider my to do list. An ongoing mental list of things that need tending to, the things that I haven’t finished. I tug at the ball of yarn again, this time it stays put. I retension my fingers, the wool wrapped around my pinky, slips through the remaining fingers and passes over before adding another stitch to the ever-growing project. Loop, swoop, pull through.

The blanket has grown in size these past few months. It’s a large-scale project, almost six months will be put into this piece. I frown, I should be further along. I take a few days off in between the sections, the miles of garter stitch seems to wear on me. Loop, swoop, pull through. One of the cats leaves the bed, off to play in the dark stillness of the home. Loop, swoop, pull through.

I tug again, the ball yields a few more inches. I pause, stretching my hands for a moment, and spread the blanket out. Admiring my work, it is one of my best. I think of it being displayed proudly. I dream for a moment of its life with the family. The tumbles and adventures it will be along for. I hope for the healing it might bring to a sick kid, home from school. I smile at the warmth it will give on a snowy evening, wrapped tight around someone. I consider this as each stitch makes it grow. Loop, swoop, pull through.

The sound of the wool passing from ball, to finger, over the needle and resting as the next loop is enough to distract me. I find myself holding my breath as I listen to it. My mind is quieter. I can feel the warmth of the wool as it rests on my legs. I hope they like it. I think of where I was when I started this gift. How different my life is almost four months later. Loop, swoop, pull through. My eyes are growing heavier.

The blanket is more than a gift. It is my wishes and hopes for my brother, for his family. It is a desire for them to know peace and safety. It is an expression of my love and a piece of myself. Loop, swoop, pull through. My life is wrapped up in the stitches. Each stitch a moment in time. Each row a testament to my journey. Hours, days, weeks, and months. The changing of the seasons are marked in its progress. It grows and grows, stitch by stitch, row by row. Loop, swoop, pull through.

From → Knitting, Musings

  1. That was just a pleasure to read.

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