I’ve been knitting on and off since I was a child, but it really took root when we moved into our house almost ten years ago. I make all kinds of things, but with my young son marking his territory with an array of toys that are painful to step on and stealing all my stuff I turn my back on for a nanosecond, knitting is impractical. I think I foresaw this issue while pregnant because while my son was brewing, I checked learning to crochet from my bucket list.
For my son I crocheted a couple of toys and knitted an assortment of regular and full leg socks. It took months to decide on a project I could manage for my daughter, but a crocheted blanket became the default choice. My husband has been hounding me for years to get rid of the bin of random yarn in an upstairs closet, so it’s really a win-win.
The blanket is full-size. I’m not really into expending effort for something that she will outgrow before she stops pooping that horrible tar stuff that refuses to yield to any of the thirty wipes used. I have to say that it’s fairly long at this point, and quite attractive. I work on it during nap times and when my son and I visit the play palace extravaganza, which is mostly two to three hours of my son actually leaving me alone for large chunks of time. The same, however, cannot be said for the random children who feel a gravitational pull toward my project.
Sure, there are the gawkers who I invite to touch it, and the others who ask questions about haphazard specifics. That’s expected; it’s a substantial collection of multicolored yarn at this point and these interactions are akin to adult commentary I receive.
Last week I thought was an anomaly. Mr. Man was off braving the smaller slide when a little boy around his age, but likely younger crawls onto my lap and begins snuggling into the blanket by the fistfuls. Burrowing his head like a nesting cat, he kept at it for a couple of minutes before his small Russian bubbe hurries over and apologizes profusely. I’m pretty sure they were apologetic statements, but seeing as she was speaking in Russian she may have been telling me about her bunions without making eye contact. That night I laughed and relayed the story to my husband, filing the story in the back of my mind under random and bizarre occurrences.
Yesterday, a boy likely a few months over a year old, but walking well, shuffled over to me until he was standing just against my left knee. He grabs a handful of my daughter’s blanket and rests his head on my lap. After a moment he looks up to me with wide eyes and begins a rather robust exchange of peek-a-boo, using the blanket as the lead prop of the game. It carried on so long that I needed to abruptly look away to ensure my son hadn’t killed himself. Satisfied after spotting him attempting to engage with a peer without incident, I look down and this wee little one is looking at me expectantly, waiting for me to resume the game. Eventually, his mother walked over.
For months Little Man consistently approaches the foot of the shelf where I house his sister’s blanket, determined pointer insisting I pull it down for a few minutes of diligent work. My son seems to understand it isn’t for him, but enjoys spending a few minutes on the sofa with me curled in the assorted stitched yarn and pulling at the loose ends that will vanish upon the blanket’s completion. I always assumed the love of this blanket was exclusive to him. But, taking my work with me while he plays makes me wonder if there isn’t a bit of a magical quality to this specific project. I couldn’t tell you what that means exactly, but I hope to have years seeing its quality unfold.