Friday, March 30, 2012

Afghans and Other Sources of Warmth

I am a knitter.  Those of you who knit, or have some corollary obsession, might relate to what I’m about to write.

I have a friend.  A good friend.  He lived here for quite a while.  While he was here, we spent a lot of time together.  We went jogging (with him egging me on, because I am more of a “whiney limper” than a “runner”).  He made my kids potato tacos and apple salad and some amazing concoction of mango, chiles, and lime juice.  (And he gave one of them the aforementioned Piscivorous Turtle of Longevity).  He was a core part of my salsa-dancing group, shielding me from dancing with whatever random lecherous guy might have taken a shine to me and valiantly, if ultimately unsuccessfully, trying to teach me to cumbia.  He explained to me--with that perspective that only comes from having lived one's whole life somewhere much, much, less pleasant than the U.S.--why southern California traffic is simply not worth stressing out.  Or using bad language.  He was, in short, an integral part of the fabric of my day-to-day life.

And then, rather abruptly, he was not.

When it became apparent to me that I quite literally might not ever see him again, I did the only thing I could think to do:  I knit.

I had an idea for a blanket.  A blanket that would keep him warm, a blanket he could snuggle up in with his son, a blanket I could fill with warmth and color and good wishes.

I made it out of leaves, long chains of leaves, in every color a leaf might be, from “nature’s first green is gold” to “boughs which shake against the cold.”  I arranged the chains so they pointed in both directions—coming and going, beginning and ending and beginning anew.

I knit as meditation.  I knit as prayer.  Each stitch, a memory, a wish, a thanksgiving.

Eventually, I finished it:

Technical knitting specs, for those of you so inclined:
Needles: US 10
Yarn: Traveller, DK-weight 100% superwash wool.  280 yards/4 oz.  Available from Cephalopod Yarns, Verdant Gryphon, and Dragonfly Fibers.  17 skeins, yarn held double. Cascade 220 would be a fine replacement. 
Gauge: One leaf, blocked: 8” long x 4” average width

The pattern is available for sale through Ravelry—you do not have to be a member of Ravelry to purchase it.  Through the month of April, I will be donating $1 from every sale to Cruz Roja Mexicana, the Mexican chapter of the Red Cross.

1 comment:

  1. So lovely, and I do hope you are able to keep in touch with your friend. <3