Monday, December 12, 2011

Revisiting The Granny Square Blanket

   This post was originally written and posted last spring during a very chilly spell. Today I pulled this faithful blanket from the dresser drawer and placed it on the bed once more. Memories flooded my mind as my fingers brushed over the colorful squares. This caught the eye of my teens as they hurried past my room..once again we recalled the story of the granny square blanket

Re-posted from February 2011

   When the temperatures dip low around the little home farm, extra quilts and blankets are pulled from the old cedar chest. This week's Arctic chill drove us to the quilt closet for extra warmth to snuggle beneath. There in the chest, beneath the other quilts and covers I rediscovered the old granny square blanket. Instantly my mind wandered through paths of the past; stirred with remembrance by the sight of this colorful and unusual hand made blanket.

   My mother spent many stays in hospitals during my growing up years. To pass the time in bed, my father and I would send her whatever remnants of yarn we could find. The granny square pattern, being simple and repetitive, yielded well to short bursts of pain free energy and became a running project. When her crochet bag was full of squares we would bring them home and pile them on her sewing table; there they waited, patiently.
   Over the span of several years and hospital stays the stack of squares grew; various color combinations with no particular scheme. As she began to spend more time at home recovering her hands found the way to the stack of colorful squares and her mind devised a way to use the unusual pieces. Solid black yarn was pulled from the stash to build a sashing- rows of connecting crochet seaming the squares into rows. Eventually rows became blocks; the blanket took shape and became a queen size cover.
   For years and years this unique blanket made its home on my parents own bed; a reminder of the years past and the collaborative effort to keep focus on something besides the illness. Always nearby, it stayed part of our lives..silent, yet present. My children came to know the special story of this colorful blanket and often mentioned it when we visited them.
   Our lives changed when the family business closed: my parents moved away, living in a much smaller home unable to take their things with them. Packing the left-behind belongings, we came upon the old granny square blanket sitting alone on a simple quilt frame. It had been forgotten in the hurry of things; my love for it renewed, I held it close....remembering.

   Today the unusual blanket makes its home on my king size bed; ready to warm me on this cold winter night. My heart knows, each time I pull the covers close, the link to my past is draws near- stirring me to recall those long hard days long long ago: days of uncertainty, days of creative distraction---days when my mother made the granny square blanket.

No comments: