Saturday, September 19, 2015

In which an eternal project nears completion…or… I'm gonna make an afghan, "Just Because" I can.

Can you say 1950's?
 I'm obsessed with a lot of things, and vintage afghans are right  up there with jigsaw, crossword puzzles, and needlepoint. It takes a yarn goddess special personality to move up from the smaller items that might adorn oneself in the outside world to making giant pieces that take forever to complete.  A few of the afghans I've finished have the added status of mind-numbing details.  My current afghan project entails the crochet construction of one hundred-eleven small-ish diamonds,  sewn together, painstakingly, by hand (naturally).

This afghan is exciting, also, because it is one of the patterns in an old book that was part of my mom's collection, ca. 1956, called Modern and Traditional Afghans to Knit or Crochet.

Mom kept everything in mint condition.

So it's been a long time coming. In fact, I think I've blogged about this very project (in another lifetime?) at least twice.  Now that it's almost the moment of truth, I don't know if I love or hate it.  I certainly love the inspiration from which I embarked on the project.  Nothing like planning and purchasing and starting out on an endeavor, with nothing but possibility ahead, and about twelve skeins of wool washable yarn.

Early days, meticulous blocking.

An old blog post,  Spring 2103
Unfortunately, somewhere along the way I came to believe that I didn't have that *special stuff* required of the fifties housewife or whomever was expected to make these monster blankets. Much to my disgust, I realized that many of my diamonds were inconsistent in shape and size. 
early assemblage and blog-bliss
 Blocking (deep steam pressing) takes care of this problem to a certain extent, but, truth be told,  I can be a little devil-may-care in my approach to projects, so…Not. Perfect.….Which means, not a terrible thing in many projects (pie, for example) but for a piece that requires over a hundred perfectly symmetrical parallelograms sewn together with all seams equal, there erupts a problem.

But I persevere, and insist that this afghan will be worthy of the party that is our house-full-of-lap-throws.  The four of us often sit around, and whomever grabs afghan first is cozy and ready for whatever it is our family is up to (conversing, reading, drinking wine,  coffee, tea, dessert or sleep).  What I really love is having a project to work on (okay, many projects) so I'm never thinking or feeling that the things I do I do because I'm being *forced* to do them.

 Projects are so compelling to me simply because I don't really have a reason.  I just do.  There's no income, there's no *should* , there's no status.  All I have is the human desire to make something, and do something.  Call me entitled.  Sure.  But also, call myself Unencumbered.  This is the idea.  Amidst all of the shoulds, the worries, the what-ifs and the what I forgot to take care of,  insert the devil-may-care, "Just Because."  I'm gonna make an afghan, "Just Because" I can.  "Just Because I want to."  Or, finally, "Just Because I really really really wish that we all had to or wanted to make things for ourselves, because, of course, making things takes time, and this is what we've been doing since the beginning, and it's only in the very recent past that we've forgotten all this, and not needed to make things that take time for ourselves and for our survival and for our family."

No comments:

Post a Comment