I’ve been secretly working on a blanket for my daughter since March. When I say ‘secretly’, I’ve actually been working on it right next to her on the couch each evening but because I’m her mother, she hasn’t shown any interest whatsoever in what I’m doing.
Having dedicated three-quarters of my life to the creation (and ongoing maintenance) of the queen-sized Forever Blanket, I thought a single blanket would be easy-peasy, something I could knock together in a couple of afternoons.
I thought wrong.
After five months, I’m only halfway through the blanket with seven weeks remaining until my daughter’s thirteenth birthday. I’ve decided that only possible way to finish it in time is by giving up work and sleep. Also showering, as it’s surprisingly difficult to crochet whilst under running water.
But listen, the looming deadline is not the biggest problem here. The biggest problem is that the girl I started making the blanket for last March, the girl I chose the colours and pattern for, is now a different girl altogether. Now, she’s a girl with a boyfriend and an attitude, a girl who would rather write in her journal in her room than sit next to me on the couch. A girl who is becoming a woman. This new girl is more likely to cloak herself in mystery and clothing from Dangerfield than a blue and yellow afghan flower blanket made by her mother.
Of course, I love this new girl. I love her sass and her strength and her fierce independence. I even love her Instagram stories, even though I can’t pretend I understand them.
But seriously, could she stop growing up until I’ve finished this goddam blanket?
Remember how I got excited because my novel got commended for the VPUMA‘s last year? Well, it turns out that thing wasn’t a novel at all, it was only the first draft of a novel. A mere shadow of the vague thought of a novel, if you will.
However, you may be interested to know that a few months – and drafts – later, I was selected for the Hachette/Queensland Writers Centre Manuscript Development Program and now, in May 2106, I’m now looking down the barrel of Draft Seven and might just be ready to call it an Actual Novel.
In the meantime, I have made this:
I have also embarked on the first draft of a mere shadow of a vague thought of another novel. Now, before anyone suggests that this means I should embark on another Forever Blanket as well, I’m going to fix you all with a steely gaze that unequivocally says “Back off, motherfuckers. This girl’s gotta write.”
Bonus points for anyone who picked up the Bowie reference in this post’s title. For the record, his passing still hurts.
Who doesn’t love a wonky pram blanket?
I mean, who could possibly sneer at something obviously so lovingly crocheted for such a noble purpose as keeping small people snug in their prams as they venture out into a bigger, wider world?
(Seriously, please tell me who as I would like to meet this person and tell them that I secretly agree with them. Wonky pram blankets suck.)
So I haven’t posted on this blog for over a month. Nor have I crocheted a single granny square for over a month. There’s a reason for this.
You see, about a month ago I found myself collecting the little scraps of wool I had snipped off from the granny squares I was making for my Forever Blanket – you know, those multi-coloured mouse tails that litter most wool-based crafters’ homes? Those little fuckers. Anyways, it turns out that I was collecting these with the vague notion that I might make my own felt. Yes, my own felt.
WHAT THE FUCK.
It was this little wake up call that made me realise I needed to step away from the Forever Blanket (and its accompanying spreadsheet) for a little while and get some damn perspective. And it was then that I really started to write.
But rest assured, I haven’t put down my crochet
needle hook all together. Since I can’t write in front of the television, I still made the following gifts:
More god-damned coasters
And admittedly, even though I haven’t crocheted any squares, I have had a first stab at joining some of the existing squares together for the Forever Blanket.
3 rows done. 13 more to go. Pass the gin, please.
So that’s what I’ve done in the past month. What have you done? (And anyone who says they’ve written a whole novel or completed a 256-square blanket gets a chinese burn. Just saying.)
What’s that, dear reader? You’re asking me to tell you how my Forever Blanket and/or my novel are going?
I’ll do more than tell you, I’ll *show* you…
Yep, I crocheted a pot plant cosy. Need I say more?
One of the key reasons why my Forever Blanket is taking fucking forever is that I keep crocheting gifts for people. Yes, I have become That Person who shows my love for people by crocheting things for them.
However, more often than not, before I’ve even finished crocheting the gift, I’ve decided it’s beyond hideous and that the best way to show my love for people is by NOT sending them the things that I crochet for them.
For example, I recently crocheted this lovely set of crocheted coasters for a very lovely friend in Ireland who has just turned 40.
Somewhere around the fourth coaster, I became almost paralysed by wool-based doubt: Would she actually use the coasters? Would she feel obliged to use them because I made them for her and would she grow to resent me over time? What kind of person uses crocheted coasters, anyway?? Moreover, what kind of person crochets crocheted coasters?? Would giving them to her send her a message that I think she’s the kind of person that uses crocheted coasters and reveal that actually, I’m the kind of person who crochets them and would this be the end of our friendship once and for all???
In the end, I concluded that my friend would most likely prefer me to post her a set of my turds than to receive a set of crocheted coasters. To date, neither coasters nor turds have been posted. Just so you know.