Show and Tell: Blanket

January 25, 2009

ER update: Angela Bassett’s character had her egg retrieval! Spoiler alert: didn’t go well. Several aspects of the depiction were nothing like I’ve ever experienced (ultrasound to count the number of follicles the day of retrieval, husband in the operating room, private room for post-op recovery) but I suppose since the doctor on the show is an OB/GYN instead of an RE, anything goes. On the upside, the extensive talk about follicles and high-grade embryos was a triumph for infertility awareness. It also served to debunk the myth that IVF is a guarantee for older women (or anyone).

And now, Show and Tell. Years ago, I wasn’t yet a potter. Instead, I was a knitter. I was a very slow knitter, but I made a few lovely pieces — mostly scarves gifted to family members. I particularly enjoyed working with complex stitch patterns. Because I was so slow, I quickly figured out that I should only use very high-quality yarn — it was impossible to rack up a high yarn bill when it took me two months to make one scarf, and it’s much more pleasant to work with cashmere, silk, and merino wool than acrylic.

The last piece that I was working on before a computer-based repetitive stress injury ended my knitting career was a baby blanket — for the baby I was expecting to have in the near future. Periwinkle, because it’s gender-neutral. Cotton, because at the time we lived in a warm climate.

I actually learned to crochet just so that I could make the border of this blanket. I was almost finished with the border when I realized that the last ball of yarn I’d used for the main body was from a different dye lot than the rest. This means that there’s a few inches at the end that are a slightly different color. The border is a different color on purpose for contrast, but the different color within the body just looks strange. A perfectionist by nature, I realized that I would need to rip out the border and then unravel the section of the blanket with the wrong yarn. Around the time of that realization, I also realized that my repetitive stress injury was being aggravated by knitting… and then I had my first miscarriage, and I didn’t have the heart to keep working on the blanket.

And so, for five years this blanket has sat in a plastic bin in the closet, with a half-finished border and a discolored strip. I’ve figured that whenever I do finally get stay pregnant, I would fix the mismatch problem once and for all. Hasn’t happened yet, but whenever it does, I’ll bring it back out of the closet and finish what I started so long ago.


What caused me to bring the blanket out of the closet after all of these years?

In a blog comment on one of Cara’s blogs, I made an offhand remark about knitting. She responded by emailing me to ask me if I still knitted, and if so, would I be willing to make a few buntings in which to bury babies. I sadly told her that I no longer knit, but I kept thinking about the tiny babies and their grieving parents, and the knitting that I used to do.

Last week I invited people to cost me some money by commenting ($1) or delurking ($2 for first-time commenters), which I would then donate to charity. My secret idea was that I could make up for my lack of knitting by subsidizing others’ knitting. For the four posts since I announced that plan, you’ve cost me $97: 26 new commenters, and 45 returning commenters.

I am donating the money to Share Southern Vermont. Some will be earmarked to cover the cost of yarn for some knitters in Cara’s area who are donating their knitting skills to make buntings, and the rest will be used for the general startup fund. If you’d like to help bring Share Southern Vermont closer to their goal, head to Building Heavenly Bridges or Share Southern Vermont to make a donation (and enter the scrapbook raffle). And if you happen to knit, I’m sure Cara would welcome a bunting. Unfortunately, the demand never stops.

Join Miss Lollipop and the rest of the class at Show and Tell.

30 Responses to “Show and Tell: Blanket”

  1. Phoebe Says:

    Beautiful blanket! I sadly did not inherit the knitting/crocheting gene that my Martha Stewart sister got. I’m very impressed by the commentothon funds you raised! Unfortunately, I missed out, and only here to harass you about delurking on my blog – thanks, BTW ;).

  2. Phoebe Says:

    Oh yeah, and I did want to mention that I got two of the things Angela Bassett did: hubby in the OR and private recovery room. I probably got the US also, but I was passed out by the time I would have noticed.

  3. Stephanie Says:

    Beautiful idea. I’ve already donated what I can for now, I hope others do the same. It’s a wonderful things Cara’s doing.

  4. What a beautiful blanket! And what a wonderful way to support Cara’s endeavours. πŸ™‚

  5. luna Says:

    this is such a lovely idea.

    I love the blanket too.

  6. Wishing4One Says:

    What an awesome idea…I hope many donate and provide tons and tons of yarn. I wish I could even sew something, not more than a button for me, sadly. Another great way to share with us how caring you are! xoxoxoxo

  7. ^WiseGuy^ Says:

    Beautiful blanket indeed….and I hope the reason to finish it arises soon.

    I can neither knit nor make pottery. 😦

  8. Bunny Says:

    what a wonderful idea!

    and hopefully you’ll have the chance to finish that blanket soon. i knit for friends’ kids just because i like shorter projects…

  9. Cara Says:

    I’m overwhelmed with emotion as I read this. Well- you all know me and it doesn’t take much. But this web of open-hearted women who take an idea, morph it, re-create it, and *poof* it’s bigger and better than we ever thought it could be…well – you inspire me.

    Thank You! Thank You! Thank You!


  10. Cara Says:

    Oh- and DOES ANYONE SCRAPBOOK???? DOES ANYONE HAVE A FRIEND, A SISTER, A MOTHER TO GIFT IT TO? (I only ask because with SIX days left in the month Kristin is the ONLY ENTRY and she stands to get over $100 dollars worth of GREAT STUFF for her entry!)

    the link is in the post above!

  11. Megan Says:

    I love the blanket.

  12. Kristin Says:

    I love the color of the blanket. And, what a wonderful gesture to help Cara with Share Southern Vermont.

  13. April Says:

    i started knitting when i was working on my phd. i learned that i would rather knit than write, so i put everything away. i still haven’t gotten it back out. i don’t even know if i would remember how to do it!!

    my RE lets the husband in the OR during the ER. so far B hasn’t come in…he has a little bit of a weak stomach, but it’s allowed πŸ™‚ i didn’t realize that was a storyline on ER.

    that’s a great blanket.

  14. bestlight Says:

    That is a gorgeous color, and you must have been one heck of a knitter in your day.

    What a great way to spend your comment money! You have such a good heart, Cassandra. I love coming here to bask in its radiance.

  15. My Reality Says:

    I hope you will soon have a need to not only finish your blanket, but to use it on a little one.

  16. Aramelle Says:

    I’ve never had the patience for knitting, and I am always awe-inspired by those who make such beautiful items with those little “sticks.” Your blanket is truly beautiful, and I hope that you will soon have need to complete it!

    The idea you’ve come up with for the charity donation is truly amazing.

    ICLW #52

  17. Gina Says:

    I completely understand not being able to finish the blanket. I began quilting a baby blanket when we decided to adopt, but the silent months of waiting to be matched make it difficult to hope. I haven’t been able to work on it for months. It’s just too hard. Thanks for sharing.

  18. Anla Says:

    Beautiful baby blanket. Cotton was an excellent choice. WHEN you have a baby cotton washed well and holds up well. I only have the one item, a sweater(picture in the archives on my blog) that I have knit and kept for a maybe baby. What a great way to contribute.

  19. Malky B. Says:

    Beautiful blanket. What a nice idea you had giving donations based on comments. Sorry I missed it too. Hope you get to use the blanket someday soon.

  20. Mel Says:

    A) it’s a gorgeous blanket even unfinished and B) that is a beautiful idea to donate the funds to Share specifically for that task.

  21. In Due Time Says:

    Awesome blanket! I would love to learn to knit. Maybe one day!

  22. Cat Says:

    What a beautiful blanket! Don’t wait until your BFP to finish it, work on it during your next cycle. I recently started knitting and started a baby blanket during my recent 2WW. I decided it would invite good luck. Kind of like those mojo socks. πŸ™‚

  23. JuliaS Says:

    Beautiful blanket and lovely color. Shame about the mismatched band – I know how that goes. One blanket I crocheted about did me in and cost me a bundle in anti-depressants to finish to “perfection”. I admire learning a new skill just for the crocheted edge – those always look so pretty.

    What a nice idea for donating.

  24. MrsJoyner Says:

    The blanket is lovely and the comments and advice you leave, lovlier still. Thank you for your support and for following along, even though Im random and sound crazy at times.

  25. Erin Says:

    I was really touched by your idea to donate to that others could have the buntings. What a great way to give. I have been trying to reteach myself to crochet this past week. It’s not going so well and my dear grandmother who taught me is no longer here to tell me that I’ll get the hang of it. I imagine her up in heaven laughing kindly at the mess of yarn I’ve made. I dream of making a blanket as pretty as yours!

  26. Shawna Says:

    What a great idea!!! I crochet but I don’t knit. If I did, I would help.

    The blanket is lovely. I really hate it when I screw up the dye lots. (you would think that I would learn already!)

  27. awakeintheworld Says:

    What a beautiful blanket and a beautiful way to give. I gave up on knitting/crocheting a while back–I’m too much of a perfectionist to make it fun. πŸ™‚

  28. Soralis Says:

    I am sorry to hear such a beautiful blanket has been in your closet for so long. Take care


  29. the misfit Says:

    What a wonderful idea. But the idea of buntings for burying little ones breaks my heart.

    And your knitting is EXQUISITE – that blanket is beautiful. I like the idea of a project you PLAN to leave unfinished until you’re going to have a child.

  30. What a lovely idea — the blanket and the cause.

    ER drives me crazy w/ that always letting people in the OR stuff, but I loved this episode. That conversation before the egg retrieval was heart-breaking, b/c I was thinking it wouldn’t work, but then I started to hope along with them.

    Going back to your column on luck, during IUI, I would never, ever actually talk about the future kids or imagine getting pregnant. It was just too upsetting when it didn’t work out.

    And before I went in to the OR for my egg retrieval, I was more like, “I hope this works.” And wouldn’t have been able to bear imagining out loud that it would work like those characters did. That would’ve been my definition of a jinx — though I like to believe that I don’t believe in luck. πŸ™‚

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