Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Gray Matter--A Ta-Dah Post

When I first got home from the hospital a couple months ago, there was a lot of naps and a ton of questionable TV show viewing. It wasn't pretty. Reading was uncomfortable, and I couldn't fathom picking up my sweater and continuing with the colorwork. My mom said "Is there something small you could work on? Just so you don't go crazy?" And then I remembered the drawer full of leftover Stylecraft DK from this blanket. You can't get much smaller than a granny square, and you can't get much simpler than a single-color granny square.

The first dozen or so felt like a triumph, and I was quite proud of myself. I don't know if it was psychosomatic, but it felt difficult, like I was just learning. But my hands quickly remembered what they were supposed to be doing, and I had 130 squares in not much time.

From the outset, I knew I wanted to break up the squares with a grayish-brownish-somewhere-in-betweenish color, and Stylecraft 'Parchment' fit the bill. I may have bought entirely too much, but I am thinking I can get a sweater out of what's left (I don't know how much I thought I'd need).

Anyhoodle--here's the finished product.

My plan was to use as many leftovers as I could, and I obviously had more of some colors than others, but I love the outcome. The extra pink and yellow make it brighter, that's for sure. And the connecting color really makes it all pop nicely.

I decided to name this Gray Matter for a few reasons. First, I've had a lot of pictures of my brain taken recently. Sometimes, brain pictures have a lot of colors to them. Second, while most of the blocks are ordinary and plain, in my efforts to use all the yarn some colors were combined in interesting ways. Just like--most of my brain is totally normal (I know my mom just snorted and thought 'Child, you were never normal'), but there's this little spot that could be something, but might not.

Sometimes I feel perfectly myself--chipper, and just fine, and perfectly balanced (I consider red and pink my 'me' colors).

Sometimes I feel just

Sometimes? I nick a little something when I do my injection. And I blot it with an alcohol swab. (After yelling "We've got a bleeder!" for comedic effect).

Most of the time, I feel great. And lucky. And grateful.

But, even though I've had all my tests and scans, I still don't know what's up for sure until I see the neurologist. In one month. One very long month (although my mom is going much more crazy than I am). It's all a big gray area right now. Just like the gray (or is it tan? see? that's a gray area too) that holds together these flashes of color.

My favorite part of this blanket? The border.

It's got a delightful ruffle to it that somehow doesn't overpower the rest of the blanket.

It was quite simple. I used this join-as-you-go method to connect all of the squares. I then did a round of single crochet, then a round of double crochet (putting five stitches in each corner stitch). For the next round I did (double crochet, chain one) in each stitch around, giving things a slight wave. Then I went whole hog, and did three double crochets in every stitch all the way around.

Considering my little bit of a theme here, this made me think of the convolutions in the structure of our brains. My 'therapy blanket' was quickly becoming an 'art blanket.'

It's simple granny squares, with the most neutral of colors holding it all together. But that little detail of the ruffled edge makes me smile every time I see it draped across the back of the love seat.

I didn't think I'd be so pleased with this, but I am. Out of all of the blankets I've made, this might be my favorite (but don't tell the others--they each think I like them best).


  1. It's lovely and sometimes you need a project just like this. I think it's underestimated what a mental blow physical illness can give you. Like you always 'thought' you were person A and all of a sudden... who knows, were you ever creative, were you really outgoing, were you able to crack jokes at 6am? Projects that are basic can be really comforting and will 'ground' you again. I think the repetitiveness (gah, is that a word?) helps release endorphine which works soothing and relaxing, so nothing wrong with that. And this resulted in something amazing for you, so YAY! (And you can tell people you were actually stash busting, s hey).

  2. What a perfect project to work on while recovering from such a traumatic thing in your life! I know I can't focus on anything when I am off, for any reason. You did a beautiful job on the blanket. I am sure it will get lots of love from everyone! Hey...I got my package today. I am so thrilled!!! Thank you a million times over! It was such a generous give away!! I love it!
    xo Kris

  3. I taught myself to knit socks during a long period of I'll health. Increasing handcrafts are being shown to reduce anxiety and promote wellness.
    Your blanket, in its bright cheery colours .looks like perfect therapy.

  4. Beautiful all the colors. Great meaning behind it all too. Keeping busy with a focus is what I love most about crochet. A lot of crochet can be had when there is a pending outcome.
    Keep praying!!! God has a plan for you!!! You are on my list!!!

  5. I love the parallels between the blanket and a brain- and how obviously therapeutic it was for you to make this! I love the bright colors and ruffled edge too.

  6. Oh I really love your therapy blanket.
    The small changes every now and then you have added a change. Its JUST BEAUTIFUL! As are you!!

  7. I think this is surely the most delightful granny square blanket I have ever seen. The ruffle just add the final smile to all your work. I hope all goes well with your personal gray matter because you have certainly aced this therapy project and I am sure there are many more in your are an artist.

  8. it's really lovely! what a great way of using up scraps. and I love that ruffle border. I'm sorry this whole health thing is still going on, and I hope they manage to find out what's going on. x

  9. I love your granny square blanket and your humor in your story telling. Humor goes a long way in aiding recovery. Good luck with your next step, the waiting is "the pits"!

  10. If I were sick, I would spend all my time playing candy crush. I like the blanket. It's so... you. I thought I saw a Batman in the 2nd pic but I could be wrong. Do you use the blanket to cover yourself? Or is it more like a throw. I'm asking because in Singapore we use these to cover the top of our sofa. Do you notice how they always make you wait a month to see the neurologist. It's like he's soooo busy. I hope he tells you you're as normal as can be.

  11. That blanket is wonderful! And so are you.



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