Did you all miss me? I missed you. My holiday writing break was extended a little longer than originally planned while I had surgery for the torn cartilage in my knee. My convalescence was filled with lots of lounging, little decent cooking (i.e. non-paleo crap), and lots of mad crocheting to finish off a couple of baby blankets for my brother and SIL’s baby shower. Oddly, it was one of the baby blankets that helped inspire me to get up off the couch and back into the kitchen. This is the culprit.
Don’t be fooled by its cuteness, this was a monster 4 years in the making. About 4 years ago I tracked down the pattern for the frog squares. After fiddling for a while with colors and layout, this was the final design I came up with. As with any new pattern, learning how to do the frog squares properly was a bit of trial and error. Eventually I got it assembled and finished off. I was quite happy with the result. As a matter of fact, it was the favorite afghan I had ever made. Then I washed it before sending it off as a gift. I was shocked to find one of my frogs in the center of the blanket had come unraveled. I’d never had that happen to an afghan before. I was puzzled and more than a little pissed at myself. I took off the border and cut apart the squares so I could fix the bad one. I’m not quite sure what happened after that, but it got put back in my closet, unfinished and forgotten for 4 years.
Now its time for a new baby. I finished two other baby afghans before I remembered this one, but I desperately wanted to finish it for my new nephew in place of one of the others. So I dug it back out, remade the bad square being extra sure to securely knot off the center of the frog, pieced it all back together and added a border around the whole thing. Finished! Wrong.
After I had it all back together I decided I had better check the other squares for problems (not the greatest example of planning ahead on my part). In the process I managed to unravel another frog and found at least one other that showed signs of possible future weakness. I felt like crying. The shower was 6 days away and I had three options. Take it back apart and fix the bad squares (hoping no other bad ones show up), start over from scratch completely, or put it back in the closet and rethink it later (if ever).
I’m still not sure why, perhaps I was insane, but I decided to scrap it and start over from scratch. And do it right. In 6 days. It was a ton of work and I barely finished — I barred my brother from his own dining room while I feverishly stitched the border at midnight the night before the shower — but I finished and it was even better than the first one. I was able to work out all of the minor things I was unhappy with in the first one. Plus, I know this thing is sturdy. Come the Mayan apocalypse in December, the only things left will be Chevy trucks, Twinkies, and this freaking blanket.
Blame it on the late night, exhaustion from traveling, or just my sappiness in general, but as I was finally finishing the last few stitches it dawned on me that this afghan was a bit of a metaphor for my quest to live a healthier life —- I spent a lot of time searching for the right way to do it, I made mistakes along the way, and just when I thought I had it right, it unraveled on me. I gave up for a while, but picked it up again. The second try was better than ever and although it took a little effort and a lot of love, it is getting done. I’m not done with my personal transformation, but I feel that I have all the pieces now and that they are strong. Although I came unraveled a bit and wasn’t eating well during the last month (and feeling crappy as a result), I’m determined not to put myself back in the closet, unfinished and forgotten. So, its off the couch and back into the kitchen (and onto the blogs), all thanks to a little frog afghan.