His first day in Hawaii, my husband (then fiance) called me and his family to tell us how cold he had been his first night. It was January and his complaints fell on blizzard-frozen ears in Detroit and my only-slightly-more sympathetic ears in Idaho. What of the lightweight blanket he had received for Christmas? It was a throw, and not large enough to cover his whole body. He slept his first night under his beach towel.
My roommate, Cathy, scolded me when she heard of my fiance’s plight. “You have failed as a woman,” she adamantly told me. “You need to make him a blanket.”
My resume of crochet consisted of chaining a couple of Barbie scarves as a child. Each Christmas I would ask my mother to teach me, full of all sorts of holiday aspirations to make homemade gifts. Each Christmas I found the previous year’s half-finished Barbie scarf.
But Cathy was patient, and persistent! She taught me a grannie square and good-naturedly talked me out of some nasty mistakes. Soon my creation was starting to look square-like and was getting bigger. I had a vision. I bought several different colours and attached meaning to them each.
White symbolized the purity of our love.
Royal Blue symbolized Paul as it is his favourite colour.
Lavender symbolized me as it is my favourite scent and my favourite colour at the time.
Navy was night the sky which covered us both no matter the distance.
Yellow was the sun which warmed us both; yellow was also the sand in Hawaii, where he was and I soon would be.
I got very involved in the symbolism and the patterns I was creating. I worked fervently, thinking of poor Paul who was freezing in Hawaii. Did my marks suffer? I’m sure of it. But it was early enough on in the semester, if I could only finish this project then I could return to my schoolwork. I made it just big enough for a twin bed, but had plans to add on when we were married and put it on our bed.
I barely finished in time for Valentine’s Day and proudly sent it off.
We still have it, in the box of extra linens. It’s the last thing I dig out if our guests are cold. I never added on to it. I don’t show it off. The meaning and the labour is nice and all, but that blanket is truly one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen.