I remember the first time I crocheted something. I was on a plane, flying from California to see my in-laws, and I had taught myself how to crochet. My Grandma tried teaching me when I was a kid – I learned the chain, but found my child fingers unable to make sense of where to bury the hook, how to yarn over. By the time my parents came to pick me up from my Grandma’s, I had a chain of black yarn so long it had to live in a grocery bag. But unfortunately, you can’t do much with a chain, and so it was over a decade later before I finally learned how to stack those rows, how to build something out of yarn.
I sat on the plane, Joni Mitchell crooning in my earbuds, the lights on the plane turned down for an evening flight. And I used my two skeins of yarn to make an infinity scarf, still one of my favorite winter accessories.
That was several years ago, and in the meantime, I’ve made leg warmers for my niece, scarves for friends and family, hats for Gus, but perhaps my favorite project is the 3-strand baby blanket.
There’s a beautiful symbolism to this blanket. One strand plus one strand plus one strand – three separate yarns – come together, and the result is a sturdy, hefty, warm blanket of varying colors. What a lovely metaphor for a couple having a child – their first or second or any number to follow – that to their two strands of living they add a third, a new one.
Beyond the symbolism, I love how easy this blanket is – so long as it’s baby-sized. I made one for Amanda to take with her on deployment, and it took months, and so, so, so much yarn, and by the end, it was a workout to crochet it as three yarns make for a heavier weight, and when it gets big – boy howdy, does it weigh a lot!
But for a baby, it fits nicely in the lap, or in your arms, or on your shoulder – much like a baby. It’s warm and therefore makes a good carseat blanket in winter. It has a chunky weave to it, so as the original author of the pattern points out, it’s perfect for little toes and fingers to squish into.
I’ve made one for several of the babies in my life – including Gus – and I always feel a special joy, a love, as I work the rows. And so today, I wanted to share that joy, that love, with you.