FO: Ohm’s Blankie

A couple of months ago, a friend on Ravelry posted a note to the Three Irish Girls group.  The topic was simple enough.  “Let’s help Ohm.”

[Sidebar: If you are Ohm and you are reading this before you have gotten your blanket, don’t.  Maybe go read this instead. Or you could try playing here. You can come back and read when there is no more surprise to spoil.]

Ohm is another member of the group, and without giving away too many personal details, she is going through some Stuff.  Some of it is medical stuff and some of it is military wife stuff, and all of it is stuff that made many of her friends from afar wish they could be there to help her out.  She planned to spend the time during her husband’s pending deployment knitting him socks.  (In case you don’t know, boysocks can be quite large and take a very long time to knit.)

It was quickly agreed that we would begin making some crazy striped socks for Ohm’s husband.  We would each knit a few inches, and then send the socks-in-progress along to another group member until they were finished and could be send to keep his feet happy while he was away.   Somewhere in the midst of that conversation, a second plan was concocted.  We didn’t just want to help Ohm help her husband–we wanted to help her, as well.  After kicking around a few ideas, we decided that we would make her a patchwork blanket.  Everyone would send me a 10″ square of their choice to be assembled into an afghan.

Before much longer, squares started showing up in my mailbox, many with cards for Ohm.  We knew what her favorite colors were, but there was no real discussion about what patterns or colors to use.  The only real instruction was that squares should be 10″ and have a clean edge for sewing together.  Given that, I thought it was interesting to see how many people chose the same pattern to knit, and how many people worked in the blue spectrum.

What resulted was this:

My husband–who very patiently helped me block the finished product and turned out to be much better and coaxing it into shape than I could be–looks at it and thinks.  “Well.  That’s…special.”  And I’m sure that to the casual observer, that’s true.  But I know better.  Sure, there’s woodland camouflage colors in the same blanket as lime green and pink.  And maybe the edges didn’t work out to be all exactly even.  There’s no way that fourteen different hands can touch a piece of knitting and have all the colors and all the stitches jive.  What makes it come together is that, as fourteen different people sat down with some sticks and string, they were all thinking of the same two people and how much kindness they hoped to share with a couple they had never met.  I think that’s pretty huge.

The grey square at the bottom left came from Oslo, Norway.  Its the piece that traveled the farthest, and it was accompanied by the ball band, which I couldn’t read a word of, and a local newspaper, which I looked through and then included in the package for Ohm to see.  The block in the second row with the duplicate stitched heart is from Sharon, the Grand High Yarnista of Three Irish Girls.   Over the course of the blanket’s assembly, two of the knitters relocated–one left my area to move back to Illinois, and another left Texas to move back to this area.  Someone else came through with her squares at the last minute even though she was home with two very sick children, and had even offered to drive the squares to my house if I needed them quickly.  I’m pretty sure that one knitter’s daughter moved to DC from WV during the process of this blanket, and I was sitting on the floor sewing strips together when I got the phone call to come to the hospital for my nephew’s birth.  There is a whole lot of special wrapped up in this blanket.

When someone else’s squares because a casualty of the postal system, she came through at the last minute with a package of six more.  By then, the blanket was in its final, border-adding stage, so it was too late to include them.  They were cotton, though, and easily suited to washcloths.  Plan B was quickly formed, and some handmade soap was added to the box to go with handknit cloths.  Six washcloths for one girl seemed like overkill, so the extras are going to be paired with more handmade soap, and they will come with me to the next Marine Moms Bethesda luncheon at Mercy Hall.  It seems fitting that they go to the Marines recovering there.

I’ve gotten lots of thanks on the 3IG board for “all the work” I did putting the blanket together.  Its nice to hear and I’m glad to know that the effort was appreciated, but it also kind of floors me.  I’m happy that I could help, and I feel extremely lucky to be involved with a group of people who are so generous and thoughtful to have come up with this idea in the first place, and been so eager to run with it.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. pdxknitterati
    Jul 15, 2009 @ 21:15:42

    That’s beautiful, and a beautiful story! Good on all y’all.


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