A Control Freak Lets Go

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Ta-dah! The finished product.

I’ve finally finished Josie’s high school graduation present. I haven’t crocheted an afghan in decades—and I’ve never made one with granny squares. This was enormous fun! What was maybe most fun was that I didn’t have a plan. I did use the afghan below as a model, but you can see that my afghan turned out nothing like the original.

This is Blair Stocker’s afghan, the one I based mine on. You can find her fabulous blog at wise craft.

Typically when making something by hand, I plan carefully. I follow a pattern and think hard about how I want it to look and what colors or materials I will use. This blanket was a huge departure for me. I mostly used yarn that I already had, and I did not preplan the size of my granny squares or how they would fit together. Instead of being uniform in size, they are random, and there is even one rectangle that I made to fill in a hole.

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Yes, it’s called a granny rectangle.

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Trying to figure out how to put these pieces together to make a coherent whole.

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It starts to take shape. This is still not how the pieces will ultimately fit together, though.

I basically went into this project without a clue. As a hyper-planner—or, let’s face it, as a control freak—this felt risky and slightly frightening. I had no idea how it would turn out. Would I even be able to fit these jigsaw pieces of a blanket together? Would I give up and stash it in the attic with the half-done quilt and the advent calendar? And how would these random colors look together? I had no vision in mind. Don’t all the great leaders say you must have a vision if you want to get somewhere?

In the end, I let me daughter be the judge. The blanket was intended for her, after all.

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You never know how someone will respond to a homemade gift. Will she smile politely and then tuck it in the back of her closet? Will she dutifully display it in her room when I’m around, but then stuff it under the bed when friends are over? I figured out the answer to those questions by working on the afghan in front of Josie without telling her it was meant for her. If she liked it, great. If she didn’t, no problem. I’d keep it myself.

But she liked it. She liked it a lot, and so did Eliza, who I’ve already promised will get her own afghan when she graduates from high school.

I admit I do like the idea of a piece of home sitting with my daughters in their college dorm rooms. It will be a reminder of where they come from and who they are. A reminder that they are loved. And I hope it will remind them to take more risks. To just wing it every now and then. There is a lot of energy wasted in trying to control outcomes. I hope they can figure that out a lot earlier than their old ma.

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Detail of the border. I decided to make these mini granny squares and piece them around the border to give it some semblance of order.

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9 responses to “A Control Freak Lets Go

  1. Way to let go! It looks great, I love that I’ve seen you crocheting granny squares every time I drop by. Now what will you do with your spare minutes? Granny square hats?

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  2. Oh My Goodness, Bekah!!!! That is the most gorgeously sweet afghan ever! I want to learn to crochet from you sometime! What a great remembrance wrapping around Josie as she heads off in the future. Wow!

    Like

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