Tuesday, December 20, 2011

18,000 ways to say I love you

So I’m not very talented when it comes to crafting. I can’t make a quilt and I can’t sew Lily any clothes. I’m not a painter and I can’t decorate cakes beyond getting the frosting from the jar to the cake. Probably a good thing because I’d waste too much time on that instead of actually spending time with my child. I did, however, find a pattern for a cross stitch blanket a few months ago and I decided I should make an effort to actually make something for my child. I have done enough cross stitching in my life to know that you don’t really need talent to make something, you just need patience and time. Lots of time. Time here, time there. Time when you should be cooking or cleaning or playing with your child or sleeping. I figured I could handle that but I severely underestimated how much time I really would need. Or  how much your fingers can bleed when pricked by a needle, or your toes, for that matter, when they are unintentionally  used to find the needle that has been lost in the carpet… Anyway, I ordered the blanket kit and it arrived in the mail just as we were leaving for my dad’s birthday party on September 24th.  I was very excited and got started on it that night when we got home. This is what it looked like when I just started (after adding all of the eyes, beaks, and other small details)


Being a stamped cross stitch blanket, all of the blue markings are there to show me where to go and I can wash them off when I finish. I went to work on this and worked, and worked, and worked. I’d say that on average I spent at least an hour a day, five days a week on this. Though most weeks it was 2-3+ hours, seven days a week. To be fair though, I was definitely distracted by the T.V., my daughter and husband, and duties from our apartment managing job during those long hours of stitching. Though tedious, it was rewarding to see the blanket coming along and the work helped distract me from the fact that Clark was usually working on homework…again. I had to be reminded at times that even though I was making this for Lily, she would probably appreciate me putting down the blanket and playing with her more. Lily even helped a few times. She loved to pull the needle and thread for me, most times pulling way too hard. I can say the best $0.99 I ever spent was on my needle threader! This blanket would have taken me years if I couldn’t have used that! Finally on December 18th- three months after starting my project, I tied off the last piece of thread and declared the blanket finished. A friend will help me sew fabric on the back to cover the backside of the stitching later, but all of my hard work was done :).


Here is a pic of Lily playing with it to give you an idea of the size of the blanket


Naturally, when I finished the blanket I had to count (approximately) how many stitches there are on the blanket to know just how many little x’s I stitched. Each of the 12 circles contains 282 squares of 4 x’s each, which came out to 13,536. The border contains about 4220 x’s. Adding in the thread used for the detailing and outlining, that comes to around 18,000 x’s on this blanket.


I hope Lily someday knows that those are 18,000 hugs, 18,000 bits of encouragement, 18,000 “I love you”s.  In a few days I’ll give this to Lily for Christmas, even though it’s not exactly a surprise. She has been watching me and using it to learn some new animals. My favorite of which is the porcupine, or in Lily’s words “cok-u-pime.” I would not be surprised if she opens this present on Christmas and quickly brings it to me and says “ Mommy’s blanket, don’t touch,” as that is probably what she heard most whenever trying to steal it from my working hands. To be honest, though, I’m kind of terrified of giving it to her fully. I keep having visions of the threads coming untied and falling off. Also, if she destroys it somehow I will literally cry. Knowing my little tornado of a daughter, that is a very real possibility, but I’m willing to take that risk

I should probably say where I got the pattern in case anyone has any crazy notions of doing anything like this .

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