Most crafters love making items for other people. I am clearly not most crafters.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love that moment when you give someone a hand-crafted item and they truly love it, and they appreciate just how much effort goes into a handmade work. It’s all the moments leading up to that moment that I don’t love. The stress that comes with working on a deadline, the worry over whether the recipient will like the gift or if it will just get tossed in a closet never to be seen again, and the constant feeling that whatever I’m making isn’t good enough – if I can see all the flaws then clearly everyone else must be able to as well!
And yet, despite all these feelings, when I’m horribly sick, swamped with work, and have less than three weeks until a baby shower, I’ll still end up deciding that making something is a good idea. Because even though I spend the whole project grumbling to my husband, asking why I always do this to myself, swearing that I will never do this again, and cursing myself for thinking that crafting on a deadline is ever a good idea, deep down I know I will make the same decision again… and again… and again. Because at heart I’m a crafter, and that’s what crafters do.
On the plus side, I’m not completely deluded, so at least I picked the fairly simple rainbow granny square afghan from Stacey Trock’s Modern Baby Crochet as the project. There’s nothing better than whipping out piles of granny squares while watching movies on a Saturday afternoon. Granted, washing, blocking, and joining all the silly things wasn’t my favourite task, but making the squares was fast, so even with my crazily short timeline I had well over a week to deal with the finishing.
Stacey’s version of the blanket used grey instead of white for the joining colour – perhaps a more baby friendly (i.e. less stain apparent) choice – but I needed the yarn in my hands immediately, so I had to settle for whatever Micheal’s had in stock. Frankly, I was thrilled to find all the rainbow colours I needed in a single brand of yarn1, so no complaints. In the end I like the fresh and modern look of the white, and I did use a machine washable acrylic, so hopefully it holds up okay. Of course I’ll continue to worry since that’s what I do about items made as gifts.
Luckily, I think the recipient (my co-worker, who is expecting her first baby to arrive any second now) truly appreciated the blanket. Hopefully when her little baby girl finally decides to join us, she will as well.
1The yarn was the Michaels exclusive Loops & Threads Soft & Shiny. Sadly, I believe it has been discontinued. It was actually a fairly nice acrylic to work with and the final blanket was unbelievably soft. If it hadn’t been a gift I might still be rubbing it against my face.