Auntie Beth's afghan

I learned to knit from my mother and she learnt to knit from her mother. My grandmother still knits more than anyone I know, she probably even knits more than I do. She knits mostly for her grandkids, her great-grandkids and her church. Knitting must have run in the family because her sister, my Great Auntie Beth, also spent all her free time knitting. She passed away years ago, and left behind quite a trunk load of yarn and projects, both finished and unfinished. One such project could be found in a box that contained well over a hundred granny squares (Auntie Beth crocheted as well). Some of the squares had even begun to be sewn together, but the project was never finished. Just recently, the big box fell into my mother's hands.

She sorted through all the squares and tried to organize them in a way that made sense. The fun thing about the way that my Grandmother and her sister knit and crochet was that they always used up all of their scraps. Some of the squares were a real mishmash of little leftovers, some had more purposefully chosen palettes, but they pretty much all contained yarns that had been previously used in another project.

After years of sitting untouched in my moms cousin's closet or basement somewhere, my mom was able to finally finish two blankets with all the squares that she had! She returned the finished blankets to her cousin today and I can't think of a more precious or meaningful gift. She knit them together as a favor to her cousin, but it's so much more than just a favor. It's a piece of Auntie Beth that you can touch and feel and know that she spent many a night working on all those squares, and even more nights working on all the baby sweaters, bonnets and booties that the yarns were originally bought for.

To me, these blankets represent one of the best things about the craft I love. There is the labour and love and the hands and heart of the knitter (or crocheter) in every single stitch.