The other day in a Ravelry group, people were talking about knitting afghans, and how many they had or had not knit. I mentioned that I have crocheted many, but only knit one. And I said it was too long a tale for the forum, but that I might tell it here to share with the group.
So here it is -the tale of my one beautiful chevron blanket. It gets a gruesome, so if you are squeamish, brace yourself.
I knit it using soft blue, soft purple, and natural wools, in a very traditional chevron stripe. I remember it was eight rows per color (loads of ends!) and very pretty.
Back in 1983 and 1984 I worked on that thing for MONTHS, thinking I would never finish it. Yes, I am sure of the year, you will see why.
I had my own apartment in those days, shared with two roommates. No washer included, so I used to manage to visit family with dirty laundry on a regular basis. 🙂 That February my grandfather died, and so I got in the habit of visiting my grandmother once a week or so for supper and laundry and knitting. She is the one who taught me to knit, and she loved to see my slow progress.
On April 25, I made point to plan to go to see her, it was my grandfather’s birthday, so I am sure of the date. I thought she could use a distraction.
I packed up laundry, soap, knitting, change of (clean) clothes and headed to the car. Knitting and purse on the front seat, then I leaned over (it was a 2 door car) to put the laundry into the back seat. As I did, the box of soap powder started to fall. I lunged for it, and you might guess what happened.
I slipped on the seat and landed on my knitting.
I dropped the soap, and muttering, levered myself up. That’s when I realized the knitting was now attached to my leg. Yup, I fell on the needle and drove it through the blanket and into my thigh. Didn’t feel it at first, but then I did!
What to do? I thought about pulling it out, but just thinking about it made me nearly pass out, so I sat back and started blowing the horn.
I lived in a suburban neighborhood, houses and apartments all around. My roommates weren’t home, but the neighbors below us and over the garage were.
No one came.
OK. Next idea. I knew I could not get upstairs, so I maneuvered my self out of the car, bent over to hold the bag of knitting (the blanket was nearly complete) and hobbled/hopped to my neighbor’s door. I couldn’t get up her steps, but I got myself across them to I could reach the door bell, and I rang it. and rang it. and rang it.
She pulled that door open with a “WHAT DO YOU WANT!?”
I asked her if she would mind calling me an ambulance as I had this knitting stuck in my leg. I have to say she was great. She did that, told them what little she knew, then called my grandmother for me so I could tell her I would not be over for dinner, then we tracked down my dad to meet me at the hospital. Meanwhile, the ambulance and a fire engine and what seemed like a whole lot of people arrived. They all were expecting a little old lady, they said, not a silly 20 something girl. After all, it was a knitting accident, right?
They could not see the wound because there was this entire blanket in the way, so naturally, they decided to cut it (the blanket) off. I was thrilled to see it was the empty needle that was the culprit, not the one with the knitting on it.
You know that made me more hysterical. I refused to let them, and they humored me. They got these giant metal cutting loppers, and cut the end off the needle and carefully slipped the blanket off the needle, gave it to my neighbor for safekeeping.
Then they carted me to the hospital, where after x-rays determined that I had not hit the bone and many jokes about cowboys and Indians and playing with John Wayne, they yanked the thing out and sent me home with my dad. A few days on crutches and elevated and I would be fine.
I made him stop back at the apartment to thank the neighbor and get some things before we went back to his house for the night. Most importantly, get the knitting! I finished knitting that blanket, but was so sick of it by then that I never did weave in the ends. It was for my bed, and I decided that fringe on one side of a blanket was a cool thing.
That blanket is long gone, but I will always remember it. And I crochet afghans because it is too dangerous to knit them.