It was the best of times. It was the worst of times. A tale of two afghans -- made of much love and Red Heart Acrylic yarn.
When I went back to college for my junior year, I had a really hard time of things. My new boyfriend (that would be Tom) and I went to different schools -- and I missed him terribly. My old college distractions suddenly seemed empty and shallow. So I decided to crochet an afghan for my boyfriend's birthday in December.
It was 1979. Knitting shops with nice yarn . . . just didn't exist yet. The best I could do was Red Heart acrylic yarn from the drug store (in late-70s-groovy-earth-tones). I picked up a few random skeins and just . . . started crocheting.
No pattern. No swatching. No plan. I just chained a bunch of stitches (enough, I hoped, to cover Tom's bed) and started in, changing colors whenever I felt like it. I worked on that blanket every chance I got for the whole semester. (Here's a photo of me, busy with the afghan, somewhere in the middle. Yeah. It got a whole lot bigger.)
I finished it in time for Tom's birthday. But - my god - it was big enough to cover a king-size bed. He loved it. And we have it still -- in all its huge, acrylic glory. (It is Very Heavy.)
Shortly after I finished Tom's afghan . . . I made the second one for my parents. Although I don't remember all the particulars, I am certain I started off with yarn leftover from Tom's.
Again, no pattern -- and very little advance planning. This time around, I just made a bunch of granny squares. (I think I learned an important lesson about portability from my experience with Tom's afghan.) Same colors, pretty much.
This past weekend as I was helping my Mom clear out her closet, we came across the afghan - stored high up on a shelf. She and my Dad had used it for years. I remember my kids taking naps curled up in it. It lived a good, long life in my Mom and Dad's living room. When I pulled it down, we got a little lost in the nostalgia of it all. My Mom was hestitant to let it go -- but decided to give it back to me. It's in my family room now, and I think I'll take it up north to our cottage in the spring where it will continue to get plenty of use (and better match the color scheme and cast-off-decor "theme").
Reunited. Two afghans made of love -- and Red Heart.