Great teachers. Teenage boys. The Gettysburg Address.  A box of Kleenex. Watch The Address, a new film by Ken Burns.

Blanket

Dear Kay,
Your Argosy blanket is one of your finest moments. I never would have thought to turn that scarf pattern into a blanket. But then, that’s why we love you: you never fail to ask the question, “Could this be a blanket?” And the answer is always “Yes. Yes it could.”
I was thinking about your fresh ‘n’ shiny new blanket last night, when I was in David’s room hanging out while he was getting ready for bed. Bedtime at our house has a long-standing set of rituals.
I still have a patented series of four songs which, when sung in the correct order, will without fail make Clif fall asleep: “America the Beautiful,” “The Battle Hymn of the Republic” (which isn’t really my kind of song, but I started singing it after watching an episode of the Ken Burns Civil War series), “Blue-Tailed Fly,” and the killer, “Mr. Tambourine Man.” The trick with hypnotizing your children is to start by singing at a chipper pace, then slowing down to the point that “Hey, Mr. Tambourine Man, play a song for me” takes about 30 seconds.
I’m kind of droopy right this minute just thinking about it.
But the blanket–David had a handknit blanket given to him by one of his grandmother May’s dear friends. From Day 6, I’m guessing, this blanket was with him every night for almost a decade.
babydavidblanket.jpg
Last night I found the blanket under his bed. It had long ago ceased looking like a blanket, but he always refused to let me untangle it. Well, last night, my 11 year old said I could take it apart.
This is what I found:
davidbabyblanket1.jpg
Where did it go? The blanket has vanished! The only parts left are the strips of cables. Did he eat it during the night?
A blanket is a form of immortality, true. Except when it is loved to pieces.
Love,
Ann
P.S. The other day, a 1930 Ford Model A showed up in the driveway, containing Neighbor Judy and her husband Kelly. Their son Andrew provided emergency backup. This was the maiden voyage of the car Kelly took custody of from his uncle. This was its first trip, exactly one and a half blocks, in 30 years.
modelA.jpg
I’m guessing it really does take a transplant surgeon to make a car like this run again. So odd to see this thing coming up the driveway!
P.S.S. Knitting continues to inspire filmmakers. A new competition features a film with some fine knitting in it. Go here, then navigate through until you see the film titled “Yarn . . . Good Light Is Essential” by Reka Gacs of the Royal College of Art.

42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. Loved to pieces … what we should all aspire too. Thanks for the photo.

  2. And I think the second question Kay inevitably asks of any pattern is, “Wouldn’t this be better in denim?”

  3. Wow. What a blankie! I’m working on one now for my sister’s first baby (before I start on one for my own) and would love to see it in shreds in 10 years… David has made that blankie REAL.

  4. that’s worse than b’s (or was it s’s) blanket over at the blue blog! he’d worn the corner out petting the garter edging. granted, he’s 5, but still!
    i think the kid loved that blanket!

  5. Ann, I’ve been having problems with insomnia lately. Would you come up and sing “Mr. Tambourine Man” to me?
    No, I’m afraid phoning it in won’t work.

  6. I hope the blankies I’ve made end up like that. And that car — my B-i-L collects and let me drive his 1929 chevy. Oh man, I have renewed respect for Elliot Ness and all those gangsters careening down the highways. They are really hard to drive. I kept feeling like I would tip over each time I took a corner. At about 5 mph.

  7. My cousin had a blankie that she ate the fuzz or something off of it; it was so worn out even after my aunt had made mini blankies out of it. Lovely picture by the way Ann.

  8. I am gobsmacked by the blankie pic – it has me thinking.

  9. Please say you didnt offer to ‘fix’ the blanket, did you? Do you imagine May’s friend still has any of the yarn left? I know I would – 11 years -barely a drop of time- surely there’s half a skein still in a bag in the closet..

  10. So I’m not having a day of clarity to begin with but am now feeling downright perplexed between the devoured-in-his-sleep blanket and the Yarn film. I feel like I used to in college when I broke the law expanding my mind. Shhhhh. Don’t tell anyone. It’s just between us girls.

  11. I have never seen anything like that blanket..that’s amazing! I didn’t know that was even possible!

  12. Hey! I loved my first blanket to pieces too!! It was a quilt, and there is photographic evidence of the cobwebby wonder it became after 5 years of hauling around and loving. I still remember the day my mom told me that, now that I was 5 years old, it was time to let go of the cobweb, er, blanket. I was grown up enough to not need a blankie anymore. I think I even remember the trip to the burning barrel to deposit it there. Sigh.
    Mom made up for it by making me another adult-sized quilt out of flannelette (sp?) scraps from pajamas she made for me over the years. I still use that one on my bed every night!

  13. So was that a hint that Kay should make him a new blanket out of some clever, non-blankety stitch?

  14. Mr. Tamborine Man (“hey mr. tangerine man” is how mine goes) is within my varied lullaby repetoire (along with patriotic songs, favorite hymns, and songs from Girl Scout camp). That is one heckuva loved blanket – the utmost compliment to the knitter.

  15. Oh, “the battle hymn of the republic” …not my kind of a song either but brings me back to my childhood in that my mom was able to play that on the piano UP-SIDE-DOWN! What a woman. Is she a knitter? You bet’cha!!!

  16. My dad is restoring a 1925 Model T, there is no way that car will ever make it as far as the driveway.

  17. My 16 year old son has a knitted green/yellow baby blanket given to him at birth by his grandmother’s best friend. It went EVERYWHERE with him. He still has it on bed and will jokingly imitate for me the way he “worked” it while sucking his thumb. Our cat Chuckie who came to us as a baby has always loved it too and now he sleeps on it and “works” it with his paws.

  18. WOW look at that blanky!! That thing was loved to death. My cousins blanky looked like that too luckly mine is still alive and kicking. I (we) have a 63 chevy nova not as cool as the ford but very pretty.

  19. My daughter’s blankie (she is 9 and it is still in use) is a tattered knot. Now I know what it would look like unknotted. And thanks to Kay I cannot get the Argosy shawl out of my head. I, too, may have a line jumper on my hands.

  20. That blanket! The Shroud of Turin was in better shape – no wonder it turned out to be a fake. But Model T and decade old blanket – with some tinkering, armatures and lots of in filling, that blanket will be road worthy in no time. Or just out it under glass and pass the cotton gloves. Stabilize, that is always the restorer’s mantra.

  21. That has got to be one of THE most loved blankets I have ever seen! And I thought my girl’s was tattered:)

  22. Is there a Blankie Hall of Fame Museum somewhere? Because that blankie definitely belongs in it.

  23. that blankie pic makes me cry! i love it, thanks for sharing, …sniff…

  24. My baby blankie wasn’t knitted, but I still have it, with pink and purple flowers. It is too worn to be of any use, but I can’t part with it either. Your son is very brave to let you unravel his.

  25. Remember, fiber is the cornerstone of a healthy diet! Looking forward to see what you will knit with the unraveled piece. The world’s smallest gauge swatch, perhaps?

  26. My very first baby blanket looked exactly like that when I left for college. Or rather, it would have looked like that if I had untangled it – instead, it was basically a *ball* of blanket. Ah, the love of a blanket – it’s a very special thing.

  27. My brother-in-law restores Model A’s, and he’s no brain surgeon. I’m not much of a car person, but I love me a purty Model A.

  28. What a wonderful story… all blankets should be so loved!

  29. that is one well loved blanket! an inspiring sequela to Kay’s beauties, for sure

  30. Wow, I hope one of my babies loves something I’ve made them just that much. How touching…

  31. Ladies, You bring a tear to my eye, cheer to my heart, and a laugh in my belly every time I read a post….loved the “Yarn” film. Go back and check out “Boogie Woogie” for a very creative twist of those bendable wooden figures we used to have in college art class….

  32. Ladies, You bring a tear to my eye, cheer to my heart, and a laugh in my belly every time I read a post….loved the “Yarn” film. Go back and check out “Boogie Woogie” for a very creative twist on those bendable wooden figures we used to have in college art class….

  33. The blanket is Real! The Velveteen Rabbit is so proud!

  34. Does he ever cough – like he has a kind of fur ball at the back of this throat ?? A well loved blanket indeed.
    And you are so right. She does. She does. She does make blankets out of everything !

  35. and here i thought i was the only one who sang america the beautiful and the battle hymn of the republic to their child.
    i also sing the star spangled banner to round out the patriotic theme.
    and then add in silver bells because 1- its my fave christmas son and 2 my daughters name is Silver.
    and its always nice to find something well used.

  36. What a blessed blankie. I hope that mine end up in similar straits. And beautiful souther tunes. In our house it’s more likely something from k.d. lang’s Hymns of the 49th Parallel.

  37. David’s blankie looks even worse than my little sister’s did! When our momma went back to work full time, she hired a cleaning woman to come in once a week. That woman threw away the shredded blankie every week for a month despite my mother’s repeated warnings to NOT TOUCH the blankie. Daddy would have to go out back and dig through the garbage to rescue the shreds.
    Momma would not fire cleaning woman–she was too good. We kids never understood that kind of thinking! Mary ended up hiding her blankie somewhere I don’t even know.
    David’s little blankie shreds are so AWESOME!

  38. You ladies will love this video — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRgaA13uBLs — it’s called “A Sheep in Sheep’s Clothing” & it’s in German. Super-cute. :)

  39. I ditto audry, that is the most precious blankie story i got all choky when I read it. Beautiful argosy blanket. I tried the scarf version but it came out more uglosy than argosy.:)

  40. Hey, the blank history could be a film!!

  41. Loved to the very end – just like the Velveteen Rabbit.

  42. That is absolutely precious.