Easy Blanket with Stripes

All stitches are bound off for Purl Soho's Hudson Bay's Inspired Crib Blanket, and wow, I really love this blanket. It is so comfortable — the drape and weight are perfect. And I used to not like knitting with cotton...a distant memory!

This blanket is 100% cotton. I had a large stash of the cream color and then used half of a 50g skein in each other color for the stripes. If you are very comfortable with garter stitch, it will be an easy pattern to keep your hands moving without much thought. I already miss having it in the basket next to my chair — the perfect grab-and-let-go project for those extra few minutes before heading out, or when watching a show or listening to a book or podcast.

Also, remember when I started this? ...You don't because it was last April, nine months ago. At the time, I was still in school, still living in the state I grew up in, still working and worrying over my honors thesis — little idea of what I would be doing after graduation (or even what my graduation cap would look like) and where I would be in a year, who I would be.

I'm proud to look back on all I have challenge myself to do and all the ways I've grown. Between casting on and casting off this project, I:
  • Finished and defended by book-length honors thesis
  • Ended a long-term relationship
  • Graduated from college
  • Drove 2,000 miles on a solo trip through Canada
  • Traveled 800 miles from home in Wisconsin to a fellowship placement at Polaris, an anti human trafficking organization, and met amazing people
  • Lost my grandpa
  • Flew in an airplane for the first time in years, since I first experienced motion sickness
  • Accepted my first full-time job as a grant writer at an animal rescue

When I bound off the last stitches of this blanket, I was sitting in the passenger seat of a Penske moving truck next to my dad, listening to Pink Floyd while we crossed the Appalachians. Behind us were hours of packed boxes and padded furniture, in front was Washington, DC, where I was returning for my first job and apartment. My stomach tensed and relaxed like a loose fist, like it did when I first came to Washington four months ago, except this time it wasn't excitement or fear or stress — just exhilaration.

I've written before that one of my favorite parts of knitting is giving the finished piece away. Another part that I love is how the knitting process connects to aspects of life — the major events, the book I'm listening to, the people I sit with, the way I'm feeling and thoughts I'm grappling with — and it creates continuity between them. Like a bound book, each row is like a page, back and forth, front to back, end to end.

There's nothing like garter stitch to take you back and bring you forward. It is the first thing you learn and makes all of the harder stitches possible.

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