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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

THE IDIOT BLANKET

THE IDIOT BLANKET


I see in the blogosphere there are many crafters.   It is nice to know that some old time skills are not completely lost, but in general i-phones, i-pods, Kindles and texting have replaced the female art of killing time by knitting or crocheting.

I remember, years ago, commuting to work by bus or train and 75% of the lady passengers would be passing the time with needle and yarn.  It was fascinating to me that they could carry on a conversation and or sightsee without stopping the click click of the knitting (crocheting) process. 

In those good old days (good except for polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox, rubella, TB, and no internet or cable TV) young girls were taught the art of turning yarn into apparel while young boys were taught to catch a ball. 

My mom was not much at this fine art, but she did know how to crochet.  She could not do anything fancy.  She could not mix colors, create a reindeer sweater, or shape a hat.  She could make 3x3 squares.  She made lots of them while watching TV or carrying on a conversation. After dinner she would make 3x3 squares of every color imaginable.  It probably took her three years of making 3x3 squares before she finally combined the hundreds of squares into one very large blanket.

During this process, when anyone ever asked her what she was crocheting she would tell them she was making an “Idiot Blanket.”  Mom liked to give things colorful names.  She had a couch which was too big so she had it cut down to a size that was neither a couch nor a love seat.  She called it “The Bastard.” 

I find it amusing that that piece of furniture will be passed down generation to generation and will always be known as “The Bastard.”  At some point no one will know why it is called that, but it will always be known as “The Bastard.”  The blanket will be the same.  Generations from now future Crankys will ask why is this blanket called an “Idiot Blanket.”  Somewhere along the way the visual of my mom slowly plodding away making 3x3 squares will fade away but I will bet the blanket will always be called “The Idiot Blanket.”

I inherited “The Idiot Blanket” several years ago.  It stays folded up on my couch in the family room.  I never use the “Idiot Blanket.” Just having it reminds me of my mom’s mindless crocheting.   Just having it reminds me of my mom.

Just seeing “The Idiot Blanket” keeps me warm.    

17 comments:

  1. This post is so touching and sweet -- and it made me laugh, too!

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  2. Yes, we do treasure these tidbits of the past for what the past really meant to us.

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  3. I have the bastard couch. I asked the people at the antique store how much do bastard couches go for? They told me they do not know what a bastard couch is. I said, oh, my sister told me it was a bastard couch, i figured it must have some value. I can't wait to get the idiot blanket appraised.

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  4. I love to crochet too..I wonder if my blankets (or throws) will be treasured by my kids as you treasure your Mom's blanket? Lovely post Cranky.

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  5. What a great post Cranky that was a really sweet....I tried knitting when I quit smoking and almost stabbed myself so no more knitting here. But I can cook and bake like a maniac.

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  6. I enjoyed reading your story about the idiot blanket, Joe. Our family ate Idiot Pickles (dill pickles infused with red pepper flakes) made by my grandmother (who was very much a character), and I learned how to crochet when I was 9. I think knitting is having a resurgence, so there's still hope!

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  7. I love your posts....this one especially since I am a compulsive crocheter.......I love being able to take a bit of string or yarn and turn it into something beautiful and useful....you can't do that with an iphone.

    During the years that I traveled, I used to take a few pounds of yarn and my crochet hook and come home with an afghan.

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  9. Hi Cranky, I live in a retirement village and we too crochet squares. We make idiot blankets and give them to the homeless.
    What a way to remember your Mum.
    Terrific post

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  10. an interesting story! I can see where you get your humor from.

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  11. Oh, I love old family stories that include names and terms that are unique just to that family! The 'idiot blanket' is such a great term!

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  12. Lol! Too cute! It's nice to see that things like knitting, quilting and crochet are making a comeback. The next generation will be making their own unique terms, I'm sure. What those terms will actually be...I'm interested to see.

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  13. Crochet is one thing I can't do, that's probably because my mum can't crochet either so she couldn't teach me.
    In other news... I've got a couple of idiots in my house. I should get them a blanket.

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  14. Loved this story thanks for sharing.You have inspired me to write a story about a very unique picture frame that my mother gave me and how I always try to pawn this treasure off on my sister.

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  15. The Idiot Blanket is lovely, Cranky! I love this story, and can only hope my kids feel the same about the crocheting I leave behind!

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  16. Came over from your link in Pearl's blog today and it was well worth it :)

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