Today I want to share with you the story of a project which I wasn't sure I wanted to, or even would be be able to share, but I've decided it's OK. At the end of last year, in November 2016 to be exact, I started knitting a blanket which I named 270 Days. This was going to be a very special blanket; on a dark winter morning I had just gotten my first, and very wished for, positive result in a pregnancy test. Straight away I wanted to start knitting something for the baby.
I decided having a knitting project to work on every day of the pregnancy would be a great opportunity for me to make something of an heirloom and at the same time it would be a fun tracker for me and my baby's progress.
I had a couple of criteria for this project though: I hate weaving in lose ends and stitching long seams after all that knitting, so the whole thing would need to be constructed somehow so that I would have to do as little finishing as possible at the end: there would be a newborn baby in our lives by then, too, right, so I'd be plenty busy and not have the energy for sewing any seams then anyway! Also, the daily dose of knitting for each expectant day would have to be of a manageable quantity so that I wouldn't have to skip days of knitting because of a lack of time.
So I settled on knitting a simple mitered square blanket, in garter stitch to make it more sturdy. To spice up the look of the blanket, I chose some Noro Kureyon I've stocked up on after my trips to Japan in the last couple of years. This way I would also get multiple colors without extra color changes! At the beginning I obviously didn't know the sex of the baby, so multicolored Noro seemed appropriate in that sense too. I had enough of only one color, which is definitely not a typical baby color (shades of brown, green and blue) but I knew I would spend a lot of time outdoors with this baby, so I thought these colors a would be just perfect for our future forest adventures!
Well, I didn't work on the blanket more than 6 weeks when the worst thing possible happened; I had a miscarriage. Yes, right before settling in for the cozy Christmas season in my new state of midwinter happy it all ended before it had even properly started. I knew these things were common, more common than you would think; but still, you don't think it's going to happen to you. At the time, of course it was way too painful to talk about, but now I feel like this is really something that women (and why not men too) should talk to each other more openly about. It's happened to almost every woman I've mentioned it to, but it's something so excruciatingly painful and personal, that understandably very few of us are out there shouting it happened to me. People speak so openly of battling with cancer and other awful things but miscarriage is till something that women must endure alone in silence.
Well, my personal coping method turned out to be exercise: the members of my kung fu family, whether they know it or not, saved me this winter just by training hard together. And the blanket? I decided to keep the beginning of it still, it felt wrong to just rip it all up, like this delicate beginning of a new life had never happened. And now that I knew it was possible I hoped I would get pregnant again soon!
At the end of February this year we were visiting some friends in London when I discovered, on foreign soil, that I was pregnant again ;) Such a blessing! This time I didn't rush to start working on the blanket, but instead waited a while. The superstitious side in me said maybe I jinxed the first pregnancy by starting the project too soon. Also, at the beginning of this new pregnancy we spent a month in Thailand so it would have been too hot to knit there anyway.
Currently the blanket has around 170 squares, and I am so happy I kept that beginning from my very first pregnancy: this way also that little spark of life will stay with us in our new family. I follow my progress with this rough plan I've charted on graphing paper: next to apps and health checks this wrinkled piece of paper has become its own version of my pregnancy calendar.
The colorway I started with ran out about midway, so I knit the first trimester in one colorway, the second trimester is mixing two colors, and the third and last trimester will be entirely in this new sparkly turquoise colorway. In the midst of it all are random purple squares like little blossoms in the forest to keep things fresh ;)
The size of each square and the amount of knitting per day or per week turned out to be perfect, and I hope our little dude will have it with him for a long time.
I love how tidy the back is when you attach the squares to each other by picking up stitches and knitting the pieces together rather than by sewing them!