Monday, January 21, 2019

IF …



Sorting through my husband’s things a couple days ago, I found these pictures – of all the things he could have kept while weeding stuff when we downsized a year and a half ago, he chose to keep these pictures as prized possessions. They are not in fancy frames, but they encapsulate our entire life together … one could go so far as to say that they are a kind of time capsule ;-)



So I took them out of the ‘safe place’ he had kept them in, and set them up on the fireplace mantle. Looking at them, a thousand memories dart past my misty eyes. 44 years seems so short; we were so young when we started our life together – he was 24, I was 17.

A lifetime ago.

And yet not long enough.

I never got tired of looking at his handsome face: not even when the passage of time ... and the toll of his incurable condition August thru December 2018 had left its mark on it. To my eyes, he never changed from the first time I set eyes on his face – he was 18, I was 10; and I instantly fell hopelessly in love. He didn’t even know I existed until 7 years later.

And I believe he felt the same about me; he always told me I was beautiful … even in those final days at OHSU: and I know I am not. The image that looks back at me from the vanity mirror today tells me otherwise – I look every bit a 62 year old ‘curvy’ grandma ;-) But, in his eyes, I was still the young girl in the picture he fell in love with; and joined his life with. He told me several times a day, every day, for 44 years that he loved me. He cherished me. Because he believed I was beautiful, I believed I was beautiful. I feel blessed to have had his exclusive love.

If, as the song says, “a picture paints a thousand words” and “a face can launch a thousand ships” … there is so much left unsaid and nowhere left to go now.

If I could be anywhere I wished to be right now, I’d be with him beyond the clouds.

But, that is not possible. Yet.

So I’ll content myself with the “If” face on the fireplace mantle.

DOUBLE CROCHET & SHELL STITCH BABY BLANKET


This is not an original pattern – either my own design, or the original Jack Frost Booklet pattern: it is an adaptation for an up-to-date baby blanket. I shortened the length and width & left off the original shell edging, keeping the edges straight and plain. The original yarns are no longer available, so I have substituted Lion’s Brand Baby Soft yarns and 1 skein of Bernat Softee Baby yarn in the colors I had on hand, and they work fine. You can choose your own color scheme or simply work this pattern in one main color throughout – either way, this is a nicely patterned baby blanket and works up quickly because the pattern stitches are so simple and basic.

DC & SHELL BABY BLANKET READY TO BE DONATED

Materials: 2 skeins Lion’s Brand Baby Soft yarn in Twinkle Print (main color); 1 skein EA Lion’s Brand Baby Soft contrasting yarns in Lilac & Sweet Pea and 1 skein Bernal Softee Baby yarn in Lemon. OR you could use 5 skeins Lion’s Brand or Bernat Softee Baby yarns in a main color of your choice. #5 steel Susan Bates crochet hook

PATTERN: With Twinkle Print & hook, ch 169.

Row 1: Crochet 1 dc in 3rd st from hook, and in each st to end of row. Ch 2; turn.

Row 2: Work 1 dc in each st. Ch 2; turn.

Row 3: 1 dc in each of the first 7 dc, *skip 2, 2 dc-ch2-2dc in next st, skip 2, 2 dc-ch2-2dc in next st, 1 dc in 8 sts*: finish with 7 dc at end of row. Ch 2, turn.

Row 4: 1 dc in 7 st, *skip 2, 2 dc-ch2-2dc in next st, skip 2, 2 dc-ch2-2dc in next st in same place as previous row, 1 dc in 8 sts*; repeat as previous row, end with 7 dc at end of row. Ch 2, turn.

Rows 5 thru 8: Work first 7 sts in Twinkle Print; attach Lilac yarn and work shell and post pattern from * to * as established in in previous row to last 7 sts; attach 2nd skein of Twinkle Print and work last 7 sts in that color. At end of row 8, cut Lilac, tie off, and finish row in Twinkle print. Ch 2, turn.

Rows 9 thru 12: With Twinkle Print, work these rows in established pattern.


Rows 13 thru 16: Work first 7 sts in Twinkle Print; attach Sweet Pea yarn and work shell and post pattern from * to * as established in in previous row to last 7 sts; carry 2nd skein of Twinkle Print along side of work and work last 7 sts in that color. At end of row 8, cut Sweet Pea, tie off, and finish row in Twinkle print. Ch 2, turn.

Rows 17 thru 20: Repeat rows 9 thru 12.

Rows 21 thru 24: Work first 7 sts in Twinkle Print; attach Lemon yarn and work shell and post pattern from * to * as established in in previous row to last 7 sts; carry 2nd skein of Twinkle Print along side of and work last 7 sts in that color. At end of row 8, cut Lemon, tie off, and finish row in Twinkle print. Ch 2, turn.

Rows 25 thru 28: Repeat rows 9 thru 12.

Continue in this color scheme until you have 4 Lilac bands in the blanket pattern; end blanket with 2 rows Twinkle Print double crochet & shell st pattern … and 2 rows Twinkle Print double crochet rows – directions below. 84 rows completed from start to finish if you are making a solid color baby blanket.


Double crochet rows are worked over the double crochet & shell rows as follows: work 1 dc in EA double crochet st and shell st across row, leaving no space between sts – 167 dc posts:


Finish up with 1 row of 167 double crochet sts worked on the double crochet sts of previous row. Cut yarn and neatly weave in loose ends along top row and of all colors along blanket side …