A Labor of Love

Note: I've saved the best picture for last! ;^)

You may remember that DMIL Ruthie started a blanket for DH in summer 2008 when he was undergoing chemo. He asked her to make this as a comfort for him, and his mother would do just about anything for her son, even without a cancer diagnosis. You know how that is. 8^) Having already undergone the Herculean labors to bring the boy into the world, she readily embarks on a second task, The Blanket.

I remember him asking for something blue, large, and backed in polar fleece. That was it. This gave DMIL the creative freedom to do any number of things, but they were not going to come from a pattern. That ain't the way this woman knits. So she started with the center panel and some graph paper (she does create and work off stitch charts!) and planned out the figures for the white center. First there was she herself, in a chair, knitting something long and drapey--perhaps this very blanket! Note the verisimilitude of the wild gray hair she depicts.

Then, in a line, come a gray cat (Pippi), moi, "my" fat gray cat (Percy), DH, "his" cat Kermit,

Then we have eldest daughter; middle daughter with "her" cat Cleo; and youngest daughter. Middle daughter does not have a bright blue hairstyle; she spent a long time in her teen years wearing a hoodie or a hooded sweatshirt. Nana commemorates that here. 8^)

Note the metallic whiskers of some of these felines!
Needless to say, the center panel was finished that summer, but then the laborious panels around it began, and she has been working away at it when she could (many serious back problems, a little travel, and perhaps a wee bit of boredom kept her from it at times). And when someone asks for something big, she really serves it up big! This involved a heck of a lot of knitting!

And then yesterday a box appeared on the doorstep in her handwriting, with the note: Do Not Cut to Open on the top where it was taped. Hmmmm. I wondered but was not sure what it was. When DH arrived home, he knew and immediately (and carefully) opened the box and pulled out this Gift of a Blanket.
Miles and miles of seed stitch, lovely variegated self-patterning wool in spots, and solid blues of various shades in others.

Here's one last picture of the happy son.