Two weeks ago I had a plan to knit a blanket. Naively, I thought that a few hours with my knitting needles would be all it really entailed. Yes, I wanted involvement, but I wasn’t sure that anyone would be at all interested in what seemed like an eccentric English woman’s plan to knit at every available opportunity. I’m eating those unspoken words now.
This is so much more than just knitting a blanket.
Emails and messages have started coming in, not exactly in droves but in enough of a quantity that I’m spending more and more time replying to them. It’s really important to me that every message is replied to individually, that everyone who wants to contribute really knows how much their contribution is valued and that they feel a part of this project whether they’re here in Lexington or in Washington State, or Chicago, England, Canada, or Australia, and I’ve had messages and contributions from all these places. This local project is reaching out across the globe. That fact delights me. My life exists in places so much further afield than Lexington–my family are all in England, I have friends across the world, and all of these people are part of my personal community. The LGBT community does not exists in an easily identifiable geographical location–it exists in the family and friends that we have in far-flung places, and I’m so thrilled that this project will be representing not only diversity on an individual level but also diversity on a geographic level.
I’ve been especially moved this week by the messages and dedications that have been starting to come in. Every different story somehow managed to be both uplifting and heartbreaking and I’ve spent a lot of time wiping away unexpected tears. Susan will tell you (and I’ll openly admit) that I’m an emotional person at the best of times. I can catch the last 10 minutes of a movie and still weep uncontrollably at the end without any sense of what might have happened previously to those characters. I cry at soap opera weddings (Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, I’m looking at you), and sad-faced kittens so I suppose it was inevitable that this project would bring out the tears, even though I really wasn’t expecting it to. Some of the stories that people have been wonderful enough to share with me have been incredible, and I cannot wait to work them into the finished blanket. There absolutely must be some kind of publication, or “virtual blanket” alongside this project so that its audience can learn about the amazing people that are making this project possible. I’m tempted to start sharing stories here, and I’m sure you would love to read them, but I think it’s more appropriate to save them until the blanket itself is finished.
What I will share, though, are pictures of some of the completed squares and the yarn donations we’ve had. Hopefully this will inspire anyone still sitting on the fence to get out their needles and hooks and start creating. I can’t promise that I’ll be able to share every square I receive in this way, but I’ll do my best to pop up some pictures when I get the opportunity. I was hoping to put the pictures in this post but I emailed them to myself from my home computer this morning, thinking I could easily open them and add them to this post from campus. Alas, though, I’m on a Mac and haven’t a clue how to get them from my email to this post so you’ll have to wait until this evening.