I can't believe we made it this far.
It seems like only a few short weeks ago you began as a little plan, an idea sprouting in my head while your sister was still growing in my hands. Silly now to think that I originally wanted you to look like this, isn't it?
(While I'm thinking about it, Double Rainbow, I'm ever so sorry I've never gotten around to finishing you properly. I promise I'll get back to you.)
You were never a patient one, and while you resided only in my head you kicked and prodded, urging me on while I swatched, compared colors, sketched out ideas, wondered what you would look like in the end. Wasn't it only a few weeks ago that the plan was finalized, this picture completed?
I remember the day I brought you home, finally something real to hold in my hands. You were nothing but a clamoring mass of squishy colors, eager to play, desperate to get started. It was difficult to restrain that much joy.
It was a Sunday morning when we finally settled down to get to know each other. The large hook made my hands ache and the yarn wouldn't tension easily, but I fell in love with your vibrant, twisting colors and dense, squishy fabric anyway. I think I held you almost all day, too wrapped up in you to think of doing anything else.
One down, 143 to go. That first week flew by in a blur of color -- purple, yellow, blue, orange, green, red! A perfect rainbow held together by your common (red) denominator. But that wasn't going to last.
It can't have been that long ago, those first six weeks. Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple. We got it down to a science, churning out a square in half an hour. I didn't even have to watch my hands. You were eager to please, never put up a fuss. The odd gaps began to fill, lines of color intersected and the orderly chaos extended. Then that Friday evening when the first 36 squares were done and every combination was laid out. I was practically hysterical with joy.
That can't have been in February. Not that long has passed.
Your novelty began to wear off soon after. No more new combinations, just repetition. Squares continued to stack up, but some of the magic between us was gone. Still, though, we made it to a second milestone just on time, a mirrored pair for every square. This time I had to stand on a step-stool to get the proper height to capture all your colorful squares.
By the third quarter my box began to overflow with squares as you devoured yarn at an exciting rate. I got lazy sewing in your ends, and I'm sorry some of them ended up lazily woven in. I know I have to go back and fix those; you keep poking them out at me and I'm sorry I never find the time to sew them in properly.
You no longer fit in the hall this time, and I had to take over a substantial amount of floor to spread out your pieces, fitting each square into its proper row and column. This time I needed a bar stool, and I still cut out the top row. I'm sorry to ruin your lovely shot with my pink pajama pants and bare feet. It was the best I could do.
Then... things got crazy. I'm sorry. It was May (May? Really?); summer was coming and I was finishing a college course and working on gifts (I'm sorry; that lace shawl should never have come between us) and my work on your squares was sporadic at best. But we got through it anyway, didn't we? And in the middle of June, halfway through the year, I fell in love with you all over again, with your neatly organized color.
I hope you'll forgive me for the awkward picture I managed to take. How many shots did I make you pose for while I balanced precariously on the table, holding my camera to the ceiling? At least this one had parts of all your squares.
Then came the sewing-up, a doubled strand of soothing black whipstitching the rows together, tugging your squares into place. No longer the squashed unruly squares of childhood, no, you gained sharp corners and straight sides, defined and proud.
I'm sorry for giving you Dissociative Identity Disorder. I probably shouldn't have asked you to split up like that, doing double duty as both a lap blanket and a work-in-progress. I'm sure it gave you headaches. And as soon as the second quarter was finished...
...I made you do triple duty, and in two different households at that. I'm sorry for traumatizing you; I didn't mean to make you think you would never be complete. It was just a loan, and I'm sorry if I didn't explain that well enough.
And I'm sorry I fell behind. I had school to do, and my spindles were too enticing. I'm glad you finally snapped me out of it. We spent lovely evenings curled up on the couch together watching movies while I hurried through your seams for the third and fourth time.
Now you were back to only two personalities, split between homes. Time to remedy that. Remember bundling into my car at the end of November (that wasn't so long ago now) and hurrying off to reunite with your final piece? You weren't as fond of the cold wood floor, but you consented to pose for a picture and didn't even complain when it came out a bit lopsided.
We ran into a bit of a hitch at the end there, didn't we? Trying to join those four quarters securely, bring you to your full-size glory. And what a glory you were, once we worked through the problem. I had to put you outside and sit on the monkey bars to take a full picture of you. Thank you for not complaining about the dead grass.
Of course now your true teenaged nature showed itself, and we had battle after battle over how your border should look. You hated my plan, but you had none of your own. I tried to please you, but you were obstinate. The only thing we could agree on was a single round of black clusters, but that didn't seem enough to hold in all that boisterous color.
Frustrating though you were, you were dear to me. The comforter who used to occupy my bed is not as fond of you, since he found himself out in the cold of the garage as soon as you were grown-up enough to replace him. And you soon came around to my side again and we agreed together on the border that would be right for you -- a thick band of clusters with no chains between them, a dense border where black held you together and colors cuddled into a miniature rainbow that framed you perfectly.
We only had one fight and one mishap when it came down to it. You didn't like my final round (we compromised with the row of half-double crochet), and I ran out of yarn about a foot from finishing.
That's why I missed your first birthday. A terrible excuse, but then you guzzled that yarn and should be ashamed of yourself anyway. It's okay now though. We worked it out.
Thank you for consenting to go outside in the freezing wind, and being patient while I struggled for a good shot. (That brick is for scale, don't give it those nasty looks. I told it to stay there and it can't be intimidated by your loud red and orange complaints.)
And I'm glad you made it through the washing machine and the dryer. I was worried you'd come out angry, with ends loose and frayed bits. But the good scrub seemed to soften you. Your edges no longer curl and you aren't as stiff and formal. You're happy to cuddle and just much more zen all around.
I can't believe you're all grown up now, a proper queen (-size blanket). I've put the hook away. The leftover yarn is earmarked for other projects now. You're far too big for my twin-size bed, so I guess we'll have to get you a proper one soon.
It's been an amazing year. You are a beautiful, twisting collection of 8,243 yards of yarn (that's 4.6 miles or 7.5 kilometers). You weigh 162 ounces (10 pounds or 4.5 kilograms). You came a long way from being the better part of 28 skeins of yarn, and I am proud of you.
So four days late: Happy birthday, Octuple Rainbow. I love you.