I first came across this Mario blanket on the Intstructables website about 2 and half years ago. Pinterest didn’t exist at the time, so I saved the link the way I always had: by copying and pasting it (along with the actual text and images from the website, should the site go down for any reason) onto a word document and saving it in a folder labeled “crafts” on my desktop. Thank God Pinterest now exists; that was a lot more work and energy than just hitting a “Pin It” button! Once I got my own Pinterest account, this blanket was among my very first pins. I have known how to crochet really simple things like beanies (and….oh wait. Yeah, that’s it. Just beanies) for a few years now, but despite not knowing how to make a granny square, I resolved to one day tackle this craft. The perfect opportunity arose when my sister announced she was pregnant! I knew this little guy or girl would be worthy of such an awesome snuggle buddy, so I turned to my old friend YouTube and started watching tutorials on how to make granny squares. This was way back in July.
I did about 40 or so that were just not good, so I had to make them over once I got the hang of it. It took a while to figure out how much tension I needed and to really get comfortable with the motions (I am right handed, but my friend who taught me how to crochet is left handed, so I have this odd little backwards style that baffles any other crocheter I come across). When I found my groove, I was literally a granny-square machine. There was no such thing as just sitting; for seven months, every time my butt was in a seat, my hands were cranking out those tiny little squares. My bag of yarn balls and hooks sat in my bed next to me so that if I happened to wake before my alarm went off, I could make at least one square. I carried that bag with me everywhere: you never knew when you may have a few extra minutes to kill, right? Let’s just say that if someone offered to pay me to make another one of these, my asking price would be astronomical based on the amount of hours I put into it (and, for the record: I will NEVER do this again. Not even for my own children, should I ever have any). An added bonus is that I have a rheumatoid disease, so crocheting should never really be a hobby in which I regularly partake, never mind devote my every waking moment to. But, I’m never one to do the expected thing J
Something like 254 granny squares later, it was January, my sister was due in 2 weeks, and I had staunchly resolved to have the blanket completed by my nephew’s birth. Gulp.
January 14th came and my nephew was born! He name is Owen and he has giant blue saucer eyes and makes great sucking noises and coos and has just one rocking dimple. But no blanket. Sorry dude. Almost done!
Once the squares were completed, though, the tasks of creating rows and attaching them together went pretty quickly, especially compared to making granny squares: maybe it’s my backwards, completely wrong way of crocheting, but it takes me around 25 minutes to make just one square, which is about the same amount of time it took me to attach an entire row onto the blanket. Plus, it was a way more motivating and exciting step to add row after row and watch the blanket really come to life than just making square after square, so that portion of the process seemed to fly by.
Then, finally, on February 1, 2013, my masterpiece was complete! I am a serious crafter; I usually have at least one major project in the works (along with 2 or 3 side project simultaneously), and I can honestly say that I have never been more proud of anything I’ve ever made. It’s a huge piece, and is something that Owen will be able to use for a very long time. I thought a tiny bit of me would be sad to give away this project that I worked so hard on, but the entire time I had been working on it, I had this tiny little baby in mind; it had always been for him, so I was really just eager for him to have it. This blanket was by far the most daunting and time consuming craft I’ve ever committed to, but it turned out absolutely amazing and I don’t regret a single second of the frustration, late night yarn knots, fingers gnarled in pain, or the crazy glances from my roommate as I sat amidst different colored columns of yarn squares, bitterly whispering to and cursing myself. I hope Owen takes it to college with him…and if he doesn’t, his crazy Aunt Chrissy will gladly hand deliver it to his dorm room (yes, boy, that is a threat).
Original Pin: http://pinterest.com/pin/115052965450221727/
A couple of images: