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  • Writer's picturechristaleigh

Perfectly Imperfect

A Diary of Days In Granny Square (Written originally and posted for a contest at Vocal Creators) It started on April 12.

Not necessarily a remarkable day, but a day during a week in my life where, for the past few years, I examine who I've been and who I am now, and I marvel at the things that stitch together our existence.

A few days before, I happened upon a Pinterest post about granny squares. And that led me down a rabbit hole of "how have I never picked up on this before??" I learned how to crochet when the pandemic hit, when I made a list of things I'd always wanted to learn how to do but had never had the time. Crochet was right beneath learning to fold a fitted sheet. (And yes, I conquered that, too.)

But endless rows half-double-whatever-chain-three-loop-two nonsense couldn't keep my interest. No matter how soft the yarn was or how "easy" the pattern, rows and rows of stitches just weren't for me.

So when I tip-toe-tumbled onto the phenomenon known as the Granny Square, I was intrigued. I tried a few patterns out and the idea that I could have a complete little piece of something in plus or minus twenty minutes was gratifying in ways I never expected. When I read about "mood squares", I immediately made my way to the nearest Joann's and bought skeins in every color. I did some math, and figured out that if I make one square a day, and one for each month change, in a year I'd have a blanket that could cover a king size bed. And, a colorful kind of journal to wrap up in.

The first square was on a Monday. Sundays get a solid color. The month change gets a solid color in a different pattern. I use deep reds on days when I feel frustrated or angry; deeper blue and grey for sadness. Green for productive, and purple on days when I feel like I'm succeeding in giving more than I take. Dark days get dark colors. Bright orange and pink for fun, bright blue for easy. Days when the moon is full have white centers. We went on a beach vacation in June- for those days I used beiges and orange and yellow. And my husband made fun of me when I packed a bag full of yarn for a road trip, but it was so... fulfilling to focus on a square while we talked about the future and the past. Gold... this great gold color I love, it reminds me of gratitude, so I decided to stitch the squares together with that.

I'm not perfect, so I don't get one done every day. And when I'm behind, I love looking at the calendar and thinking about the days I need a square for and choosing the colors that fit that day. I feel like the act of examining a day and assigning a color scheme weaves a story beyond any words I could give to my day in a journal.

We all have moments that change us. When I started this project I recognized that the timing was not arbitrary. For a few years now I've looked back at the moments that comprised the patterns in my life and the memory of a Monday that will probably hurt in various ways for the rest of my life. I think, when I made that first square, I wanted to see with my eyes and feel with my hands that I've healed. Not just that I've healed, but how I've healed. And I wanted to arrive at the end of this project, one year later, and be able to see with my eyes, feel with my hands, and wrap up in the warmth that is a year of days I lived. Good and bad, happy and sad, productive and frustrating and awesome and awful and all of the things that life can be.

Like life, most of my squares are imperfect. Perfectly imperfect.

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