Somewhere between, "To be or not to be," and, "Are we there yet?" lies the burning philosophical question we have been asking ourselves every year about this time: Is it Maryvale-worthy?
Back when my friends Susan, Sonja and I were donating blankets to Binky Patrol in Santa Monica, California, someone came up with Maryvale as a place where our blankets might be welcome.
What is Maryvale? It started as an orphanage in Los Angeles in 1856, and has grown into a facility offering many programs, including a residential treatment program for neglected and abused girls.
It is now located in Rosemead, California. (Check out maryvale-ca.org for more info.)
We didn't think we had enough blankets for all the girls in residence, so we thought, why not give a special blanket to each girl who graduates? Each blanket would have to be large enough for a teenager, and it would need to be above-average in beauty in order to honor this important and hard-won graduation. In other words, the blankets would have to be Maryvale-worthy. Something crib-sized with pink bunnies, however cute, simply will not do the trick.
The number of graduates varies each year. We like to have a few blankets in reserve, as we can never predict how many we will need. One year there were seven graduates! Yikes! I admit, I was a little frantic. We enlisted help--Joan at Monarch Knitting & Quilts in Pacific Grove made a lovely one. We got all seven blankets done in time.
I usually start making mine in January, but I got a late start this year, in part because I knew Susan was way ahead of the game with one already finished and another almost complete.
Luckily, this past year, I found a cool pattern in the May 2011 issue of Crochet! magazine, called The Hinterland Throw, designed by Shannon Mullett-Bowlsby. It is the perfect throw for a California girl when made out of cotton, and I can whip out one of these babies in a week or so. I've already made several for hospice (see the pics on Ravelry). There are quite a few errata in the originally published pattern, so if you decide to make one, be sure to get the corrections from the Crochet! website.
So here's how the never-ending thread was spun this time: Haus of Yarn gave a ton of King Tut cotton to my pal Christina for Threads of Kindness. Christina shares the donated yarn with a bunch of us so we can make preemie blankets, hats, and lap blankets for Alive Hospice. She also gave me a pile of King Tut cotton specifically so I could make the charity blankets for the Maryvale girls. Yay, Christina! Yay, Haus of Yarn! Behold the newly arrived yarn in all its glory:
Here's what the throw looks like in its beginning stages, surrounded by happy balls of yarn waiting eagerly to be crocheted (yes, I anthropomorphize my yarn. Doesn't everyone?):
A couple of days ago, I finished the throw. It just needs blocking. I will post pics when it's done. Soon we will know how many blankets Maryvale needs this year. My crochet hook stands at the ready (I anthropomorphize my hooks, too. I think I hear it saying, "Aye, aye, Captainhook.")
© 2012 Reyna Thera Lorele