Once upon a time there was a Christmas blanket, an afghan actually, handmade with love or at least “like,” that was given to a little brown haired girl nearly 60 years ago. The box was opened and the girl smiled and unwrapped it from the tissue paper lovingly placed around it. She squealed as she hugged it to her face and then threw it down like it was on fire, saying, “EWWWW. It’s wooly—and horrible.” This child had painful experiences in early years after playing on Mamaw and Papaw’s wooly rugs, red blisters, with itchy patches and trips to the doctor. It was a pretty pattern of zig zag stripes of varied colors of red and green. The stitches had been crocheted tightly and promised to be warm and a nice size to grow into for a little girl. But it sat on the hardwood floor with family gathered around saying absolutely nothing. Mother (she didn’t like to be called Mommy anymore by “big girls,”) was stunned. Mamaw scooped it off the floor and said, “Waste not, want not, it looks pretty and can go on this gray lounger for some color.” All these years since it has been politely passed around with no one actually using it. It gets washed now and then and often put into a bag or over the back of an unused piece of furniture. In the 80s it was put on a love seat where the cats and dog liked to sleep when no one was home. They carefully got down when we came home from work or school, pretending not to have been on the furniture, but white hairs on the brown fabric gave them away as well as a very warm spot. The blanket was just the right size for a love seat to keep the hair contained but from the first day it was there, neither cats nor dog ever sat on it again. They moved to the main sofa or the floor. No one would ever sit there long so back into a bag it went. One of the cats, a Siamese famous for eating family members’ wool ski socks and gloves, tried to nibble it once and promptly spit it back out. In storage one time, other bags were chewed into by rodents and the bag was chewed open but the contents were rejected for nesting material in favor of other items.
This poor textile deserves to finally be something special and a real part of something worthwhile.