I’m ready to admit it. I’m a great big liar.
I wasn’t alone in my sin. I had help.
Many months ago, when I heard Aisling was going to have a baby, I started thinking that it would be nice to do something special for her and the new baby. In case you don’t know Aisling, I’ll tell you that she’s one of the nicest people I’ve met. She’s sweet and undemanding. She has such a great attitude about everything, and the way she cares for her family is truly inspiring.
So one evening, after Aisling had gone home from the knitting group, a bunch of us were sitting around talking about Aisling. It was all good stuff (our group only says bad things about truly wretched people… like bad yarn stores or yarn dyers who don’t set their dye). That’s when I suggested that we do a group blanket for Aisling. Everyone seemed on board for it. So the concept was born.
It’s hard to coordinate such a large project. Our group has a private Yahoo group that would make it easier, but how could we discuss it without banning Aisling from the group until it was done?
Introduce… The big lie!
I went through and emailed each person (except Aisling) and told them that I was going to tell a big lie about the purpose of the blanket on the group, but the blanket would really be for Aisling. Then I posted a big heart-wrenching story that would easily make a person weep. I wish I had the original post. The story was so effective that those some of those who received the private email assumed that there would be two blankets (and eagerly offered to knit a square for each). Even Aisling jumped in to knit a square! (We couldn’t figure out how to keep her from doing it without tipping her off, so we let it go. Later, Jeri tried to convince her that she had too much to do, but Aisling refused her help. It’s just like Aisling!)
After that, all the posts referred to “my niece’s blanket”. It worked out well. We managed to finish the project without Aisling ever knowing it was for her and her baby.
I have to say that doing this project gave me a whole new appreciation for our knitting group. When we started, we didn’t really have a clue what we were doing. Jeri, our pattern whisperer, did the calculations, ordered the yarn, and kept track of who all was working on the project. Elisha was our informant who gave us information to make sure that we didn’t do something Aisling would absolutely hate. Julia opened up her house for a “seaming party”, and a few people threw themselves into the seaming, even though they had never crocheted before. Kat crocheted her first project, a square that was added to all of the knitted ones. Micki taught me how to do a killer crocheted edging that I will be using again. Our ladies juggled this project along with lots of other commitments and found ways of coordinating meet-ups to hand off yarn and squares. Even those who didn’t have the time to do actual work for the project contributed ideas and good wishes. It was awesome to see this group work and what it could create together!
We finally had the chance to present the blanket to Aisling. The baby had already been born, but I suppose late is better than never. As with everything else, the presentation was full of subterfuge. Joy took the baby (supposedly so that Aisling could eat her sandwich), and we headed off between the book stacks. We found bench and wrapped the baby in the blanket. Then Joy took him back to Aisling.
To say that Aisling was surprised is a bit of an understatement, I think. Speechless would be pretty accurate! Hopefully, she doesn’t even mind that we lied to her!