By JAN A. IGOE
WHEN YOU HAVE A KNITTER in the family, especially one with a limited repertoire, there will be afghans. Lots and lots and lots of afghans.
My mom, God rest her soul, was a knitting beast. Armed with hundreds of needles and crochet hooks, she mass-produced granny squares like a deranged machine. We suspect she was also colorblind.
Mom had a knack for tracking down killer closeouts on polyester yarn. She had zero use for natural fibers. Except for a brief foray into sewing antelope fur vests for the entire family and dozens of traumatized friends, Mom was devoted to glow-in-the-dark polyester yarn. The more neon the orange, flamboyant the fuschia, or phosphorescent the chartreuse, the more likely the electric skein was to join her needlework palette. And the more eager the store was to pay her to take it away.
Mom’s motto: Your relatives can never have too many homemade blankets. If you run out of beds, sofas, chairs, appliances, car seats and naked dolls, there’s always the grill, patio furniture and future generations to cover up.
When my brother and his wife were expecting twins, Mom was in heaven. Two innocent children were desperately in need of homemade granny square afghans, just big enough to keep their tiny bodies warm, but ample enough to double as bivouac tents.
My brother graciously told her that his twins’ rooms were being decorated in soft pastel yellow and mint green. Mom’s response: “So?”
When the blankets arrived, each was about 10 feet across by 12 feet long. Besides pastel yellow and mint green, we counted several dozen flickering, vibrating, seizure-inducing shades capable of piercing closed eyelids at 50 paces. Fearing the color cacophony could cause photosensitive epilepsy in lab animals, he called Mom to request a crochet cease and desist.
While timidly voicing his concern about the long-term effects of visually over stimulating his newborns, Mom produced four more equally eye-boggling blankets so he could rotate them. They were finished before he hung up the phone.
I now realize that my poor mom was born ahead of her time—too early to cash in on the granny graffiti movement that would have guaranteed her rock star status: Yarn bombing.
Yes, mad knitters around the world are taking to the streets to cover anything that grows, rolls, was cast in bronze or has roots. Every time a city bus rolls by on a chilly morning, die-hard knitters ask themselves the same question: “Why isn’t it wearing a scarf?”
When nature leaves tree trunks humiliated by drab brown bark as flowers flaunt their colorful petals in the sunlight, true knitters know it’s their duty to fix the injustice. Why settle for tea cozies when you could be knitting tree cozies?
From park benches to naked statues just crying out for striped leg warmers, guerilla crocheters are out to eradicate earth tones. To them, olive drab assault vehicles, such as tanks, seem desperate for fuzzy pink adornment. As prolific knitters run out of relatives to blanket, granny squares are breaking out of senior centers and running amok.
So prepare yourselves. International Yarn Bombing Day is June 9. There’s still time to pack your needles and select prime targets. That also gives brown-trunked tree owners time to take precautions. Camouflage them in afghans before the knitters attack. Just call if you need one. I may have a few extras.
JAN A. IGOE wishes all you knitters and crocheters a joyous Yarn Bombing Day. Share your handiwork with her at HumorMe@ SCLiving.coop.