This August, I had the pleasure of attending the wedding of two lovely friends of mine. Sam and I have been members of the same friends group since we were fifteen or so. The Kilvites a fantastically creative bunch, we met on writing courses run by the incredible Beth Webb and we’ve been together ever since.
Sam and his delightful bride, Shawn, tied the knot in a beautiful and bonkers country house in Somerset. But for several months prior to that, a bunch of us were working away making them a wedding present like no other.
Sam was once described as “the sexy purple man” – he had a penchant for wearing many shades thereof when we were younger, so it was no surprise that that’s the colour scheme for the blanket was, too. Marshalled by Sam’s mum, the lovely Kate, many of us – in fact, many of us who’d never met! – beavered away making squares of varying shades of lavender, violet, plum, amethyst, lilac and heliotrope. The instructions were to make squares, which I duly did. But rather than just stick with blocks of colour – which, in crochet squares, could have looked a little dull – I decided that a change was as good as a rest, and returned to the delightful sunburst granny square pattern used for Zara’s blanket.
I was careful not to share any pictures of the finished squares publicly, but so that Sam’s mum wouldn’t be too shocked when she received my package, I took a record of what I made and sent this over to her while they were in the post.
I particularly enjoyed making the sunburst squares with a range of colours. I made four of them with the shades of purple yarn that Kate had sent me, and four with yarn from my own yarn stash. I think the ones with the alternating stripes of dark and light were the least successful of all the squares, but I’m still glad I experimented with them nonetheless.
I think I was the only contributor to make squares out of crochet. The rest, many of which were made by a spectacularly talented woman named Jeanette with whom I also had many great chats about feminism and literature, were knit.
After the first batch, I made three more – by that stage, Kate had laid out most of the blanket and wanted to use the flower-like squares for structuring the colours. Like so!
I think the soft shade of green that Kate used to stitch it all together was absolutely perfect. Softly striking without being too overwhelming, it’s a remarkably harmonious choice. Apparently it came about completely by chance! She was working on the structure of the blanket with the mother of one of the groomsmen, when one of them pulled off a green cardigan and chucked it down next to the squares – and realised it was an excellent match. Serendipity!
I loved working on this project, not least because it was exciting to make all the squares, send them away, and then come together much later, celebrating the happiness of two wonderful people, and see how many people had come together to make something that they can keep with them always. What a nice notion.
So congratulations to Dr. Major and Mr. Wood, may you have long, happy, warm, purple, fuzzy lives together!