2022 was a year for me. But, then again, so was 2021, as well as 2020. Basically the entire pandemic was a gradual descent into, what I can now retrospectively look at as, a mental health catastrophe from which I almost did not emerge. I was lost in my head without an exit door. I was angry, confused and watching my life seemingly fall apart without a tangible solution or escape. Even outside of my mental health challenges, the world just didn’t make sense anymore. And without many of the humans who I’d incorrectly assumed would have been there to lend a hand to pull me out, I had to figure out how to do it with those few who remained and the tools that I knew would work. Enter the Middle Finger Blanket.
At the time, I was not looking for a project to flip someone the bird. I had been sent each of the Wander Acrylic colors from my friends at Furls and I was merely looking for a repetitive stitch project that could soothe my brain. Crochet had always been able to help me center myself in the past, so I knew it was something that could help me move through 2022. I’m a big fan of a color gradient and I chose to use all of the colors instead of having to choose. As I scoured the internet for the perfect stitch to get into the repetitive flow, the larksfoot stitch popped up and I knew it was the one. So with my favorite Furls Crochet Hook, I began the journey of this blanket.
It wasn’t until I began posting progress photos of my blanket that someone mentioned in the comments that it looks like the middle finger. I generally photograph from first-person perspective and the idea that I was crocheting tiny hands with their middle fingers extended just had me cackling. And it turned this already therapeutic repetitive stitch project into a a project where I was able to reclaim myself and my life. It became empowering and humorous and it became impossible not to smile the entire time I created this blanket. So when Furls reached out to me asking if I wanted to write a pattern and kit this blanket for others to make, I agreed under one condition: we must call this the Middle Finger Stitch Blanket.
Part of my healing journey through 2022 and this blanket was me realizing how inhibited I had become as a thought-leader and “influencer” in the sewing and crafting space. Literally everything I did had become processed through the lens of whether it would upset certain groups of humans or bring complaints to a brand I partnered with. I was hiding so much of myself to please people that, at the end of the day, did not have my back that I refuse to do that any longer. Because doing so is unhealthy for my spirit and my mental health.
And, to me, this Middle Finger Stitch Blanket isn’t being irreverent or provocative. It’s just super duper funny to me. Like so incredibly LMAO guffaw funny that it helped me heal. It helped me find myself. It helped me make sense of the world again after being lost. It helped me find my place again in sewing and crafting. And it’s a reminder to myself to never ever ever allow others to make me feel like I must forego my own needs for psychological safety or minimize my own values to be successful. Because not a single one of the people that were in my ear trying to tell me how I needed to show up in this space had my best interests at heart. They just wanted the piece of me that served them while I hid the rest. So to all of those people, this blanket is in your honor. And to anyone else out there who might resonate with any or all of my story and/or ever felt the need to flip someone off, this blanket is FOR you to channel all the flipping-the-bird feels while smiling from ear to ear the entire time. Love you mean it.
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