Tetris Confessions

Hi, my name is Jacquline and I have the majority of a Tetris blanket made from granny squares hidden in a plastic bin underneath an end table in my living room. It’s been there for almost four years.

Tetris bin

So, that’s where my graph paper went!

Back in February, Megan-Anne shared some of her knitshame with you and talked about her emotional attachment to a shawl she started on her honeymoon. You can read more about it here. But, her takeaway message was this:

If you have a WIP you are emotionally attached to the way I am with my shawl, don’t feel guilty about it. When another knitter or crocheter stumbles upon that project you haven’t touched in over two years, don’t blush. Tell them why it brings a secret smile to your face and that you’ll finish it when the time is right.

Spring is more or less here and we spent the weekend cleaning out the house, which was when my dear husband stumbled upon my Tetris blanket. As is protocol, he gave me a hard time for having projects hidden all over the house like a squirrel. He’s familiar with knitshame and knows more about yarn and crochet that he cares to admit to his friends, so it was all in jest. But this time, instead of playing out our bit of “unfinished project? What unfinished project?” as I whisked it away from his prying eyes, I told him why it meant so much to me and why it just sits there.

On March 31st of 2009, I packed my car with as much of my things as I could and drove away from Indiana without looking back. I drove for twelve straight hours and arrived at my sister’s one bedroom apartment in Philadelphia. Megan-Anne had moved here one year prior for school and now she had me for a roommate. When I tell people why I left Indiana suddenly, I usually laugh and say I was running away from home or tell people how much better Philly is in comparison to where I grew up, but the truth was that I was running away from an ex-boyfriend. Our relationship had lasted for six years and it was the darkest part of my life. He was mentally abusive and generally awful and it didn’t stop after we separated, so I put 650 miles between us.

Shortly after I moved to Pennsylvania, I picked up crochet again. I made three queen sized blankets in that first year and gave them away as gifts. The fourth blanket I made — or started, at least — was the Tetris blanket. Recovering from six years of mental abuse is no easy feat, but I went through a metamorphosis while I crocheted that blanket. I recovered some of my self-worth and learned how to be happy in my new skin. I made new friends and enjoyed living in the suburbs in Philadelphia.

Tetris blanket

I find it amusing now how closely the Tetris blanket resembled my life during that time. I was crocheting granny squares to form Tetris pieces while I was busy piecing myself back together.

When I look at it now, I think about my struggles and I can’t help but smile. I think about how far I’ve come, changing from a scared 25-year-old girl who just needed to escape to the 30-year-old woman who stands her ground.

Tetris pieces

My husband knows my story and why I left Indiana. However, it wasn’t until I sat down and told it to him again through the scope of the blanket that I realized it had come to represent something more. No matter how hard things might get in life, I can sit down and assemble the Tetris pieces while I put myself back together again.

Megan-Anne was right, don’t hide your projects or feel ashamed of them. Tell people why they’re special. You can start by sharing with us in the comments section. :D

~ Jac
Well, that got more sappy than I had intended.