My friend Mark is one of my most FAVORITE people on the entire planet. What can I say? He is so damn smart and so damn NICE. He's nice to everybody! (Really, how many people do you know like that?) Plus, he gave me my first real job that didn't involve folding sweaters or ringing up people who wanted to buy stuff. When I interviewed with him for an internship at a regional magazine, I had no idea that he would become one of my most favorite people AND that I would one day be invited to his future wife's first baby shower. For the record, it should be noted that Dina is as cool, smart, and nice as Mark.
I worked for Mark for five summers starting after my sophomore year of college, and it was during the second summer that I caught on to him going to New England pretty frequently to visit "a friend." Of course, the "friend" was a "GIRLfriend" who turned out to be Dina. Dina later moved back to this area, and the two of them were married a few months after Ron and I were married. Earlier this year in January, Mark randomly called me while we were trading emails and asked, "Did you see the last email I sent? I just hit the Send button. Did you see it?" I kept refreshing my in-box while talking to him, but the email wasn't showing up. So finally he said, "Ok: the email says, 'Dina is PREGNANT!!'" Poor Mark, because I promptly screamed into the phone. I went from shouting, "Oh my God!! Are you kidding??!!" to sobbing, "Oh my God!! You're not kidding!!" all while Mark laughed at my total bipolar emotional reflex to his phone call.
Speed forward one semester (one and half trimesters!) and odd months later, Dina's surprise shower was upon me and of course I had committed to a handmade baby gift: a crocheted baby blanket. I was BEYOND determined to finish this because I had started a pink one in the beginning of the year for my friend Amy ... and I didn't finish it in time for her shower. She did get a blanket, but it was store-bought and not what I really wanted to give. I started Dina's blanket in March and did the bulk of it in April before the end-of-semester storm. However, I worked down to the wire, finishing nearly half of it in the 48 hours before the event itself. But, I finished it!
I went with white because Mark and Dina have no idea if the baby is a boy or girl, and Dina's preferred color is white upstairs in her house. I figured it was the best bet. The pattern I used called for 78 rows of those Vs that you see, but I think I capped out at 65 or 66. It was pretty big without the remaining 12 rows, and once I did the edging and finished the whole thing, it's not clear to me that I would've had enough yarn anyway.
I had planned on doing a shell pattern all around the edge, but my mom showed me this reverse single crochet stitch at the last second and I decided to go with that. It created this simple, twisting rope pattern around the edge and I think it will be nice for a boy or girl. Sometimes the shell pattern can be really feminine even when you don't mean it (or need it) to be that way.
And I made personalized gift tags for it with washing instructions. I just couldn't believe that I finished it! I hate saying this, but a part of me is just so used to procrastination beating me in so many battles. Now I just need to go back and work on the unfinished pink one in my drawer. Someone else will be having a girl at some point!