I only knit for the closest people in my life. And even then, I’m usually pretty selective about the projects. I’m a working mom of two and there really isn’t that much time in the day. So when my mom asked for a blanket, I was really torn. On the one hand, she is my mom, I would do ANYTHING for her. On the other hand, a blanket is a huge undertaking. I haven’t even made my children blankets because of the heavy time commitment. If I was going to do this, it had to be something I know she would love, and that I would love making. It had to be something that I could be monogamous with, no side projects allowed if I was going to get it done in time for her birthday. And it absolutely had to be portable. Most of my knitting is done on the go. As I pattern shopped, I kept all of these things in mind, because I was so worried this would turn into a boring repetitive big project that I could only work on at home – and I would never get it done. Thankfully, I found the perfect pattern at Stitches West. They had a Knit Picks booth this year, and they were selling the Hue Shift Afghan kit at a very reasonable price, with all the yarn I needed. It’s knit a mitered square at a time, joining as you go, but only up to one quadrant at a time, so that means it would be portable. It was a little tricky juggling two balls of yarn on the go, but totally ultimately manageable. The color changes kept me interested even though each square was the same, so no getting board. And I knew she would love it because she is a huge fan of stained glass, and these vibrant colors offset by the black boarders look a lot like stained glass. This pattern checked all the boxes. It was go time! I started knitting in March, and pretty much knit a little every day where I could find time. I took it to work for lunch knitting, to the park, to the doctors office, on car trips, kids birthday parties, you name it, I was knitting there. Each new color change was so fun to watch develop. It took me a little while to get used to which stitches to pick up and where to start each mitered square, but soon enough it was all second nature and it was just a nice meditative process where I could think about my mom and thankful I am to have her in my life, and ponder how lucky I am to have her as my mother. We’ve been through the highest of highs and lowest of lows together. We laugh a lot and get into deep philosophical discussions when we get together. She is easily one of my soul mates, if that is possible. Making this was so fun as each quadrant was like a mini finished object, in and of itself. I had the rush of finishing each quadrant every couple months. I was pretty monogamous with this project, the exception being a tiny newborn hat that took all of 1 day from start to finish. I finished all the knitting near the end of August, and I have to admit that I was a bit intimidated with all the ends to weave in, plus the seaming of the four quadrants together. Finishing has never been my strong suite. The finishing took place over labor day weekend with some good company who tolerate my crafting habit while we hung out. That made weaving the ends in very enjoyable. The mattress stitch was easier than I expected too. And the end result is just lovely. I gave my mom her the blanket today, and I can’t wait to see her wrapped up in this cozy rainbow during the winter. My kids and husband want one now too, and I will definitely be making this pattern again. It was an absolute joy to knit and I highly recommend every knitter to make it! I would love to splurge and make this with some luxury yarn. The Knit Picks yarn is just ok. The good thing is that it will be durable and it was very affordable. Someday I’d like to spin enough yarn to make one from handspun. HA, with the rate at which I spin, that will be one epic project!