The Blizzard Blanket is stored in the very top of my linen closet. I need a ladder to get it down. I'll do that one day soon and post a picture of the blanket that's so much a part of the boy's memory and mine.
The Blizzard Blanket became part of this little family’s history in January, 1978. Even though my mother taught me to crochet at an early age I had never, ever made anything larger than a dishcloth with a crochet hook. I had done lots of knitting and was comfortable with all aspects of the craft. I knew it was a lot easier to rescue ones self from a dropped stitch while crocheting than while knitting. With two young sons and a husband living almost 600 miles away I certainly didn't need a dropped stitch to ruin a perfectly good day.
A friend who lived close to me made a small afghan in granny-squares. She used bright colors to compliment a quilt her grandmother gifted to her. The boys liked it and talked about it over the next week or so. Next frame has me buying yarn as the boys selected a variety of colors. The decision was to frame each block in black was mine. My friend gave me a copy of her pattern and helped me get started. I decided to work the pattern using two strands of yarn. (Otherwise I would have had way too much yarn.) The first stitch was made on the Monday following New Year, 1978.
I found that the squares were easy to make and that I could hold a conversation with the boys, take part in some of their games, and watch meals cook while making the squares. When I had as many squares as the pattern called for I looked at the left over yarn and decided to keep making squares until most of the yarn was worked. That decision resulted in an afghan large enough for a king size bed. I started setting the huge, heavy monster together at the end of January and finished it in the early hours of the 5th day of February.
The 5th day of February, 1978, was a lovely day. Temps were in the high 60s to low 70s. The sun was shining. Children were so excited that they could play outside. My two boys were invited to visit with a friend who lived a few miles away. Because it was very close to the grocery store, I decided to do my shopping two days early. I only shopped once a month and our shelves were getting bare. I filled the trunk of the car and part of the front floorboard with groceries and drove by to pick up the boys.
When I stopped at their friend’s house the boys were ready to go. It was 1:15 and a fairly strong wind had begun to blow but the temps were still steady. The mother of the boy’s friend told me that, while the weather reports didn't say so, we were in for a severe blizzard. I didn't really believe her. You know how it is in the mountains – folk tales rule. No way was she correct.
By 3PM it was 35 degrees, wind was blowing, and snow was swirling! By 6PM the weather reports said we were in for “the storm of the century”. Our dog was in the dog run and I went to leash her and bring her inside. While I was outside I was caught in my first whiteout. I couldn't’t tell up from down but the dog pulled me to the door.
Shift workers were kept at jobs, civil defense declared a total curfew, power and phones were out. My next door neighbor and friend made it to my garage door (her husband was trapped at work) and stayed with me and the boys. We had plenty of food but no heat. Temps dropped to waaaay below zero and the wind howled for three days. We huddled under that afghan for hours at a time with the boys between us to keep them as warm as possible. Thus the Blizzard Blanket was born.
Now you know the rest of the story.
This was called “The Storm of the Century” It lasted from February the 5th to the 7th and covered the whole Northeastern United States.