Douthat Flannel – The Pattern I Never Thought I’d Write

The fact that I was able to even make this blanket was a huge feat in itself. I’ve struggled with anxiety for many years and it got worse during my second pregnancy. Like, do I start the dishes or the laundry first? Which one would be more time wise? But I have to sort the laundry before I start the washer. But the dishes need to be done now. Which one has more individual items? It was bad. Some days I couldn’t even do those tasks. I never felt like I had enough time. (Sometimes it was the morning all-day sickness, sometimes the anxiety.) It was one of those situations where you don’t realize how bad it is until you get out. It didn’t occur to me that struggling this bad to do basic things wasn’t normal.

I had no clue how much I was being held back by my own anxiety. With some experimenting I learned how to manage it through my diet. Then, around 6 months post-partum I found myself better than I’d been in years. My anxiety was essentially gone I could not only tackle the tasks of my dream job, being a stay-at-home-mom, but I had time to spare – something I never had before.

The Douthat Flannel pattern is my very first blanket design. It started around September after a family vacation. My husband’s birthday was coming up
at the beginning of November and I got it in my head that I wanted to give him a gift that would blow him away. Something that was better than any gift he’d
gotten me. He is an excellent gift giver. I am not, but I am highly motivated by competition. Therefore, I assessed the past gifts he’d given me and vowed to
come up with something better. I would win.

With all the ideas and creativity that I could never nail down totally accessible I started work. His favorite colors are red and black. I focused on the style, I wanted something masculine that he would enjoy using in the evenings. The easy selection was a plaid pattern, the difficult part was designing the stripes within the squares and working with different weight yarns. It took a couple of tries to come up with squares but once I got it worked out it was just a matter of following the pattern.

This pattern will always hold a special place in my heart. Before I had children, when I would think of fun things that would likely never happen, I thought of designing my own crochet patterns. Of course that would never happen for all the predictable reasons why we never pursue new things. I don’t have time. I don’t know what I’m doing. It costs too much. I’m not good/smart/creative enough to do that. All these passive comments we make when someone does something amazing, we wish we could do it, but we make an excuse for why it won’t happen. Sometimes they’re legitimate – I could not think a linear thought to save my life.

But sometimes they’re just excuses. I had the choice to stay in my anxiety or to address it. If I had stayed, if I’d said things like “I’m just a ditz. This is just my personality.” My anxiety would have been an excuse. We each have the choice to stay where we are or take a step towards change.

If I hadn’t made changes, this blanket wouldn’t be here.

Douthat Flannel is available on Ravelry & Etsy.

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