In 1989 Laura Esquivel's dramatic novel, Like Water for Chocolate, was published. In 1992 this dramatic story of love, heartbreak, cooking, and crochet was released as a motion picture. The story unfolds in northern Mexico where Tita lives with her family. Tita's life is full of heartbreak, and she deals with this the ups and owns of life by crocheting a bedspread from any yarn she can find. By the end of the story, her bedspread is a full kilometer long.
For PieceWork's September/October literary issue, Abbi Byrd designed her own afghan inspired by Tita's life. I asked Abbi about creating her literary inspired project.
Toni: Had you read or watched Like Water for Chocolate before you began crocheting Tita's Kaleidoscope Bedspread?
Abbi: I've only seen the movie 25-30 times. It's one of my all-time favorites-anything that combines cooking, magic, needlework, and romance is sure to keep me entranced (I'm a sucker for historical melodrama.) When the PieceWork editors were discussing Like Water for Chocolate as a possibility for the literary issue, I mentioned my love for the movie and you can guess what happened next.
Toni: What did you think when you saw Tita's blanket?
Abbi: I love that Tita used crochet as a coping strategy, working all of her sorrows into one amazingly long quilt. I feel like many of us can relate to that; I often turn to knitting or crochet for comfort when I'm feeling down or overwhelmed.
Toni: Why did you choose the granny square for your blanket?
Abbi: Granny squares are very easy to memorize, and they seem to fly off your hook. I thought about using a more complex square pattern, something with a flower motif or a lacy pattern, but I like the look of double-crochet squares. They make a nice crisscrossing pattern and have a simple, modern look.
Toni: Did you find crocheting this bedspread calming?
Abbi: Oh, yes-but then my deadline got closer and I had to spend every spare second crocheting! I en joy crocheting squares; it's very satisfying to finish each one and watch the stacks grow taller. I was definitely cursing those stacks when it came time to stitch everything together, though!
Toni: And of course, the most important question. What is your favorite Chocolate?
Abbi: Very dark, or chocolate with bits of chili peppers!
I will always be a milk chocolate and orange girl. But in addition to chocolate, I also turn to crochet to deal with the stress and obstacles in life, and I have my own crochet afghan that comes out when I need an escape. Check out Tita's Kaleidoscope Bedspread to Crochet by Abbi Byrd and subscribe to PieceWork today.
P.S. Have you ever crocheted a project inspired by a book or movie?