Tita's Kaleidoscope Bedspread to Crochet

Tita's Kaleidoscope Bedspread to Crochet, PieceWork September/October 2012

In Laura Esquivel’s Like Water for Chocolate, Tita, the youngest daughter who finds escape from her repressed life in the sensuous dishes she prepares in the kitchen, begins working on a quilt that she hopes will take away the “icy feeling of grief” that is ever-present in her life. She turns to her handiwork whenever she is denied the love and care that she so desperately needs, and eventually she creates a quilt of epic proportions—large enough to cover an entire ranch—yet it is still not enough to warm her and cure her sadness.

When I was born, I received a number of afghans made by the older women in my family, knitted and crocheted to provide comfort while they were living on the other side of the country. I sought out the afghans for years to follow. There’s something special about a handmade blanket, each stitch worked carefully with the recipient in mind, and the emotional connection it represents. Even the meditative act of creating one can be healing.

For PieceWork’s September/October 2012 literary issue, I created a bedspread that I hoped would capture the essence of the mythical quilt in Like Water for Chocolate. In choosing colors for the bedspread, I imagined the colors in Tita’s world: red adobe clay; yucca and cacti in the desert; the earthy grains and flours in her kitchen. The pattern is simple, but the arrangement and colors of the squares are striking.  In our newest kit, we’ll provide you with enough Cascade 220 to crochet an afghan of your own, as well as a copy of Laura Esquivel’s fabulous novel Like Water for Chocolate, and the complete instructions for making the afghan. I hope you’ll enjoy making it for yourself or a special someone. Either way, you can be sure that it will be put to good use.

-Abbi