This afghan is from one of my favourite knitting books; I frequently recommend it to knitters who want to improve their pattern reading skills, or to beginners who just want to knit fun things without being intimidated by having to make it "fit". It includes 60 different patterns for 12" squares. To make the afghan, you choose and complete 20 of those patterns and assemble them into a glorious work of art. It involves knitting skill, crochet skill, pattern reading skill, lots of yarn but most of all, perseverance, of which Joanne has proven that she has plenty.
Over and over people have asked her how long it took to knit the afghan, and she shyly responds that it did take a long time but mainly because she was working on many other projects during the same period. But what she has told me was that it was the most pleasant project that she has worked on because at each level (learning the patterns and completing the individual squares, crocheting around those squares, sewing them together, finishing the afghan off by crocheting around the perimeter and blocking it) there was something to be learned and none of it seemed too difficult when taken step by step.
What an excellent metaphor for how we can approach any challenge in our lives: break it down into steps, learn the skills, accomplish the tasks and persevere. And you end up with something that you can be proud of producing, or accomplishing or overcoming.
That's why I love coming to work each day. I see people so excited about something that in the greater scheme of our daily existence, is as inconsequential as knitting a blanket, yet each person recognizes that it acquires a wealth of meaning when they can take such pleasure in the time they spend "recreating", and pride in the success that is the completion of any project.