Friday, 9 August 2013

A Blanket Story

Well, I've said before how much I love making blankets.  In fact blankets are my favourite thing to crochet.  I dream of filling my flat with handmade blankets.  I dream of piles of folded day that dream will be a reality.  For now I make blankets for myself in between blankets for the new babies popping into the lives of friends and family as well as plenty of other smaller projects to keep my creative juices flowing.
I obvious love making blankets because the final items are lush but aside from that I love making blankets because of the memories that are stitched into them.  Each blanket I make is filled with a whole variety of different memories of places and people.
I wanted to make a blanket for a friend at work who is having a baby boy in September.  I started the blanket in May half term.  That seems massively organised for me, I'm normally a last minute person, but said friend was leaving work in July to start her maternity leave and I wanted to have the blanket ready for her baby shower at the end of term.  Here is The Blanket Story for this baby blanket.

Ok so this blanket story starts in the same place as all good blanket stories, at The Wool Sanctuary (those beady eyed folks amongst you will realise that this pictures was not indeed taken during May half term.  I didn't take any gratuitous yearn pictures that trip.)  I was staying with Cuckoo and her family and went to Suzie's for Knit Club.  It was a fab Knit Club, slightly fewer people than usual due to it being school holiday time and an extremely sunny day!  This was good as it meant I could really pick Suzie's brain about colour choices.  I also had a bit more spaces to fondle the yarn in the living room!!  I had an idea in my head that I wanted to use mustard and grey and I wanted to do some kind of hexagon design.  We pulled yarns from the shelf and shuffled them around.  Suzie showed me some photos of tiled floors that she thought might inspire me.  I loved the colours in the tiles but to get the overall effect that we thought it would need a very large blanket. 

So here are the colours we decided on.  Yellow, green and light and dark grey.  A gorgeous combo for a boyish blanket without being boring or pastely.  I spent a lot of the weekend making these hexagons.  At one point Cuckoo thought I was going to finish the whole blanket in the weekend and was ready to christen it The Weekend Blanket.

The sun was shining that weekend and I sat in the garden stitching lots of love into that blanket and taking in the gorgeous views from Cuckoo's garden.  Perfect scene for stitching.  As the sun was out, Cuckoo's two older boys were out playing most of the weekend.  I got the odd call of "Owen look at me!"  "Owen watch this!"  I had the odd bit of company when one of the boys joined me for a chat or to play with the yarn (I had my scissors well hidden as remembered the fascination with them last trip!) 

Plenty of stitching took place in Cuckoo's Bird Box (craft room.)  I was crocheting hexagons and Cuckoo was trying her hand at making her dream pair of bloomers........

a bit too much of this (Pimms) was consumed so many hexagons were remade as I kept forgetting a row of the pattern and Cuckoo's bloomers were re-named "bloopers" due to the number of mistakes being made!  Yes, the Pimms definitely didn't help on the crafting front but it stitched in lots of laughs and joking and fun times.

Despite the huge number of hours I put in over the weekend I didn't finish the blanket in the weekend.  At the end of the weekend Suzie took me home (very kindly all the way to my door) as she was staying in Essex that week.  That meant we went to Knit Club at MD&M on the Wednesday.  There was a little party at Knit Club that weekend for Kath's sister who was off to start an amazing adventure in Australia.  Suzie saw the colours of my blanket in the jelly beans (and then in true Instagram style took a picture of it and in true Suzie style said that it was me messing around instead of using the time to crochet!!)
I also worked on the blanket at Nicki's gorgeous cottage over tea and sandwiches and scones and cake!  I made a few hexagons here but I mainly just looked at them and admired them.  At this stage I was still deliberating the layout and weather to make some half hexagons for the end of the rows.  I was trying to weigh up the possible preferences of the recipient and my own choices.  If the blanket had been bigger with more colours I would have gone for a less orderly colour placement but due to the fact that this is a small blanket then I decided to follow a pattern (I was also thinking of the recipient or recipient's mum and thought there would be a preference for order!)  I did however go with my personal preference and not make the half hexagons in order to give a more interesting shape and pattern.
Now the above picture represents a time when the blanket was talked about, hexagons were admired, joining intentions were there BUT nothing was done (apart from taking a picture!)  This photograph represents a lovely morning/afternoon spent with Kath and my old boss Jan eating cake and scones and salad and drinking lots of tea and talking creative talk in The Granny Shack.
Considering I started the blanket so far in advance I think I did put off the joining, the sewing in of ends and thinking about the border (as I was still undecided) so it did end up being a big concentrated effort over the last week of term.  We had a little craft fair at school which took a lot of my crafting free time as I had a stall so I knew I would have to finish the blanket after that.
I took the unfinished blanket to a barbie at my aunt and favourite nearly uncle's new house.  My family are used to my crochet projects (and knitting and embroidery) being brought to various gatherings.  This event was a bit of a house warming, our first visit to the house and plenty of Pimms and champagne was drunk to mark my mum's retirement after 25 years at the same school (after about 14 years at the school before.)  I can't imagine teaching for that long!!
It took me a long time to decide on what kind of border to do.  So many borders seemed too fussy or too girly for a blanket for a boy.  I did a few rows of doubles while I thought about it!  In the end I opted for a simple picot border to finish it off.
Now this seems apt that the only picture I have of the finished blanket is one taken from my phone (and not matter how many times I enlarge it and try and take a new one, I cant get rid of the details!!)  I think it's quite fitting really as I had to take this one off IG!  I may even have a picture of the baby on the blanket for you in a few weeks (parental permission permitting!)
So there is The Blanket Story.  This blanket doesn't have a name.  Maybe it's new owners will give it one!  This is quite a well travelled blanket with much love stitched into it and memories of time with family and good friends.

love love love
Erin x 


  1. Enjoyed that blanket story Erin and the colours are fab!

    Ali x

    1. Thanks Ali. I rather love the colours myself too. Am considering this kind of colour scheme for my knitted squares blanket. X

  2. Lovely, lovely post Erin/Owen! (Ha! That made me chuckle!) You could print this out for the blanket's recipient - I know I should love to hear it's story if it were for me.

    Perfect colour combination too.

    Heather x

    1. I wrote this post mainly for the recipient. I've sent her a link to it. Originally I had grand ideas about making a mini book to gift with the blanket but time ran away with me!
      E x

    2. Owen is what Big called me after my first stay. They now know my name is Erin but Cuckoo is brainwashing them and encouraging the Owen!!

  3. Hi Erin
    I have just found your Blog through Pink Milk and I completely get your obsession with crocheting blankets - as it is mine too !There is something so calming and therapeutic about the rhythm of it all isn't there ? Therapy on a hook !Happy blanketing,

    1. Hi Kate,
      Thanks for popping by. Yes blanket making is very therapeutic there's something about the repetitiveness of it. I'm currently working on one at the moment that is a bit different. A bit of a crochet along with lots of different squares. It's nice to work on one that needs a bit more effort to concentrate!
      Erin x

  4. such a lovely post, I think it is a lovely story for the blankets new owners to have, it shows just how much effort and care (notwithstanding Pimms remakes) went into it, brilliant and a beautiful blanket too x

  5. Erin, beautiful story..I too love to crochet blankets and throws... Love them. We don't get much use out of them here in Texas, but I have plenty if anyone needs a snuggle when the air conditioner is on too cold....TeeHee

  6. Ahhh it's lovely! Love that mustard border! Perfect inspiration for a baby blanket...which is what my next blog post is about! Can't wait to see pics of the baby snuggled up in it.xx

  7. Ah I missed this before. Gorgeous blanket! I love those colours you've used. I also dream of piles of blankets. sadly I am too impatient and usually opt for quick projects for the thrill of finishing things!