Nesting – the significant baby blanket

19/08/2019 · 2 comments

in Craft,Crochet,Knitting

bunny-blanket-emma-varnam

Like so many people of my generation, I returned to knitting when the patter of little feet began to be heard. When my good friend was pregnant with her first child – my glorious godson – I became weirdly interested in the haberdashery department of our local John Lewis. That marks the beginning of everything yarny. Patterns and yarn began were bought – and a suspicious pile of half made projects grew in as basket at the side of the sofa.

I made this little bundle of joy a very cute jumper by Sirdar – navy blue with little white fish. The pattern is still very popular and available now. Thinking about it, the baby on the front cover of that pattern book must now be about 21 years old. How utterly bizarre.

When our son was on his way, I evolved and settled into the habits I have now. The minute my bottom hits the sofa at the end of the day, my feet curl up under me and I turn to pick up the needles.

I wish I had a full list of what I made, there were a few hats, a very small and sweet jumper in moss stitch and perhaps the most useful item; an aran cable knit jacket. From six months old, our baby wore this jacket most days over his baby grow.

But you know and I know that the real gift of love – the heirloom item – is the first blanket. We had no idea whether we were having a girl or a boy and so it occurred to me the best idea would be to make something totally unique. I knitted a cute heart blanket to keep him warm in his buggy. In fact, when I think about it, this might have been one of my first ‘developed’ designs. I used the basis of a blanket designed by Zoe Mellor, changed the colours and swapped the cloud motif for a heart motif. It is still a favourite. The yarn is Debbie Bliss Cashmerino Aran, soft and luxurious. Just right for a much anticipated baby.

emma-varnam-bunny-blanket

It’s really not all that long ago. But looking back at the choices I made whilst ‘yarn-nesting’ for Little B, I realise how the yarn industry has changed and my own making has altered.

  1. The yarn choice is much wider and incredibly varied
  2. The pattern choice is so huge and very accessible, it would be rare for me to make a trip to a department store now for pattern inspiration – I would just go online.
  3. I would now tend to crochet blankets – not knit.

I am so much faster as a crocheter, that when I do knit a blanket, I almost give-up with frustration. Additionally, the heart blanket I made for Little B has intarsia motifs. This means it has a good side and very much a wrong side. The benefit of crochet has always been that it is pretty much reversible.

The first baby nursery blanket is a significant make, it is a labour of love and often this is a job for the expectant Mummy or Grandparent.

For very special people I still enjoy making the first blanket. I just finished my latest. I will get into the detail in my next blog post. But for me this is and never will be ‘just a commission – ‘just a gift’. It is more than that, it is a celebration in wool and and statement of hope.

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