Blankets are unreasonable projects
Blanket knitting is a unique thing. They are the biggest knitted item I make. They take forever. They take lots of yarn. They can be a pain to hand wash due to their size. But in spite of all of that, I love them. I especially love to knit them for babies. There’s something about a handmade blanket for a little one that’s so very special. This is the story of one such project: Bodhi’s baby blanket.
Something all her own
Bodhi is (and will always be) the baby, so she was destined to have an enviable wardrobe of hand-me-down sweaters from Hunter and Jones. But before I knew who she would become, I wanted to make something for her that would be all her own.
I quickly decided on a Vivid blanket – it’s been one of my favourites ever since Emily designed it. I went to my collection of Tanis Fiber Arts DK and pulled out a fantastic rainbow of yarns. I adore bright, cheery colours for babies! Stitch by stitch, square by square, I made Bodhi her wee blanket, knitting a little bit of love into every inch.
When the big day came, I wrapped my new, little bundle in her bright blanket, and she has used it ever since. It has served as a play mat, a bedspread, a dolly swaddle, a fort…you name it! That blanket has received a lot of love and use over the years.
Last year, to my dismay, I found the much loved blanket under Bodhi’s bed with some mothy little holes in it. Nooooooooooooo! I wasn’t ready to let this piece of her childhood go quite yet. I bagged and froze it to get rid of the pesky beasts, and then it was time to ponder the fix. Some of the squares had small holes in the edging; others had large holes in the lace.
In order to fix the blanket, I needed to take it apart. I carefully took out all the whip stitches that held the squares together and assessed each one for damage. I had to re-knit the garter edge on a few squares, and I ended up having to re-knit two squares entirely.
That’s when I decided Bodhi’s baby blanket needed an upgrade. Since I had taken the whole thing apart anyway, it seemed like a good time to make it bigger and more suitable to the needs of a six-year-old.
When I decided I would make Bodhi’s baby blanket bigger, I assumed it would only take a few more squares. (I swear I’m not usually that bad at math.) When I did the actual calculations, I realized I had a much bigger project on my hands. The original blanket was 4′ x 4′ with a total of 16 squares. Expanding it to 5′ x 6′ would require 30 squares. That’s an additional 14 squares – basically just like knitting a whole new blanket! But since I didn’t do the math before I started, I was totally committed. An additional 14 squares were whipped up.
Note: I recently noticed that I use the phrase ‘whipped up’ when referring to a piece of knitting. I think this is a personal delusion. Knitting is super slow. Nothing is really ever ‘whipped up.’ Lols.
I’m so pleased to have given this blanket a little extra life. It’s now a permanent feature on Bodhi’s bed (and still a popular addition to any blanket fort). It was such a joy to add those extra squares and play with the new colours I had acquired over the last five years.
It was a decidedly different feeling knitting up squares for a human that was already in the world – a child with her own personality and quirks – someone I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know as she becomes herself. As it turns out, my original choice of a bright, cheery spectrum of colours was absolutely perfect for my rainbow-loving Bodhi, who is both bright and cheery herself. This labour of love was well worth the effort, and it brings me great joy to see these two little things I made grow together.