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A Precious Blanket Repair

July 16, 2020

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. 

A blanket made of lace squares in a rainbow of colours is laying over a grey couch.
Bodhi’s original 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. 

A little baby Bodhi dressed in a navy and turquoise sweat suit that is a little too big. Laying on her back on her hand knit blanket in a rainbow of squares.
This is Bodhi, only a few hours on the outside.

Disaster 

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. 

I am holding a lavender lace balnket square with a big hole in it.
This little lavender square got the worst of it.

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. 

A rainbow stack of lace blanket squares.
I’ve been ‘collecting’ Tanis Fiber Arts yarn for about eight years now, and it shows!

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.

6-year-old Bodhi is standing with her blanket of rainbow squares wrapped around her. She is looking down at the ground.

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.

Bodhi is standing with her arms stretched out, showing off her full blanket of rainbow lace squares.
Bodhi showing off her new and improved big-girl blanket.

Satisfaction

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.

~ Alexa

Bodhi is smiling at the camera wrapped in her colourful vivid square blanket.
20 Comments leave one →
  1. Terri Miles permalink
    August 2, 2020 7:43 pm

    Both Bodhi and the updated blanket are beautiful. What a wonderful memory!

  2. Marie-Eve permalink
    July 22, 2020 6:19 am

    I am discovering holes in some precious pieces of knitting and it’s a tragedy to me. It’s the first time I experience this. I read on the Net so many different “tricks” to fight moth, I don’t know what to believe/take in anymore. Would you care writing a blog post on the proper management of knits? Storage, how to avoid unelegant creases and folds in stored shawls. how to precent moths… and how to treat the problem of moth when it’s there! Also, how does one repair those holes when separating squares and re-knitting them in not an option (i.e. cardigan, sweater) What can one do with those holes in a good and loved knit?

    • July 27, 2020 10:42 am

      Hi Marie-Eve – My strategy was to bag all of my yarns in ziploc type bags, give them each a 3 day vacation in the freezer, and thoroughly clean the spaces we have knits. I also make sure to ‘toss the pile’ of sweaters every so often and when the really warm weather hits I put the sweaters that are not in rotation in a sealed tub. So far so good.

  3. Christina McLeod permalink
    July 21, 2020 7:06 am

    Thank you for this lovely story. I too knit baby blankets…for any and all new babies in my extended circle. Thankfully 2 of the babies for whom I’m knitting are my precious grandchildren, but also their cousins and future friends. I share your belief in the usefulness of a lovingly knit blanket for so many aspects of a child’s life. It’s a very special piece!

  4. Jackie Walker permalink
    July 17, 2020 5:00 pm

    Beautiful pattern and immaculately knitted. Would you share the pattern for the squares pls. Thank you

  5. Nena permalink
    July 17, 2020 3:02 pm

    Love this. Blankies can live forever, just like Peter Pan. You’d better start making more squares now for when she goes off to study!

    • July 18, 2020 1:03 pm

      OMG, I have so much knitting to do!! It’s always good to start early though isn’t it….

  6. Susan permalink
    July 17, 2020 11:20 am

    I love your story, I also love the idea of making a baby blanket larger, as the child grows. I think your on to something.

  7. Deborah permalink
    July 17, 2020 6:56 am

    Gorgeous!!! Love Love the colours of your updated larger blanket. I’ve always admired this pattern & hope to make it someday. Maybe I ask for it for Christmas.

  8. JPR permalink
    July 17, 2020 6:28 am

    Love your story…..my granddaughter who is 7 today, goes to bed every night with 5 different versions of her original blanket, Orangie 1, Orangie 2, Blue among them. Living 5 states away it makes me happy that they are her security and comfort.

  9. Christine Goodin permalink
    July 17, 2020 1:32 am

    Awesome I would luv to learn to make one with a pattern .Thank you Christine.

  10. Jo Nixon permalink
    July 17, 2020 12:28 am

    Such a lovely story – I hope you are going to continue in the same vein – I.e. adding squares to make it a single bed blanket when she goes to college and even more for a double bed when she finds a partner?!! Kind regards from a damp Whitehead, Northern Ireland, Love Jo xxxx

  11. Anita Jamieson permalink
    July 16, 2020 7:16 pm

    Alexa, what a blanket! And what a girl! That was totally worth it

  12. barb permalink
    July 16, 2020 4:53 pm

    Love the pattern. Would love to knit this. It’s precious.

  13. Denise Fordyce permalink
    July 16, 2020 3:16 pm

    (Sorry, should have said what I meant: Look out world, here I come! Children with that attitude are so much fun to teach)

  14. Denise Fordyce permalink
    July 16, 2020 2:54 pm

    Obviously I have never met your Bohdi, not will I, but the look in the eyes in the last photo probably tells me all I need to know! (Probably should add that I’m a pre-school teacher with over 40 years under my belt so I’ve met a LOT of young children!)

  15. Jess permalink
    July 16, 2020 1:15 pm

    Welp, now I’m crying… but in the best possible way!

  16. Helen schendel permalink
    July 16, 2020 1:00 pm

    A real labor of Love. I’m sure she just loves the bigger size.

  17. July 16, 2020 12:59 pm

    Thanks for voicing a realistic view of knitting a blanket, I have three in process and need to take time off to crochet one so I don’t get disheartened. Cranking out a crochet blanket gives me a sense of accomplishment. Meanwhile back to knitting…

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