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Entries in Blankets (41)

Sunday
Aug122012

Whit's Knits: Lines + Squares Baby Blanket

One of my favorite books growing up was When We Were Very Young by A.A. Milne, a little collection of children's poems. The one I always loved best was called "Lines and Squares". It's about a kid who carefully avoids the lines of the sidewalk, stepping just in the squares while taunting a pair of bears "Who wait at the corner all ready to eat/ The sillies who tread on the lines of the street".  I loved the terror and the bravado of that poem!

As I knit this blanket with its red lines crissing and crossing, the verses of that poem replayed in my head, keeping time with my needles and sending me into reveries of times and places where nurseries, rice pudding and knickers were the norm. I think now that the Lines + Squares Baby Blanket with its timeless colors and classic simplicity would have been right at home there!

Although a grid to non-knitters may look like the easiest thing in the world, experienced knitters have to wonder, "How did you do that?" Luckily, there's a trick. The vertical lines aren't actually knitted into the pattern; they're crocheted on top of the knitting, nestling right into the design as if they were born there and making lines and squares a snap!

For this special project I chose one of our most special yarns, Anzula's Cricket. Amazingly soft merino with a touch of cashmere, beautifully hand dyed and machine washable, it's the perfect choice for a precious baby! And here's a vote for the main color I used, Au Natural. In person it glows like the inside of an oyster shell, complex and absolutely stunning. Pick your favorite contrast color and you've got an heirloom!

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Sunday
Jul012012

Molly's Sketchbook: Picnic Roll

From Griffith Park to Prospect Park, it’s picnic season! What could be better than packing up a basket of tasty treats for some dining al fresco? Growing up, we used to throw some sandwiches in a bag and head for the hills of Berkeley’s Tilden Park. We'd watch the hawks soaring overhead and take ride after ride on the carousel before settling down for our picnic. Now in my adopted hometown of New York City, I've discovered the fun of cosmopolitan picnicking, from evening concerts in Central Park to outdoor movies at Bryant Park!

I usually just bring along a sheet or tablecloth, but this year I decided to design something special for the task! To add some summertime cheer, I chose festive, citrus-bright colors, and to keep things simple, I geared the design toward practical convenience, easy to make, carry, use and wash!

I made my Picnic Roll out of hefty Organic Cotton Duck and crisp Essex cotton-linen. Essex comes in tons of bright saturated colors that scream summer and that are beautifully grounded by Cotton Duck's rugged neutrals. The whole thing rolls up into a neat little package thanks to orange Cotton Webbing and our sturdy new D-rings. Best of all, it’s so quick to sew that if you got started now, you could be watching fireworks on it by July 4th! --Molly

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Friday
Jun012012

Laura's Loop: Receiving Blankets

Call it what you will... binky, boppie, lovey... every baby needs a good old-fashioned security blanket. Regardless of the season, it's so nice to have a little something to snuggle! So for summer, we've whipped up a new lightweight version of our crochet-edged Flannel Receiving Blankets.

Nani Iro's newest line of airy flannels are just right for cozy, warm weather receiving blankets. These whimsical prints also offer a good dose of sophistication, perfect for mom and baby! Edged in Koigu's fingering weight Premium Merino, these cuddly keepsakes can be machine washed time and time again for long-loving use. 
Between Koigu's sharp colors (2229 and 1051 used here!) and Nani Iro's unique patterns, the combinations are endless. For even more options, explore our other flannels here, and for step-by-step instructions, please visit our Flannel Receiving Blankets project journal, right here!  Enjoy!  --Laura
Sunday
Apr292012

Molly's Sketchbook: Broken Dishes Baby Quilt

I have always loved to make baby gifts, imagining the baby-to-be and anticipating its arrival. Lately this has been particularly true because I myself am expecting my first baby (a girl) this June! After years of crafting gifts for the babies of dear friends and family, I relished the idea of making my own baby something extra special. Of course, a beautiful quilt would be just that!

Picking out the fabric proved to be much easier than I had imagined. I walked into the store one day and there was a stunning rainbow of Japanese yarn dyed linen blend solids, each lovelier than the next! I instantly fell in love and bought a piece of every single color.

Using the traditional “broken dishes” pattern, I approached my work with a sense of unhurried improvisation, putting the blocks next to one another randomly and then rearranging them as I saw fit. It felt more like flower arranging than sewing, and I loved seeing my quilt grow at about the same pace I did! Once the quilt top was finished, I decided that the slow process of hand quilting it would give me plenty of time to daydream about its recipient.  

It took me almost the whole length of my pregnancy to create this quilt, but if you’d like to make your own, it doesn’t have to be such a major commitment. Machine quilting and pin basting would go a lot quicker. But then again there is something lovely and very rewarding about not rushing certain projects. Kind of like growing a baby! 

ps- This quilt can be made in any color palate imaginable using any quiltweight fabric. Shot Cotton, and Kona Cotton have some gorgeous color options! Also, The pretty stuffed swan in the pictures above was made by the very talented Tamar Mogendorff, you can check out more of her work here.

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Thursday
Apr262012

Whit's Knits: Four Corners Baby Blanket

Babies tend to inspire soft and gentle designs with petal pinks and cloudy blues, big-eyed bunnies and fuzzy elephants. Babies are, after all, pretty soft and gentle. But for this Four Corners Baby Blanket, I decided to throw convention to the wind, opting instead for something a little different, something for the kind of baby (and parents!) who might have an eye for quirky colors and spare, modern design.

The beautiful hand dyed colors of Madeline Tosh Merino DK are the perfect paints for your palette. Complex yellows, unusual neutrals and a whole fascinating spectrum in between, you'll love choosing the pops for your own version of the Four Corners Baby Blanket!

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