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Entries in Blankets (41)

Tuesday
Nov222011

Whit's Knits: Hudson's Bay Inspired Crib Blanket

We love the Hudson's Bay Blanket for its classic simplicity and beauty. And maybe more, we love the underlying belief that, even in the midst of the great Canadian wilderness with its arduous cold and haunting vastness, the Hudson's Bay Blanket will protect us. 

Originally, the Hudson's Bay Blanket's lightweight warmth and insulation made it common barter for Native American goods, like beaver pelts, buffalo robes and moccasins. But in the last three hundred years the Hudson Bay Blanket has come a long way. Now it is practically a national symbol to many Canadians, and to the rest of the world, an unmistakable design icon.

I love the idea of a handknit version, borrowing the iconography of the original and lending it a little homemade twist! Sized for a baby's crib, I'm also tickled by the notion of a small child wrapped in the gear of a rugged adult. No baby in sight? Use it as a gorgeous throw over your favorite chair, in front of a roaring fireplace. It may not be an open fire deep in a white pine forest, but, hey, you're probably not a fur trapper either!

For this special project we turned to Anzula's absolutely gorgeous For Better or Worsted. A merino, cashmere, nylon blend, it is the perfect blanket yarn with its machine washable durability and cuddly soft coziness. And its quirky hand dyed colors give the Hudson's Bay Blanket a fresh look, warm and bright!

So, for a great barter idea this holiday season, give a handknit Hudson's Bay Crib Blanket. In exchange, you'll get a whole lot of love!

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Thursday
Oct132011

Felted Wool Patchwork Throw

Our Felted Wool Patchwork Quillow has been a favorite Bee project ever since we posted it last winter. And no wonder! It's quick, practical and totally gorgeous!  The Quillow's rich beauty comes from Mary Flanagan's incredibly soft Felted Wool, which is hand dyed in a spectrum of warm, earthy colors. We're thrilled that this wonderful wool now comes in bundles of smaller, 7-inch by 8-inch pieces. Inspired by these little stacks of sumptuous fabric gems, we decided to revisit Mary Flanagan and her perfectly patchwork-able Felted Wool!  

This time around, instead of a quillow, we decided to make a simple throw . We picked out eight lovely bundles ranging from the soft golden palette of "Straw" to the deep purple tones of "Blackberry". The effect is like a walk through the countryside, with each bundle evoking its own special place: a grassy hill, a plowed field, a bubbling stream.

Expanding on Page's original detailed instructions and ingenious construction, the Felted Wool Patchwork Throw is a snap to make. It's amazing to be able to sew such a substantial throw (53-inches by 56-inches!) in a weekend! Best of all, because it's made from such special material in such a cozy palette, it comes out looking absolutely beautiful!

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Thursday
Sep152011

Whit's Knits: Chevron Baby Blanket

If you lived through the 60s and 70s perhaps you have vivid memories of a chevron afghan. Perhaps you appreciated it at the time; were indifferent to it in the 80s; despised it in the 90s; and have developed a deep affection for it over the past decade, itchy acrylic, zany colors and all!

This knitted Chevron Baby Blanket makes some accommodations both for modernity and for babies. Instead of hard-to-cuddle acrylic, this 100% cotton blanket is as deep and soft and cozy as a cloud. And instead of fast food orange and kitchen appliance avocado, this version is a delicate spectrum of natural colors just right for babies!

The next generation of chevron blankets starts with Blue Sky Cotton. Loosely spun into a uniquely cozy cotton, this is one of our very favorite baby blanket yarns. For delicate skin, it's non-allergenic cotton, and for busy parents, it's machine washable (yay!).

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Monday
Sep052011

Molly's Sketchbook: Swaddling Blankets

I love making handmade presents in anticipation of a new baby. I will always remember knitting my soon-to-be niece a baby blanket while I was on a road trip through Europe many years ago. As I looked out the window and watched the fields and mountains pass by I thought about what she was going to be like with every stitch. What would they name her? Who would she look like? Would she like me? I felt like my good wishes for her were being knitted psychically into the blanket. Ever since then I've tried to make something special for each of the new babies that have come into my life.

In addition to heartfelt, I also try to make my handmade gifts practical. There isn't much point in putting so much care and effort into something if it won't be used. So lately, my go-to baby gift has been a set of Swaddling Blankets with a hand-finished edge. They strike a good balance between usefulness and homemade detail. They are the right size to swaddle a baby (42-inches square), but they work perfectly well as a burp cloth or stroller blanket too.

I actually made my first set of Swaddling Blankets a few years ago as a project for the Purl Bee. Now I'm giving the original pattern a fresh look with this season's  fabrics. I  designed two sets of two blankets each, one set  in pretty pink:

and one in crisp blue:

I used the graphic Nani Iro double gauze stripes as the outsides and bright, lightweight Shot Cotton for the lining. These two fabrics together make a wonderful blanket, so airy and soft.

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Wednesday
May252011

Molly's Sketchbook: Lap Duvet

Even in the mild Spring weather I still find myself reaching for a blanket if I am reading or watching a movie on the couch at night. This is a problem because, until now,  I didn't have any throw sized blankets, only gigantic bed sized quilts which aren't very convenient when you have to fold them back up at the end of the night.

At a recent Purl Bee meeting Page mentioned that she was having the same issue and the idea for this project was born! We decided to make a very quick, very simply quilted lap blanket using a technique that Joelle used in the "Super Quick + Easy Baby Quilt" project from her book, Last Minute Patchwork and Quilted Gifts.

We also decided to use some of our favorite new fabric from designer Naomi Ito's Nani Iro line. These prints are beyond gorgeous. They have a unique painterly quality and come in the most beautiful colors. The fabric itself is a soft double gauze perfect for a Spring project. The wool batting I used made this piece feel so lofty that it in the end it seemed more like a fluffy duvet than a regular blanket.

This is my absolute favorite kind of sewing project: useful, beautiful, and quick. I actually timed it and it turns out that the entire project takes less than 2 and a half hours from start to finish. It would make a great housewarming gift and best of all you could whip it up on the afternoon of the housewarming party!

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