I started to feel a little Christmassy the other day. I popped out to the supermarket to buy some milk and I was greeted by the sound of the Salvation Army band playing carols. It made me feel all warm inside, which was lovely as my hands felt like they were about to drop off after being subjected to the icy weather outside. For some reason I seem to think that driving places negates the need for a coat and many handknit items. How wrong this is!
When I was driving home I started thinking about all the wonderful handknit items I was given as a child. My Grandma Sunshine was a fantastic knitter. At Christmas her 5 great-grandchildren would receive a beautifully handknit jumper. My particular favourite was Mrs. Rabbit depicted in intarsia, complete with a fluffy pompom tail on the back.
One item of Sunshine's knitting that remains in my possession is my baby blanket:
It has definitely been well loved over the years, patching up the holes and returning it to it's former glory is on my to do list. It's pretty easy to see my younger-self's naff attempt at fixing it. Rather than attempting to replicate the beautiful lacey seams I used a mixture of cotton sewing machine thread (!) and yellow-y cream wool to crudely stitch the squares together. It's probably going to take some time to do it properly.
Until recently I hadn't been aware of any other serious knitters within the family, but a couple of weeks ago I was helping my Grandma sort through her things in her loft. We came across this:
This was knit by my maternal great Grandmother for my Mum when she was a baby. This same blanket hung on my cot and my sister's. My Grandma was going to throw away this beautiful piece of knitting! I couldn't believe it, so a rescued it. When I took the above picture the blanket appeared to be quite rigid and stiff, it was almost squeaky to touch. This led me to think the it was made out of an acrylic based yarn. However I washed the blanket yesterday and it's turned into a fluid piece of fabric, which is very soft and fluffy, so now I'm not so sure. I feel very lucky to now be the new owner of lovely blanket.
I'm feeling inspired to create my own blanket, if only I knew of some prospective parents who needed such an item!