Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Simple, frugal gifts - baby blankets

The year 2002 was a tough year for me. By the time it was over, I'd had 3 biopsies, the flu (which lasted about 6 weeks), and two surgeries.  Let's not do THAT again!  But a week before the surgery to repair my left knee, a young woman from work (I was at Georgia Tech in Atlanta at the time) visited me at my home to teach me how to crochet (I was in need of something to do with my hands so I didn't go crazy not being able to walk - I'm just not a good sick person. Sitting still just isn't in the genes).  

That two hour session amounts to my entire crocheting education (in other words, I can do one stitch, but after 6 years, I'm really good at it!) Over those 6 years, I've completed more than 20 blankets, each one of them unique. I've given a blanket to all but one of my nieces and nephews when they were born (my oldest niece was born long before 2002) for a total of 16 blankets. Then, as friends have married and had children, I've made one for each of their little ones. My friends and family pretty much know what I'm bringing to their baby showers. No surprises there, but at least they can be surprised by color and width of the stripes which make each and every one different (that's the most recent one above).

My favorite homemade blanket story is of my niece Bella (that's Bella in the photo with her little sister Mari). She's the eldest child of my step-brother, Ken. Bella cannot be parted with the blanket I gave her when she was born.  My brother and sister-in-law have been known to take it, still wet, from the dryer after she's woken up from a nap to find it missing. They routinely send photos of their two kids and inevitably, the blanket will be there, right at her side. It always brings a smile to my face to know she loves it so much. 

Now, I don't have any phenomenal skill or anything (it's just the one stitch over and over and over) and heaven knows it takes me a month of evenings to complete one blanket, but in the end, it's really simple, it's a frugal gift ($15-25 depending on the type of yarn I buy, whether it's on sale, etc.) and each Mom-to-be seems to be delighted with a gift in which I put so much time and love. It's worth every stitch. 


Anonymous said...

This is a great gift! Bryce loves the one you made for him! My mother used to crochet and made blankets for special occasions (going to college, wedding, babies, etc) My husband accidently caught one on fire with a candle (don't ask...)and she was able to repair the hole with some yarn she had left!

Melissa said...

I don't think there's anything better than a homemade gift! and hey, if you can make 20+ blankets using one stitch, I wouldn't bother learning any others!!

Anonymous said...

I wish we had homemade baby blankets. My 3 year old carries hers (store bought gift) everywhere. That thing used to be pink but now is gray. Really pretty nasty if you ask me. But oh, it's life itself to her.

I have a good friend who is 37 year old, 6'5" and 250 pounds. His mother loves to tell us the embarrassing story about his home visits. Apparently every time he visits his parents' home (even now), he goes up to the attic to visit his blanket - handmade by his aunt.

Maybe your niece will do the same thing when she is 37 :)

Anonymous said...

Heather that blanket you made is delightful. Like you, I think a gift made with love is always worth far more than anything one can buy