This week I’m sharing my newest pattern release!! It’s a chunky blanket knitting pattern that is perfect as either a baby blanket or to use as a lap blanket.
I’ve had several requests from readers to make a blanket pattern for people who are in wheel chairs, because apparently it’s really hard to find something that would work as a lap blanket for them. It’s been brought to my attention that knitting blankets like this would be welcomed by patients living in nursing home facilities. We all rush to knit hats for preemies and prayer shawls for our church family who recently lost a loved one. But what about older people in assisted living situations or nursing homes? As far as that goes, what about your own grandma or mother? I think we forget about them, and they could definitely use a little extra #knitlove this holiday season. And at the same time…..this blanket is still great for a baby’s blanket! It’s multipurpose for sure!
Knitting is filled with stories about love and loss. It’s much, much more that “just a hobby” for most of us. The world just sees clicking sticks and quiet determination. But we know there is a full story going on inside our hearts and minds about why we knit, and often, concerning what we knit. This blanket design is that for me. First off, I need to introduce you to someone.
This is my precious dog, Willie, and this photo I took of him the last night he was with me. I had bathed him earlier that day so he was clean and his fur was soft and sweet smelling. I made him a brand new doggy cowl in his signature red and put it on him after that bath.
Even though he was so sick he could no longer get himself up on his own and could barely walk 10 feet without having to lay back down, his back legs quivering the whole time, you would never know it looking at that picture. It made saying goodbye more difficult and yet I am glad he went to the Rainbow Bridge looking his handsome best so I can always remember him this way. They say angels don’t blemish, and here is living proof of that.
He had declining health starting in Spring of 2016 and it was rapid. By the month of June, I knew I wasn’t going to have him for much longer. He was losing energy every day, and it was very hard to watch. So I spent July of that year with him every second of every day and night that I could. He mostly had to lay quietly, so I needed to be where he was. It was a perfect time to knit on a big project. Willie was familiar with me knitting, and I think the activity helped us both find some normalcy in a very difficult time. It seemed to soothe him, and it certainly helped me to get through the hours of worry and sadness. I had knitted for him for years, and he loved what I made for him. I kept just about everything, and it’s all in a special place. If I have to evacuate tomorrow, I’m taking Willie’s old toys and the handmade cowls and coats that I made for him.
During this time, I made the first version of what I now call “Willie’s Baby Blanket.” It was unfinished when he passed, and it took me a couple of weeks to get it done after he was gone. I did not wait, because it was special to me, and to him, and I wanted it finished to honor his memory. I finished it, photographed it, and promptly put it away for about 2 years.
It was full of mistakes and gauge issues (even after blocking) but it’s something that reminds me of my precious dog, so I will keep it and use it always. Now, that is.
As I said, it was packed away and mostly forgotten. I found it when cleaning up, and decided it was time to revisit this pattern and get something ready I could publish. I couldn’t use this one, because of all the mistakes, so I started fresh.
I had a huge pile of yarn sent to me from LoveKnitting.com, and used it to make the updated blanket in the new pictures. I absolutely LOVE this new blanket, and I’m happy it’s finally getting cold enough I can use it! It’s super pretty, it’s sooooo squishy, and it’s a great beginner’s pattern.
I added tassels but you can always leave those off. Which is probably better for someone in a wheelchair. But the tactile experience they provide along with the luxurious garter fabric is wonderful for developing or reconnecting to sensory perception. And I think they are fun to make, and are so cute on the finished blanket.
I’m excited to publish and share Willie’s Baby Blanket with you. I’ve created tutorials to make the process of knitting and finishing this project easier. Stay tuned for next week’s update which is a tutorial on weaving in the ends of the project as you go. This week, I’m going to share how I made the tassels with you. I only learned recently how to make these, and what a fun embellishment they are! I’d like to make more projects starring the tassels.
If you are looking for a great winter project, this is for you! It’s not terribly complicated, so it’s great if you need something soothing. And it’s wonderful if you are a beginner and need something on the easy side. I think being able to knit housewares is really fun, and there’s nothing like snuggling up with someone you love under a blanket made by your own hands. This includes those furry companions in our lives. Animals really respond to hand knits, so don’t be afraid to share you knitting love with them, too.
The pattern is available in my shops on etsy, Ravelry and on LoveKnitting.com. If you buy it on the LoveKnitting site, you can buy your project yarn right then and there, so it’s like creating your own kit. I don’t make anything extra on the sale of the yarn. I just think it’s nice to offer a pattern in a way that makes it easier to get your supplies right then and there.
I hope you enjoy this blanket knitting pattern! I love garter stitch projects and this month is basically filled with them! It’s fun and it’s relaxing, and it’s beginner friendly.
I’d like to share a couple more pictures taken of Willie on his last day. Willie loved his walks around the neighborhood, because he was a social butterfly. He LOVED stopping in and visiting all of his friends when we went out. He dearly loved his Uncle Kevin, and so I’m sharing a couple of pictures of Willie with Uncle Kevin. I’m also sharing a picture of me with my sweet dog. I had not bathed in something like 3 days and was in a daze of exhaustion and crying, but I’m sharing it anyway. Because it’s real. This is real life. So many blogs and social accounts are nothing but glossy representations of life. But this is real. I still miss my dog every single day, and I look forward to the day when I can have another doggy companion. Until then, I hold Willie in my heart as my dog of the day, which I’m sure he will always be.