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January 11, 2007 / allyo

Love Thursday: Handmade

70s blanket

My grandma made me this blanket for kindergarten naptime. She wasn’t a big fan of sewing although of all the domestic arts, ironing was her least favorite. She used to tell me about ironing sheets and what an awful, weekly chore it was. When permanent press sheets came out (back in the 60s?) she immediately went to Lazarus (our local department store that is now a Macy’s) and bought three sets. They were the same floral pattern in yellow, pink, and blue. We had the pink flat sheet at our current house for a long time, I think it may have finally disintegrated though because I haven’t seen it in awhile. Anyway, when she came home with her new sheets my grandpa asked her (mildly, I’m sure) why they needed three new sets of sheets. She said it was because she was NEVER ironing another sheet again, not as long as she lived. He backed down immediately.

70s blanket detail

I’m not sure why she made this for me rather than just buying a blanket. I know that it’s acrylic and a little scratchy. It’s more than 30 years old, and to look at, is nothing special. But I look at the tiny little stitches, made by hand, and I can imagine her sitting in front of the tv, clucking her tongue in exasperation but determined to finish. Jamie takes it to daycare now, and when he sees it he’ll exclaim, “my blanket.” Sometimes he’ll grab it from me and pretend to curl up under it. (Pretty funny, because in reality he freaks out if he’s covered AT ALL at night.)

Another 70s relic is a white and orange afghan, crocheted for me when I was about 7 or 8. We were in the midst of redecorating my bedroom. I had chosen orange and white, and then changed my mind and settled on pink. Pink it was, complete with that classic white girly bedroom furniture with gilded scrolled details and a canopy bed to match. She had almost finished the afghan when I changed my mind, two sides needed fringe and the project would have been complete. She never did finish the fringe, but once again, this old, not very pretty relic lives at our house. I think it still does anyway. I couldn’t find it this morning to take a picture and knowing how much MD doesn’t like it – it’s old and ratty and looks like it can’t possibly smell that good even when right out of the wash – I wonder if it’s mysteriously disappeared…

Of course the reason I hang on to these blankets is because they were made with love. They’re even more precious knowing she didn’t like sewing or crocheting that much. Whatever drove her to make them herself, I can understand to a certain extent. It’s the same reason why she’d have a warm, straight out of the dryer blanket waiting for me when I came in after a hard play in the snow, or a similarly prepared towel after my evening shower. She’d say, let’s get you snuggled up and warm, the same words I use now when Jamie gets out of the bathtub and says in his little voice, “baby!” Meaning, wrap me up and cradle me like a baby, mommy. Meeting that need with something crafted with your own two hands makes the moment that much sweeter.

Happy Love Thursday.

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2 Comments

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  1. Jen / Jan 11 2007 9:27 pm

    oh my gosh, the picture of those tiny stitches with your description made me cry! May you have and cherish it forever! Great memory, Happy Love Thursday!

  2. Pastormac's Ann / Jan 11 2007 10:07 pm

    Wonderful. These blankets are full of love. What great memories! Happy LT!

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