A couple of weeks ago our new niece decided to grace us with her presence in the world. Sadly, her part of the world happens to be 8,578 miles away from ours but that hasn’t stopped us swooning over snapshots of baby Thea Louise. One of the very few benefits of having a pregnant sister-in-law so far away is that you have to be super organised on the gifting front. We thought long and hard about what to get but decided that something homemade might make us feel closer to them. Also, I really need a hard deadline to commit to anything crafty so this was the perfect opportunity! Fortunately, I managed to find the internet’s easiest crochet baby blanket pattern #winning
I’d like to be able to write out the pattern here but I think I would confuse my UK/US readers with the differences in terminology so check it out for yourselves over on Modern Grace Designs.
I made a few adaptations to the pattern, namely in size and colour. I have an aversion to the pink/blue cult of baby gifts and try really hard not to perpetuate that problem so even though we knew we were getting a niece I wanted to make something that could work for either gender so I opted for a soft lilac with some grey undertones and a simple cream edge. Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against the colour pink itself – my wedding dress and engagement ring were both pink – I just think it should be a choice rather than a default (if you have similar inclinations, check out this brilliant book).
Once I’d settled on the yarn colour the next most important step was the material. After various
failed still ongoing attempts at crocheting blankets I’ve now decided to buy the best material that I can afford. It makes sense when you consider the number of hours you’ll dedicate to making and therefore holding it. I opted for this merino baby wool because merino breathes and manages moisture better than any other fibre and this little cherub is going to be growing up in Australia so she’ll need all the help she can get in that department.
Finally I had to decide on the size of the blanket. The size listed in the pattern seemed pretty small to me but truth be told I have absolutely no idea what size babies are and how much they like/want/need to be covered (apparently they get bigger too, go figure). I ended up taking my work in progress into work on regular occasions to ask colleagues with kids how much bigger they thought it needed to be. I used a 3.5mm hook and around 8 balls of lilac yarn and 2 cream coloured for a blanket that turned out around 1m x 1.2m. I thought that they might not use it until she gets a bit bigger but then she came out at 9lbs 12oz and 57cm long so perhaps she’ll grow into it sooner than anticipated!