December 27, 2007

My Mom Made The New Kid Some Hand-Crocheted Receiving Blankets

my mom embroidered these blankets for the first kid

One of my mom's things is to embroider crochet receiving blankets and matching burp cloths for baby gifts.

They're 36-in square, double sided flannel that she gets hem-stitched at the flannel and quilting megastore in Bountiful, Utah, then she embroiders crochets the edges all around.

My wife learned how to do it, too, and she's started making a few to give to our friends as gifts. It takes maybe an hour/side to do, depending on the complexity of the pattern. I think they use edge patterns from handkerchiefs.

Anyway, the kid loves them; they wear like iron, get really soft, and the kid rolls the edge in her fingertips as a little comforting device. She's done it since she was old enough to unclench her fists.

Though we barely used some of the dozen or so sets my mom made for the kid, she wanted to make some new ones for the new kid. We happily accepted.

My mom embroidered these blankets for the new kid

This time around, I wanted to get away from the more traditional, tiny prints and checks and flowers, though, so I suggested some solid color combos. The pink/orange choice was made when we still didn't know whether the new kid was a boy or a girl. My wife seems to think they're very Bugaboo-ish, and she's probably not far off.

close-up: my mom embroidered these blankets for the new kid

There are bigger pictures in the daddytypes pool on flickr. [flickr]

[update: the wife points out that the technique is crochet, not embroidery, so yeah, that might help your pattern search a bit. sorry. -ed.]

[update update: and while I'm at it, I should make clear that the stitch patterns are not, in fact, handkerchief patterns, but blanket patterns. Your handkerchief patterns are much lacier and open and use a much finer gauge of thread than your blanket patterns. When it comes to craft, my wife is clearly the Lara Holt, and I am the attention-hogging Remington Steele. Though she's also the hot one, so that analogy only goes so far...Did you hear the NFL's going to broadcast the Patriots game on network TV, though? Mitt Romney thinks they have another chance at the World Series this year.]


That's great crochet edging there -- you have some real treasures! I particularly like the strong color combinations.

A friend of my grandmother's made about a dozen of these in 1969 for my oldest cousin. They've now been through 7 babies and are awaiting their 8th any day now. I wish I knew the name of the person who made them, but they have really become family heirlooms.

I love your mod versions!

my Christmas "gift" to you and your crafty readers:

I love these blankets too, I had them when I was little and both my boys received several after they were born. It's a standard baby gift in Puerto Rico (or at least it was up until my oldest was born in 1991... apparently they weren't so easy to come by in 2004 for my second). And yeah on the rubbing the edges between the fingers as a soothing technique, my firstborn did that too!

Love the solids. I'm sure Daughter 2.0 will totally dig them.

[oh my heck, I didn't want to link to that mormon chic thing, but since you mention it... i had no idea of the reach or tradition behind these things; just figured it was what my mom did. and other folks sewed ribbons and fringe onto diapers. -ed.]

m'eh... I'm not LDS, and I was pretty obsessed with finding an easy-to-follow pattern so that a newbie to crochet like me could make the edged blankets; I found the Mormon Chic site to have what I was looking for and I wanted to share (and spare others the hours of searching the interwebs that I put in). I like that they have many styles of edging and the patterns are clearly written. Also that they show variegated thread being used, which is something I love to see when the fabric used for the blanket needs a little pop around the edges.

I have no idea how the tradition started in PR, and for a long time I thought it must be a Hispanic thing, since stateside I've only ever seen other Hispanics with blankets like mine. Almost every picture of me as a baby has one of those blankets in it, and I was an adult by the time the last one bit the dust. In PR they don't get to become heirlooms because they're made out of a single layer of flannel (we don't really need them to be too warm over there) and the fabric will fray from all the use and abuse. As far as I know they were made by my grandmother's generation, I don't think any of *my* mother's friends ever made them, which is why it was so hard to locate someone to make me a few in 2004, and why I decided I'd better learn to make them myself before my next baby is in the works.

Your wife is a rocket scientist/engineer and she still finds time to make these as baby gifts? I'm beyond impressed!

Here're a few crochet patterns I'd send grandma to keep her busy making awesome stuff for your daughters:

and there's always tons out there for Amigurumi dolls...

(yes, this is what I do when I can't sleep, I troll the web for crochet patterns...)

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