Before my second son was born, my mother sent me this crocheted rainbow blanket (with matching sweater and booties) that a friend of her’s had made while she was pregnant with me.
She has been tucking away little treasures like this from my brother’s and my childhood (as well as her’s and my father’s) that she could one day pass them on. Unfortunately we live states away from each other. Only mailable memories make the cut now. I’m more upset about the physical distance betwixt my children and their grandparents, but it does pain me that many family heirlooms have gone unused due to distance.
Maybe that’s why I became obsessed with recreating this blanket. I don’t love the pattern, and I am not keen on the colors. Really, its value is in the gesture. I can imagine my mother, not much older than I am now, folding it up and putting it away with the thought that maybe one day it would warm her baby’s babies. That is priceless.
Before he was born, I crocheted a new blanket for my son, but it was not really what I had envisioned (bad yarn, meh colors, certainly not heirloom worthy). I do use the rainbow blanket often, but the yarn is rough with age and the colors are not my favorite. I felt like there was a gap on my couch where a better blanket should lay. So, it got in my head that I would make my own rainbow blanket, with nicer yarn and brighter colors, using the original as my guide.
I started in April. I chose yarn of a heavier weight. So, I knew my blanket would be bigger, but I didn’t realize just how much bigger. My heirloom baby blanket redux turned into a big ol’ family blanket.
It took me until August to tame this beast– Not bad considering how many unfinished blankets I’ve stashed in secret locations throughout my apartment. Truthfully, I still have to sew in a bunch of the yarn ends (ask me which part of crochet I hate the most). I have been snuggling with it non-stop since I finished crocheting the border and sweater weather hit, unsewn ends be damned.
I started out really underwhelmed by this pattern, motivated only by sentimentality, but it has completely won me over. I hope to spend many hours cuddled with my children beneath it. I want to spend years imbuing it with the kind of love and hope that my mom folded into that first blanket as she put it away for safe keeping.
First, I have got to finish sewing in those ends.