Friday, March 21

Healing hearts for a friend

After discovering that a friend in my fiber arts group has cancer, I asked if anyone would like to knit a strip for a healing blanket for her. The outpouring of support was amazing! As I had hoped, the strips are all different and reflect the personalities of our diverse group. The resulting blanket is quite large. I took this picture of it draped over the top of my queen size bed. Does that give you an idea of how big it is? LOL!

Nancy really likes it! There is love and caring knit into each and every stitch. We hope she feels that when she uses it and that it speeds her healing. It truly will warm both her body and her spirit.

Some members of our group helped sew it together and I did the final finishing. I also created a special heart border to crochet around the outside edge of the blanket. All told, it took about a month and a half from start to the finished blanket. In case you're interested in doing something similar, here are the directions I passed out:

Nancy’s Crazy Quilt

Like a crazy quilt, the blanket for Nancy should be a lively collection of colors and textures. Here are a few directions to get you started.

Use worsted weight yarns that are machine wash and dryable in whatever color(s) you choose (such as, but not limited to, Red Heart, Patons Decor or Canadiana, Bernat super value, Vanna’s Choice, Caron Wintuk, Lion Brand Cotton Ease).

U.S. size 7-9 knitting needles [you might want to specify gauge here].

It doesn’t matter how wide or narrow your strip is but it should be 70 inches long. If you need a guideline, I’d say no narrower than 15 stitches and no wider than 35-40 stitches. [Narrower strips are better if you have a lot of participants. No matter how carefully we measure, some strips may be longer or shorter than specified. You can line the strips up along one side with a ragged border on the other side or add a little to the short strips or rip a little out of too long strips to get them to match up.]

Cast on and knit at least 2 rows of garter stitch (knit all stitches) before starting the stitch pattern of your choice or do it all in garter stitch.

Keep 2 or 3 stitches on each edge in garter stitch for ease in sewing the strips together later. (Do not slip the first stitch along the edge as some patterns have you do.)

What color or colors you use in your strip(s) is totally up to you. Check out your odd balls, leftovers, and scrap yarn for inspiration.

You could:

use one or more colors
tie scraps of many colors together and even leave the knotted tails hanging out
change colors ever so many rows to form blocks of different colors
knit stripes with two or more colors
knit the whole strip in garter stitch
insert any pattern stitch you like (such as moss stitch, cables, etc.) but keep 2 or 3 stitches on each edge of the strip in garter stitch.
insert a heart motif (see heart blocks sheet - click to enlarge and print)
duplicate stitch or cross stitch a message on your strip
add a bit of texture with a thin strand of eyelash, fuzzy, or novelty yarn carried along with your main yarn (remember, machine wash and dryable yarns only)

Have fun!

Vicki will collect the completed strips and assemble the blanket. Deadline: As soon as possible, please. :-)

Crocheted Hearts Border

Attach yarn to edge and chain 1. Work a sc in each stitch or evenly around edge, join to beginning.

Row 1:
Ch 3, *skip 6 sts, work 5 dc in next st (cluster), ch 2*, repeating from * to * around, join to beginning ch 3.

Row 2:
Ch 3, *slip st in first dc of cluster, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in 2nd dc, slip st in 3rd dc, (dc, ch 1, dc, ch 1, dc) in 4th dc, slip st in 5th/last dc*, repeat from * to * in each 5 dc cluster, join to beginning ch 3.

Pull through last st, cut yarn, and fasten off.

© March 5, 2008 by Vicki Mikulak


Nicola said...

That's a great idea. Reminds me of when I was quilting and I gathered a load of fabrics from people to make a quilt for a friend with Alzheimer's.

My daisy stitch markers arrived yesterday - thanks very much!

MUDNYC said...

Vicki, it looks so great! You guys are awesome.