In late November 1966 with the arrival of her first born imminent, my 24 year-old mother got out her crochet hooks. The Afghan Square cot blanket she created served its purpose and continued to be useful for years, passed on to my brother born just eighteen months later, as a bed for several of the eleven cats that shared our family home and wrapped around our shoulders on a winter's evening in the draughty Edwardian home in which we lived. Forty-five years later when the house became empty, I reclaimed our childhood blanket where it moved around Stonecroft, tossed across the foot of the bed, draped across the back of the settee or tossed over the arm of a Victorian day bed long since moved into the shed.
(That's the letter Grandma wrote to Mum the day I was born)
|Taken way back in 2012|
Kelly, who blogs at Mother of Reinvention, commented that the crochet skirt I wore on Friday's post reminded her of a Dior dress she'd fallen in love with ages ago. After a bit of a Google I found this image, Cate Blanchet in a Dior dress from 2012. Isn't it fabulous?
Then inspiration struck. Why didn't I unpick my blanket and re-purpose the squares into something else? There weren't enough to make a dress and, as I've got plenty, it would be a shame to refashion them into a maxi skirt which I'd only wear occasionally. As it's so ridiculously cold at the moment how about a coat that I can wear over everything?
|Apologies for the deranged face, Jon called me Crochet Jesus as I posed for this, I couldn't keep a straight face.|
So, after washing the blanket & leaving it to dry, I carefully unpicked each square (you need a bright spot, with plenty of natural daylight so that you only unpick the stitches attaching each square rather than the crochet itself ) then laid them out on the floor in the shape I wanted. I sewed each piece together by hand using vintage darning wool I'd had in my stash for years and this was the result.
|Brass tribal necklace - from Orissa, bought in Tamil Nadu, 2011|
It's not quite finished. I need to blanket stitch the edges and add pockets - but I've run out of wool.
|WEARING: Me-made blanket coat, 1970s brushed denim maxi skirt (eBay, 2011), vintage suede waistcoat (present), red leather 1970s platforms (vintage fair, 2015), 1970s dagger collar wool blouse (nicked from the stockroom)|
Ta-dah! Now with blanket stitched edging and added pockets. I wasn't happy about the way the jacket was hanging when I saw the photos so I've also unpicked and restitched the front section. I'm happy now.
House news! I'm a bit taken aback, I've been inundated with offers, some for even more than the asking price. What on earth's that all about? Oh well, it's been empty for seven years, there's no need to rush into any decisions yet. I'll keep you posted.
See you soon!