Back in 2013, I was selling my woolly wares at Willowman Festival. Trading next to me was the lovely Hannah, who had her new baby boy, Lewis with her. He was just a babe in arms and being breastfed by his mum whilst she sold an eclectic mix of Fairtrade wares. Hannah commissioned me to make a hooded baby blanket for little Lewis, such as you see made from bath towels, but with a funky, pixie hood.
This was an exciting new commission, and when I got home from the festival I set about designing it.
I get a lot of beautiful cashmere and soft lambswool in my hunt for woollies to recycle. Cashmere jumpers often have a wee hole in them, making them unsellable in charity shops, but are ideal to cut up into squares and use patchwork style. I love that this is taking waste and using it to create something new.
I already made baby blankets using squares, and called them my ‘one hundred square’ blankets for obvious reasons! I thought they might be useful when learning to count, as kids could put an object in each to learn one to one correspondance. (You can tell I was am ex teacher!)
I used this design as the basis for my hooded baby blankets, but added a funky hood with a pixie point in one corner.
Hannah and Lewis were delighted with their hooded baby blanket and I caught up with them at another festival later that summer.
Here is little Lewis, with his daddy, hiding from the sun at a very sunny Cockermouth Festival.
Since then I have made and sold dozens of my hooded baby blankets. I’ve made them in brights and pastels, and even in the colours of a rugby team for little Elijah, whose mummy and daddy support Leicester Tigers.
I have sold them to folk all round the world. One lady was searching for a baby blanket which was ‘Handmade in UK’ and stumbled across me. Her son-in-law was British, and so wanted to buy a present for the newborn baby that was made in Britain.
I love seeing photos of little ones in my baby blankets, so if you have bought one, then do send a photo. I of course would only use it with your permission.
Like Seren here, and little Elijah above, babies are loving the soft comfort that wool gives.
I always try to keep a good selection of these one off, upcycled baby blankets on the website. To see what’s currently in stock, head to ‘Baby Blankets’
If you would like one making in a particular colourway – if you need one in your football team’s colours for example, or any colour combo, then do get in touch.
My baby blankets are all one off’s – the delightful nature of using recycled knitwear means that once a jumper has been used, it’s gone, and I can never make the same product twice.
I am always making more baby blankets, as with the rest of my upcycled designs, so do keep a weather eye on the website shop to see what’s there.
I caught up with Hannah and Lewis again this year at splendid Audio Soup festival, which I blogged about last week, in my post, ‘It’s a Tough Life’ .
It was really good to see them, and see how much Lewis has grown. He’s a great little chap, always busy and chattering about what he is doing. On the right here, he’s having a sit down infront of my stall while he eats his halloumi.
Thanks to Hannah and Lewis, the hooded baby blanket with the funky little pixie hood was born, and has now been made into dozens of little blankets and hopefully many more to come, keeping babies warm in upcycled woolly warmth all around the world.
If you are having a baby, or are looking for a present for a baby shower or for a little one, then do head over to the website shop to see if there’s one there you like. Delivery is free within the UK, with International Shipping also available.
Local stockists of my upcycled baby blankets and other woolly wares include:
Mr Wolf, Hexham
Once Brewed Visitor Centre, Bardon Mill
The Hemmel Cafe, Allenheads
You can also see where I’ll be bringing my woolly wares to next, over on the event’s page – you never know, I may be coming fo a field or market near you soon and you can then see and feel the baby blankets for yourself.
Thanks for reading – feel free to share this and spread the word about upcycling.
You can catch up on all the past blogs if you fancy a read over on the website too.
Bye for now!
PS – I’m out and about next near Chepstow in the South West at the Green Gathering – see you there if you’re going 🙂