The Baby Blanket Swole Up

By Ann Shayne
October 19, 2017

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39 Comments
  • Anne, I’ve made several, want I call “cast iron” baby log cabin blankets. Study enough to hold up to babies and dogs and playhouses in the yard yet respectable enough to trot on to preschool or college without a babyish look. Your blanket fits right in with this plan. I LURV the yarn. Thanks for sharing.

  • Ann, I love all of your blog posts. But I love this one even more. Those words under the last photo. I’m glad you wrote those. I’m glad I read those.

    And now I want to make another baby blanket. Maybe a log cabin this time.

  • Beautifully put and always to be remembered.

  • Thanks for tis post. I have a baby blanket to plan and now I really want to try a little harder for this baby, too.

  • Thank you for always putting in a word about the world today and our part in it. It’s good to be reminded in such a gentle way. And thanks for the blanket too. A good way to reflect on past, present and future.

  • Thanks for saying it so well, as always.

  • Ann, just noticed that some of the Blueprint for Armageddon series is free right now!

  • amen

  • Years (almost 28) ago I showed the sweater I knit for my first baby to the lactation consultant at the hospital where he was born (I think she was a knitter). She looked me in the eyes and said, “you’re going to be a good mother.” At the time I didn’t see any connection between showing her my knitting and motherhood. I’d knit a sweater, which I knew how to do. I didn’t know how to be a mother. But I did. And I’d started by loving my baby with my knitting before he was born.

    “My best guess is that at some point, these heroic people had some excellent swaddling involving a handknit baby blanket. Surely they grew up with a good blanket.”

    Knitting isn’t love, exactly, but it sure is one way to embody it.

  • Since 2 Dope Queens has brought me so much joy in troubled times, I take your podcast recommendations very seriously. Thank you!

    • Oh Laura, this was maybe the most horrific podcast I’ve ever listened to. Please tread carefully—I wanted to learn more about World War I, but the scale of this conflict and the scope of the depravity caught me by surprise. It is going to take a long time for me to process it.

      • Ann, thanks very much for the warning – I have a low threshold and I might have scooped right into this.

      • Hi Ann, I wrestled with whether or not to comment when you first mentioned this podcast…. Some historian-types write off Dan Carlin’s blog work as heavy-handed on the dramatic story telling, and light on the scholarship (or at least not having the academic credentials, and not speaking in a soothing voice). When you get a chance, I hope you might consider listening to a you-tube clip from November 12, 2016, of “Dan Carlin on Misplaced Outrage.”

        Just possibly, in his earlier blog years, he was more about using his story telling talents and rich source materials to provoke the people that tuned in to be provoked. Right now, though, I think he’s also looking like a guy trying to wake people up and challenge their habit of thinking, no matter what the subject, that they already understand the whole story, and it doesn’t matter anyway, because there’s nothing they can do to make a difference, so why even try.

        Whatever one thinks of Dan Carlin’s “Hardcore History” blog as an information resource, I think his genius may be in using “history stuff” to provoke emotional reactions. Lots of places the listener can take that. Perhaps to confirm cynicism or deepen despair. Or to experience enough discomfort to motivate one to take a new look at things learned in an earlier stage of life.

        My two cents, anyway.

  • Gulp! You’re right on–can’t underestimate the love that a hand made item can generate.

  • I’m log cabinning a baby blanket too, with two strands of sock yarn remnants, changing and fading as I run out, so relaxing. And it’s always satisfying to see scraps turn into something magical when they play nicely with another colorway.

  • Yesterday, I dropped off a colorful crocheted afghan for my niece on hold in a mental health unit. Hopeful it will remind her that she is loved and valued. Thanks for these words today.

  • OH my! I have knit a few of the wonderful baby log cabin blankets for special little ones entering this world, but why has it never occurred to me to use a multi-coloured yarn?? This is LOVELY! Thank you for this inspiration!

  • Like the blanket, LOVE the thoughts about babies and our future. I have nine grandchildren, the oldest of whom are eight years old. And I have been passionately involved with the issue of climate change for several years, which I think is the worst problem facing humankind. (Yes, there are plenty of other terrible ones, like racism and misogyny.) One thing that keeps me going is imagining my grandchildren when they are adults, saying to me “Nonna, why didn’t you do something?” and my being able to say “I did everything I possibly could.” That’s what keeps me going.

  • That lucky baby will be swaddled in the colors of Spring and Summer, definitely a soft and happy way to begin his or her time in our world. I am also working on a baby blanket right now, for a tiny nephew about to be born very soon. Every night it grows by inches as I cautiously wade through the TV news, and the dissonance is not lost on me. We need beauty, art and generosity more than ever, in dark times especially.

  • Did I miss what pattern this was and where to find?

    • Yes. I too would like to know where to find the pattern.

      • Me too- I would love to use the pattern and yarn! Thank you!

    • Ann will, I hope, correct me if I’m wrong, but I thought she was just log cabin-ing around semi-improvisationally? What’s so addictive about freeform log cabin is how easy that is to do!

      If you want more of a plan to follow, there’s always the classic Moderne Baby Blanket from the original Mason Dixon Knitting book (and which I just noticed is available as a free PDF linked on the Ravelry page). Just, you know, make it all in the same colorway of a highly variegated yarn.

      • This blanket is basically the Classic Log Cabin dishcloth pattern that appears in our new MDK Field Guide No. 4: Log Cabin.

        https://www.masondixonknitting.com/shop/mason-dixon-knitting-field-guide-no-4-log-cabin/

        If you begin with that dishcloth, and Just Keep Going, you will end up with a blanket of whatever dimensions you like! Mine ended up rectangular because the last four strips are added two to each end, rather than continuing the spiral pattern established at the beginning.

        Hope you all have fun with this!

        • Thank you have a great day!

  • Awesome, Awesome, Awesome. Such great words of encouragement and knitting. And I probably would not have chosen that sort of yarn for a baby blanket but i absolutely love it! Doesn’t scream baby. Thank you!

  • Beautiful thoughts on a beautiful blanket. I teared up reading this, although that might have something to do with postpartum hormones from the beautiful little girl I birthed two weeks ago. Who also has a rainbow log cabin baby blanket, lovingly hand-knitted.

  • Thank you for a great post. I make log cabin blankets for very close friends— it’s a lot of love and knitting and once basically had a new mother kind of toss it aside. So now I am very choosy……

  • Thank you for this lovely, thoughtful, hopeful post. It also made me cry, but in a good way, I promise!

  • The blanket is lovely and your words are too. I find myself thinking often about the world in which my three grands are growing. On a lighter note “swole up” made me laugh out loud and more than a little homesick for Tennessee. XXOO

  • Just lovely! Both the post and the dear, sweet blanket.

  • I love that pretty blanket, and I’m glad it grew after watering.
    My handknit hat is off to you re: Blueprint for Armageddon. For nearly a year now, I have only been reading the literary equivalent of oatmeal. I’ve been very actively avoiding anything that might make me feel despondent, anxious, or angry. Rather limiting! But so far my head has not sploded, so there’s that.

    • I began watching The West Wing as a reminder of a time when people, who were not always perfect, brought intelligence, thoughtfulness, and a desire to make the world a better place to the immense job of governing the country.

      • Here, here! I never watched West Wing, but certainly identify with what you’re saying. Maybe our elected officials, both sides of the aisle, could each benefit from receiving a hand knit log cabin blanket made with the same loving attention and intention that Ann has brought to this Lichen and Lace beauty. Maybe that would be the grounding force that guides them back to what you’re describing, Mary. I, for one, would welcome a chance to try and could knit some squares. KAL, anyone? 😉

        • I never watched it when it was on the air. but my friends raved about it. I finally felt ready,

  • The state of the world, with climate change, hate, violence, is so scary to have a new baby in. But there is also hope and love. I’m not sure what her world will be like, but I’m going to try hard for her. In the meantime I’m going to wrap her in handknits and hope she feels safe. If only she’d nap during the day so I could knit for her more. What a lovely post. ❤️

  • Pattern?

  • Love this baby blanket. So cheery

  • I think this is my favorite version of the log cabin . . . at least so far! There’s nothing quite like garter stitch to assert coziness and the pattern and yarn cuddle together in it like they were family.