Grandma’s crocheting

A while ago I had two posts about Grandma’s lace. That inspired me to get out the set she made for my christening. 

I was born in the wintertime, so there’s a heavy-duty blanket.

It’s wonderfully made, and I wish the photograph did it justice. The yarn is discolored a bit by time, but the stitching is perfectly even throughout. That’s a ribbon she worked through the edge, as well, but I can’t figure out how she did it.

When my mother gave me the blanket, it was wrapped in a plastic bag, and she said, “Oh, and there’s a bonnet in there too.” Here’s a picture of what it looked like:


In preparation for photographing this, I removed it from the plastic bag, only to discover it wasn’t a bonnet at all. It looked like this:

On the back side, it was a second layer, with perfectly even rows of single crochet. I was baffled at first. I called over my Patient Husband and asked what he thought this was. He had no idea either. It’s only about eight inches long by maybe five inches wide.

Afterward, I found a row of snaps on the end, and I was able to open it up. At first we thought it might be a baby-sack, like a bunting. But then we realized what it really was: a pillow case. This wasn’t just a blanket for my christening day, but rather a crib set.

Wow, did we have a terrific laugh about this. First that we were both so stupid that we couldn’t recognize a pillow case. But secondly, we laughed because of course, nowadays, no one gives pillows to babies.

If you gave this to a baby nowadays, they’d accuse you of trying to kill the baby. As exhibit A, I present to you the jury that ribbon around the edge, far longer than the “safe” six inches you’re allowed to have dangling on any baby toy. And for exhibit B, the fact that it’s for a pillow at all. Clearly, a smothering hazard.

Who knew that my grandmother, who loved me dearly and made many sacrifices for my benefit and cared so much about me, actually was trying to kill me.

It’s not just a remnant of my grandmother’s crochet and a monument to her love: it’s also a display of how much child-rearing has changed in a lawsuit-happy world.

Grandma, if you have DSL in Heaven, thank you for the blanket and pillow, and please don’t be offended. Or if you are, please be offended at how bizarre our society has become. In fact, I think I can hear you now in my head going off on how stupid some people can be. I love you, Grandma, and I miss you a lot. I wish I’d learned to crochet better when you were teaching me as a kid.


  1. ivyreisner

    Wow, that’s nice work. She wove the ribbon in by first making eyelets in double crochet through which to thread it. I can’t see the reverse side. It may be that she picked up one row down to make a denser, warmer fabric. When she finished crocheting the blanket, she just threaded the ribbon through a large eye needle (darning or yarn needle) and just ran the ribbon under those double crochet stitches. That’s pretty easy.

    I can’t see the stitch well, but it looks like some kind of entrelac, though that’s traditionally a knitting technique. I’d be curious what it’s called. It is beautiful.

  2. ivyreisner

    Ravelers to the rescue. The pattern is called a diagonal box stitch and has more information on it.

  3. vicki

    What a wonderful keepsake from your Grandma. Your post brought to mind my Great-Grandma whom I adored and who crocheted lace. She was so kind to me, even when I was a rambunctious 5 yo and she was in lots of arthritic pain. She died many, many years ago and I got her arthritis and her love of lace-making but, very sadly none of her pieces of lace. I would love to have had more time with her. You’re very lucky.

  4. illya

    Grandma loved you more than you can possibly know, based on the sacrifices she made to baby-sit for you when you were small. And the pride in you that she felt only grew with time. Your appreciation of her gift, and the love you feel for her is tribute enough to that wonderful relationship.

  5. philangelus

    Ivy, I’ve added a close-up picture of the ribbon. It’s like one very long stitch, or rather a row of very long stitches. Imagine if you had two single crochet stitches one on top of theother, but not linked side-to-side.

    I thought it was the “crazy stitch” myself.

    On the blanket, the reverse side looks exactly like the front side.

  6. philangelus

    Oh, my mom tells me the bonnet must have been with the sweater and the baptismal gown that grew legs and walked away while they were in storage. Stupid thieves. 🙁 I hope THEIR grandmothers blow them a raspberry.

  7. ivyreisner

    From the close up it looks like she made the main part of the blanket, the center portion, first, then picked up and did a round of single crochet, working all around as if it were a granny square. Then a round of double crochet, another round of single crochet, the pattern repeat one more time (this time in the round, not back and forth) and ended with a shell stitch. The stitching is fabulous!

  8. CricketB

    It’s beautiful!

    For the lace, I agree with Ivy that the easiest is a row of dc’s (using American, wrap once before stabbing), and then weave the ribbon under every third or so.

    You say the bars look more like a chain, or even sc? If that’s the case, there’s probably a bar in the opposite direction under each bit of ribbon. I’ve never seen it done, but it should work.

  9. CricketB

    Just looked at the diagonal box stitch. Cool! Wish I’d seen that before this afghan. (Or maybe not, ’cause then I’d never know whether knitting uses the same amount of yarn per area.)

  10. ivyreisner

    CricketB, Crochet almost invariably uses more yarn than knitting. Crochet results in a thicker fabric (up to three times as thick) and it is faster.

  11. ivyreisner

    More info on the pattern, if you are interested.

  12. CricketB

    I measured (And to think I used to do girlie crafts to offset Dad’s engineering influence!), and, yep, the crochet is 2 sqin/g, the crochet is 6.24. (I got half-done the crochet and realized it would be 50in x 40in, which is too small to curl up in.) The knit is a lacier pattern, which may account for a bit of it, but not all, and is offset by the fact that I weighed the needles with it. I find knitting is faster, and I can do it while reading subtitles. I have to glance down every time I “stab” in crochet.