Monday, July 17, 2006

Sending Out an S.O.S.

I know you didn't come here today to see a ratty old blankie, and I realize there hasn't been much exciting knitting content here the past several weeks, but please, bear with me today, and I promise more exciting knitting to come.

This may look to you like something the dog drag in. But to me, it is this:

Cue dramatic music.

*The Most Beloved Object I Have Ever Knit*

I have fixed this thing (what seems like) a million times.

Time 1: Rework stitches, re-weave ends, make it look pretty.
Time 2: '' " "
Time 3: Rework stitches, knot ends, leave as "fringe"
Time 4: Knot ends.
Time 5: Ignore and hope the problems go away.

I gave up fixing it because, for crying out loud, the boy is six. How much longer will he carry this thing around?

But, when I finally noticed that there weren't only runs here and there, but there was a huge HOLE in the middle (he was wearing it as a poncho, and ponchos are out) I realized that I really needed to do something, as it was verging on dangerous. And besides, I have friends who have recently informed me that blankie loving can last easily into their twenties. Sigh.

Here is a close-up of the pattern. Seedstitch squares alternating with stockinette stitch, and a seedstitch border, to keep it from curling. Mission Falls 1824 cotton.

Above is the left side of the blankie, the better side, below is the right side, almost hopeless.

Ideas so far:

1. Machine stitch around the good part on the right side. Cut away the rest. Bind it with fabric.

2. Machine stitch around the good part on the right side. Cut away the rest. Pick up stitches and do a little border with 1 ball of leftover yarn.

3. Knit a mini blankie from the 1 ball of leftover yarn.

4. Frog the whole thing (gasp--don't vote for this because I really couldn't do it!!!!!!) and re-knit it.

5. Chain up all those runs and tie off the best I can.


I was really unwilling to do the chaining up, which is why I was thinking of the machine stitching and cutting, but the more I think about it, how can I frog or cut this most treasured of all objects?

Please help. Votes/comments/ideas/suggestions most appreciated.


Blogger Lauren said...

I like #1. It seems like the most important thing is that at least some of the blanket remains in existence.

1:40 PM  
Blogger Deborah said...

What does 6 year old boy vote for? I think I'd scrunch the whole thing as whole and flat as possible and fuse it to a piece of cuddly flannel or fleece (which 6 year old boy would get to pick out). Then I'd machine stitch the whole thing for added strength. (This reminds me that I must not forget to pack Green Dolly and Special Froggy for our vacation this week.)

11:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This advice from a mother of two grown sons and 9 grandchildren!
Do no EVER dispose of this.
For grandchild number 3 I spent a great deal of time "restoring" her special blanket. It too had those long loose dangerous thread areas.
I let her choose fabric and/or quilt blocks and we patched LARGE areas.
I rebound it several times (again her choice of fabric) making it smaller each time.
I even tried making a duvet cover when she was trying to give it up.
She took it off within 2 days.
Just keep doing WHATEVER is necessary until he is 20,30 or 40!

6:05 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your boy is 6 with a blanket? Try 23! Of course, my son's blanket is a ball of sting about the size of the inside of his hand. I see him holding it sometimes while he is working on the computer.. At least that is the worst habit he has!

8:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Firstly, don't worry about him being 6 and still carrying it around - he seems older as you have younger ones and it seems forever but it stops before you know it (Mine are now teens).
My suggestion is similar to Deborah's: find some fleecy-soft fabric in the same colour and size and just attach the entire blankie to it, loose threads and all. Then you can couch down the loose threads (perhaps with some of the leftover wool) or just machine it all down. Good luck!

8:11 AM  
Blogger Diane D. said...

You might confer with Alison at . She's been working on a similar issue with one of her boys' blankets. My oldest son is 8, and his blanket is clearly The Most Important Possession he's ever had. His is fleece, with a satin binding, and I've had to quilt the entire blanket to another piece of fleece because the original got so thin and had holes! (And replace the satin binding.)Good luck!

9:05 AM  
Blogger Marty52 said...

You need to fix the blankie as if it will be used FOREVER. My youngest son, soon to be 24 and soon to be married, still sleeps with his blankie. Luckily his fiance understands, and he understands that she has to sleep with a fan on. When they visited us a few months ago, I carefuly handwashed his blankie (it was in BAD shape) and spent the afternoon tying up loose ends and weaving them in. He was a happy camper!

So, about your blankie. How about cutting all the good bits out and sewing them together, then use your leftover yarn to make a border?

10:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was so glad to hear these comments about boys using their blankie into their twenties. I have a 9-year old who has his blankie with him nearly every second that he is at home. On the way to school he lovingly arranges it into the perfect pile on the couch on the way out the door. He picks it up first thing when he gets home. He LOVES his blankie and I cannot imagine when he will give it up!

10:20 AM  
Blogger Carole said...

I'm with Lauren. Door #1.

10:48 AM  
Blogger judy coates perez said...

this is too funny, my sister in law has the same problem with her little girl. At birth she was given a crochet blanket by a friend. For years my neice has woven her fingers into the lacey crochet squares for comfort. the blankiet was at some point sewn to flannel to keep it intact. several months back, my sister inlaw decided to try and reproduce the blankie and learned to crochet. I just spoke to her yesterday, she finished the blanket, came out great, her daughter still wants the original disintegrating blankie.

11:37 AM  
Blogger FemiKnitMafia said...

I like the idea of fusing it to a piece of fabric. That would also strengthen the remaining sections. But ... if you're looking for a crazy solution, what about cutting the good part from the bad part, picking up stitches and re-knitting the left side? Or knitting a new left side and doing some crazy kitchener? That might be a cool loving gesture too. Because the new part wouldn't be faded, he'd always know that you love him enough to restore his cherished blanket. ?? This is an interesting discussion for sure.

If you decide on a solution that requires more yarn, I'm pretty sure this is the same color as my disasterous first sweater that's sitting in a bag waiting to be ripped. If you still have your ball band (on the extra one perhaps?), I'll check my dye lot to see if it matches. I have several whole balls left too, so I'm not even offering the ramen noodle yarn.

In the spirit of disclosure, I had a blankie when I was little that I adored. It was woven cotton with a wide yellow satin binding. When I was six and the blankie was in complete tatters, my Mom got rid of it. Sometimes I still miss it. Strange, but true. That might explain the length of this comment and my willingness to throw yarn at you. :-)

1:37 PM  
Anonymous Allison said...

Remember puppy blankie? When puppy came loose from blankie, mom just stitched him back down! Don't change the blanket one bit! Just stitch around the loose yarn and leave it be. Forever you will see how much he loved it. By the way, how is Bus doing? I could never make another Bus! It wouldn't be the same much loved blankie.
Love, Al

4:42 PM  
Blogger Sarah Ann Smith said...

I'm with Deborah.... what does your son want? Ask him if it would be OK to quilt it to a piece of fleece or flannel.

I might not fuse it though... stitch in the ditch around the intact squares, then maybe place some water soluble stabilizer on top of the string-y part (to prevent presser foot snag-ups) and do large "zig-zagz" (i.e. darn it, as in darning a sock) to keep the shreds in place.... Then wash to remove the stabilizer (I like the Dissolve by Superior...washes away MUCh more easily than anything by Sulky).

Let us know what you decide to do...

AND, I bought some yellow yarn to go with *your* yarn, and will make sox on my upcoming trip...imagine, knitting wool socks in the Caribbean and Florida!?! Will blog pics when they are done....

Cheers, Sarah

8:17 PM  
Anonymous caro said...

Wow - that blanket has seen some good lovin'! I have no clue which path I would take, but I know that chaining up those stitches would give me fits.

10:02 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You have to read the book Owen.

11:24 PM  
Blogger Laura said...

You are too funny! My 28 year old boy, Gus, still refers to his blankie as his "kinky".
We're hoping he washes it one day.

7:52 PM  
Anonymous Tricia said...

I'm 30. My blankie is carefully folded in the closet (want to see a picture?

My brother is 29. His started out as a thin, store bought twin sized spread. It's long been a knot of brown thread. Really, a knot. With trailing tendrils of thread.

So, no advice here except to ask him!

7:05 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

I agree that you must consult the blanket owner. I have very strong memories of my father removing the completely worn out backing from my blankie. I screamed like I was seeing a family member murdered. I would say preserve as much of the blanket as you can.

9:30 PM  

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