SANDS Crochet Blankets – Alice’s Army & Our Involvement

At the Open Day in July, we had an ‘Alice’s Army’ area, you may have seen it in the photos:

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We chose to support a cause close to our hearts and we proudly became part of ‘Alice’s Army’, raising funds in memory of Alice Lawrence, who was born sleeping on 7th September 2013. Her parents, Indi and Trevor, are friends of mine and I was devastated to hear of their experience. Indi had experienced a textbook pregnancy and was in excellent health. The shock almost a year later is still evident. This is why we chose to raise funds using the umbrella term ‘Alice’s Army’ (which is not a charity itself). We raised £250 at the Open Day. Half has been donated to the British Wildlife Rescue Centre, the other half to SANDS (the Stillbirth And Neonatal Death charity).

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Whilst I researched how we could support SANDS in particular, I discovered that one way to get involved is to hand knit blankets, as part of their ‘Always Loved. Never Forgotten’ memory boxes. These bring much comfort to parents at such a difficult time. The knitting pattern has been available for some time, but there have been lots of requests for a crochet pattern also.

I got in touch with SANDS to ask if we could help develop a crochet pattern, something I felt we could help with. I asked Emma’s Fabric Studio woolly superstars Judi and Jan if they could help me with this. In typical fashion, they were amazing at translating the pattern from knitting to crochet. After making up a knitted version to get the size, feel and texture, they went about writing a crochet pattern.

We worked with SANDS to get the pattern produced and ensure they were happy with the finished blanket. At the Open Day in July we had a tremendous response from our visitors. So many people took patterns and I was stopped in the village (whilst walking my dog!) by a lovely lady who had taken a pattern and was half way through her blanket. We were quite overwhelmed at the interest and response.

So, for the next Open Day (5th October 2014 at Tithe Barn in Lenham), we will again be supporting SANDS with their cause. They put this urgent request for help on Facebook this week:

SANDS Facebook Request

You can see at the time of me posting this, 4,000 people had shared their plea for assistance. The crochet pattern has been released by SANDS and can be found HERE.

If you would like to come along to the Open Day and pick up a pattern, speak to Judi and Jan and see the knitted/crochet versions of the finished blankets, we would love to see you! They will also be hand to help with any parts of the SANDS blanket pattern you might be struggling with. On the day we will collate and send any completed blankets to SANDS for you. If you complete your blanket after the Open Day we will ensure you have the address to send it to.

So if you would like to join our mini ‘blanket drive’ to help SANDS please do! All the details of the Open Day are at the bottom of this post. For a walk through of the pattern, with photos too, please click THIS link to take you to the separate blog post.

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