SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death Charity) Knitted & Crochet Blankets

The following post has been written by my awesome friend Judi, who along with her mum Jan developed the crochet blanket pattern for the SANDS (Stillbirth And Neonatal Death charity) ‘Always Loved, Never Forgotten’ memory boxes. For more information on why we chose to become involved, please click to read THIS post about our friends Indi and Trevor, and how the loss of their daughter Alice spurred us into action.

You can find the pattern here on the SANDS website.

Over to Judi:

So, it all started like this, an innocent little message from Emma requesting some help with the SANDS knitting blanket pattern. She had asked for a crochet pattern but as one wasn’t available, she asked if we’d have a look at it.

‘We’ and ‘help’ – hmmmm, I could see where this might be going! We immediately took up the challenge after hearing why Emma wanted to get involved.

The first job was to send the knitting pattern off to someone that can actually knit! That is not a skill that I am blessed with, unless the pattern calls for a triangle of dubious tension, full of holes. Lucky for me, my mum (Jan) had just retired and had a bit of time on her hands. Voila! As though by magic, a beautiful knitted blanket appeared. Well done mum, that’s a lot of knitting to squeeze on your needles.

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Once the ‘royal we’ could see what the knitted blanket looked and felt like, it was time to break out some baby white yarn, 2 brand new balls of double knit (DK). I wanted the finished blanket to have a nice soft drape so chose a size 4.5 hook.

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I chose a textured stitch for the body of the blanket. I had used this one a few times for smaller projects and love the texture it gives. It also uses basic crochet stitches; just chain, double and treble crochet, but the results are really effective.

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To get started, chain 104, as per the pattern – so far so good, as long as you keep count.

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Row 1 is just as simple – double crochet in every other stitch with a chain in between. In row 2, you double crochet in the double crochets, and treble crochet into the chain spaces. I stalled here for the night as it was getting too dark for pictures!

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First thing the next morning and before breakfast had even been devoured, I was on to row 3. In this row you double crochet in the double crochets and chain 1 in between. Be sure to read the actual pattern to keep track of where you are!

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Then you just keep repeating rows 2 and 3 over and over until it’s square! In between other jobs (gardening, dog walking and cooking!) I got this far before bedtime!

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The next morning I whizzed along and before I knew it the blanket was square. About 19 inches square in fact, which is roughly 84 rows.

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I love the pretty edging and I continued with this on a rainy day…

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By Bank Holiday Monday, the edging was complete, 3 lovely lacy rows.

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This was quickly followed by the picot detailing. Once the ends were secured and woven in I had one complete memory blanket ready to be checked and approved by SANDS.

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From Emma: We thought a visual reference to assist you while you work through the pattern would be great for those of you (like me!) who prefer to view photos to see what your work ‘should’ look like. Thanks Judi and Jan for your help! 

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