When former crafts editor Blake Ramsey announced to friends that she was expecting, the craft editors knew they wanted to make something special for her. And what would offer a warmer welcome to the newborn baby than a snuggly, handmade blanket?
Silke Stoddard, deputy crafts editor, proposed the idea of this community gift. Each person would knit a square, which would then all be pieced together by Silke in what she called "bright 'Blake' blue." So cute, right?
"A total of six of us would make this blanket for Blake, who used to work with us in the craft department here at Martha. Actually, all of us worked together here at one point or another."
Each editor was asked to contribute a portion of the blanket. Their area could have been made up of one or more pieces of different shapes, using different stitches (though mostly garter and seed were used). Collectively, they used the same yarn: a super-soft, superwash wool of worsted weight that is machine-washable (suitable for baby). They chose natural-colored skeins from one of their favorite stores Purl, so the pieces varied in subtle shades of cream. "If we all use the same yarn, that would be the 'common' thread," Silke says.
Silke was in charge of collecting and crocheting together all of the completed pieces. First, the individually knit pieces were sewn together with a contrasting yarn so that the seams show, using a loose mattress stitch.
"My good intentions of having everyone have the same dimensions didn't quite work and after laying out what we did have, I simply measured what was missing and we knit those to fill the gaps." Hence the many differently sized pieces. "In the end that worked out well, as we all love the slightly wonky look."
To finish, she crocheted all the way around the edge of the finished blanket with a single crochet. The result is a charming, one-of-a-kind gift perfect for a one-of-a-kind baby!