Monday, February 2, 2015

Sidney's Square


It's story time, children...

A long time ago (the nineties), in a place far away (Massachusetts), I had a college friend who was dating a guy, Pete, who went to a local engineering school. He lived in a ramshackle three-decker in a dicey neighborhood. He had three male roommates and they were all fairly lonely because their school was 80 percent male. My friend thought I would get along with one of the roommates and she urged me to visit with her sometime. I didn't want to. Eventually they had a party for this roommate, who was graduating, and they invited me. I went, reluctantly, because my friend was so sure we'd get along. I met the roommate, who turned out to be the funniest, most interesting boy I'd ever met in my whole life and that was that.

My friend and her boyfriend were over within three months. But the boys' friendship continued. They became friends as freshmen and they kept in touch after my husband graduated a year early. The Bear, whose only sibling, his older brother, died when they were teenagers, considers his friend Pete a brother. In fact, they refer to each other as "my brother." They were born three days apart in different countries (Pete in Poland), and they complement each other perfectly. Pete was one of two "best men" in our wedding (the other was the Bear's childhood best friend; he couldn't choose one over the other). Pete met a lovely, brilliant woman who moved to the US from India to attend graduate school. They got married and are now having a baby. He'll be here later this month.


I started working on a baby blanket soon after I heard the news. I'll be honest; I don't make a lot of baby gifts. Call me selfish, but I have my reasons. For these people, though, making a blanket is my great honor and pleasure. You may be wondering who Sidney is. He's the baby, to me. I think of him as Sid the Computer Science Kid. His parents are both computer scientists. I don't know what his actual name will be but to me, he's Sid, or Sidney.


Sidney's Square is a giant granny square. Not all that giant, really, just 33 inches across. It's big enough for the carseat or stroller, or maybe a nap blanket when he's older.


I just loved working on this blanket, which I started in the fall and finished just last week. I enjoy making big granny squares. Granny clusters are soothingly repetitive and it's interesting to watch the square grow round by round. The entire look changes depending on the color of the outermost round.


The border is simple. I finished the granny cluster rounds with gray yarn then used the same yarn for a round of single-crochet stitches. Then I added a round in blue, and another round in gray, again in single-crochet. Just a neat, clean border with a masculine feel for a baby boy.


I chose the colors for this blanket with boyishness and classic style in mind. Some blue, it seems right to me. But lots of earthy colors and gray too - I love gray for baby items. I love gray, period. It sets off other colors so beautifully. I liked having unexpected colors for my babies - not just pink for my girl or blue for my boy. My favorite outfits incorporated oranges, yellows, browns. I loved dressing my daughter in the same clothes my son wore, having saved the funkier, cooler outfits for future babies to wear when he was finished with them.


I made this blanket with acrylic DK and sport-weight yarns, on a G/6 (4mm) hook. The blanket didn't take very much yarn, maybe two or three skeins' worth altogether. My yarns include: Stylecraft Special DK in Petrol, Midnight, Grey, Spice, Gold, Walnut, Camel and Parchment; Yarn Bee Sweet Delight Baby in Teal, Too! and Peapod; King Cole Pricewise DK in Natural. The border uses Stylecraft Special DK in Grey and Petrol.


So today, the tenth anniversary of the day I learned my own first baby was coming, I share this blanket made for dear friends. Sidney's Square is on its way to his parents in Massachusetts. Crocheting this blanket for him made me very happy. I know he is going to be one heck of a baby. I couldn't be more thrilled for his parents, especially his dad. I hope he knows how glad I am for his brief, drama-ridden romance with my girlfriend back in the day.

55 comments:

  1. Your blanket is beautiful !
    And by this I don't refer only to the blanket itself - also the story behind it, why you made it, makes it special !!
    I'm like you, I don't often give handmade presents, but when I do make one, I put my heart in it because I know the person who'll get it will be very thankful...
    I have a feeling your blanket will be greatly appreciated in Massachusetts !

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  2. Great story Jennifer :) We had two best men as well, they did a joint speech, it was hubby's two roommates so they knew each other very well, it was a total comedy duo, great fun.
    I love the colours you've chisen for Suds blanket, a refreshing change from usual baby fayre. His parents will love it :)
    Jillxo

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  3. Such a lovely story & a thoughtful gift too! I only make hand made gifts for my sister, its such a time consuming process for a handmade to be cast aside x

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  4. Lovely story. Lovely blanket. The colours you've used are great. I began a blanket like that to use up leftover yarn & ended up buying more yarn to finish it. It fits our bed though.

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  5. It's gorgeous, and the colours are wonderful. I always think a blanket is such a lovely gift as it's not something that will be grown out of. The parents will no doubt treasure it for a long time to come, the things that our babies have right from the moment they are born are so very precious. CJ xx

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  6. A beautiful story and a beautiful blanket to go with it. I haven't tried a big granny square blanket yet - it's on the ever increasing 'to do' list. I'm sure Sydney (and his parents) will love it. x

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  7. I enjoyed reading your story as much as I enjoyed looking at the blanket. I like making baby blankets as they feel achievable and don't take over your life, and I went through a phase of making them for friends. I haven't had any babies to make stuff for for a while now...sob. Your colour combinations here work really well, it's a beautiful gift. xx

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  8. They'll be thrilled with this pretty, handmade blanket from their friend! It's lovely.

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  9. It's gorgeous and I love the retro colours, brown and orange works so well with blue! Sidneys going to be a very luck baby and his family sounds very crochet worthy :-)

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  10. I loved the background story! The blanket turned out so nice, and it really does look boyish. "Sidney" is a lucky boy!

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  11. A lovely special story, Jennifer, and the blanket is very special. Your choice of colours is great - blue for a boy, and lots of retro/modern colours too. It will be loved, I am sure.

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  12. What a beautiful, thoughtful gift! I know they will treasure it for years to come.

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  13. So loved this!!! These chance moments in life that lead us down interesting paths we never thought possible! How wonderful that your husband has a friend like this and how BEAUTIFUL is that blanket!!!! They will love it! Wishing you a creative week friend! Nicole xoxo

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  14. Hey Jennifer,
    It's a beautiful blanket. A lovely gift. And I loved the story. Just think if you'd never gone to that party...it must have been destiny! And I think it's cool that the Bear has kept in touch with his college friends. Marc has always been useless at it, which is such a shame.
    Leanne xx

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  15. I love the story of how serendipity brought you to your your dear husband. I went out with a boy in my Sophomore year and I thought he was too "fresh" with me so I wrote him a note to tell him I didn't want to go out with him again.. and handed it to Dayle to give to him.. the rest is history. I love your blanket.. it has *BOY* written all over it! ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

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  16. Sidney? Not a bad name for a baby anyway... what will you do if that's what they actually DO call him?
    I love the blankets; and what useful colours, nothing too pale or pastel that will get filthy when it falls off the stroller or age if, at 12, he wants a snuggly hug off an old and worn cover up.(or 21, when he throws it over the worn chair in his dorm, where he is trying to impress his future wife!)

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  17. Great story. I love the blanket the colours are a real joy, beautiful.

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  18. Lovely blanket ... and the story ! thanks for sharing with us ... Have a very noce day !

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  19. What a great story! Loving the colours of the blanket. I'm sure it'll be really appreciated x

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  20. What a lovely blanket. Love your choice of colours x

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  21. A beautiful story! And a gorgeous blanket.

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  22. Lovely - the story and the blanket - just lovely x Jane

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  23. I just love the story behind this blanket, it makes it so very special :) I love the colours you used, very funky and will still be perfect even when the baby becomes a toddler!

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  24. It Beautiful I'm sure it will be cherished, what a wonderful story, I'm in top secret baby blanket mode at the moment too
    Clare xx

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  25. A lovely story and a beautiful blanket. I'm sure it will be treasured.

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  26. Such a lovely story and a wonderful blanket to go with it.

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  27. such a beautiful gift, and a wonderful tale of your friendship xxx

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  28. Well I think your baby blanket is lovely and the choice of colors perfect. This couple is not only blessed to be having a baby, they are also blessed for having such a thoughtful friend who wants to gift them with a homemade baby blanket. Winters in the New England states can be so cold, as we have seen recently with all the blizzard-like snow falls. That blanket will be put to good use. I have made a lot of baby gifts. It is heart-warming to know that they are appreciated.
    Susanne :)

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  29. A lovely story, and a lovely blanket. Beautiful colours - bright, but not garish :)

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  30. Such a nice story and gives us all an idea of just how much this relationship means to your family. The blanket turned out beautifully. I haven't made a big granny in a long time. I probably should to use up some of my scraps and partial skeins of yarn. As you know, I make tons of baby things, mostly to be given to charities. I love the little pieces, sweaters, hats, socks. They work up quick and give me a sense of accomplishment! :-)
    Blessings,
    Betsy

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  31. What a lovely story Jennifer, and what a wonderful blanket, too. I am glad you went to that party in the end! x

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  32. How wonderful!!! It is a beautiful blanket and it will be very well appreciated I am sure! Congratulations to your friends as well on their baby, they sound as though they will be a very happy family. Love the colours that you chose and that they are not the typical baby colours! xx

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  33. Wonderful blanket, I love all these shades and I truly enjoyed reading this lovely story.

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  34. It's a gorgeous blankie, Jennifer, and a lovely story too. :o)

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  35. What a lovely story Jennifer and the blanket is lovely too, it will be well received and loved I'm sure. :) xx

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  36. A blanket made with love , you can't get better than that !!!! and very neatly crocheted i must say
    I love the colour scheme.....xx

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  37. I thoroughly enjoyed hearing your story and thank goodness you went along to that party! Lucky Sidney to have such a beautiful blanket and so many happy wishes for him before he even gets here xx

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  38. Can you see me back-trotting through your neat posts again, Jennifer:) I love the idea of Martha and Me and have enjoyed her magazine, too. Your recipe sounds so yummy, I hope I can give it a try and I look forward to your reports in the months ahead. I need better time management skills if I want to contribute reports myself, but maybe I can. Meanwhile, I have been enjoying our winter light, and reflections on yours. I admire the story of the birth of Sidney's Square as well as the blanket itself which is very handsome. I hope I can do a granny stripe or square someday, too. Ahhh, yes, back to that time management improvement! Wishing you and yours happy days :) xx

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  39. I love the colours in this, such a nice change from the usual pastel shades people use for baby things. I'm sure it will be much appreciated and admired :)
    Sarah.

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  40. Jennifer, I really enjoyed the story that goes along with this beautiful blanket. They are going to absolutely love it. :)

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  41. I love Sidney's Square and the story behind the making of it, Jennifer. Love your colours, perfect for a baby boy too.( I read this lovely post the other day on my ipad but didn't get the chance to comment then!)
    Helen xox

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  42. What a great story Jennifer! And a beautiful blanket, which will be treasured I'm sure. Bee xx

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  43. It's a beautiful blanket, the colours all work together brilliantly. Sidney & his family would love it. I enjoyed your story too. We also had two best men at our wedding, both childhood best friends of my husband. X

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  44. I love these colours, a blanket to be treasured that's for sure! :) xxx

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  45. What a wonderful story and a wonderful blanket for a very lucky little one.
    Hugs,
    Meredith

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  46. Sidney's square looks so lovely a wonderful story behind it too. Sarah x

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  47. Jennifer, the blanket is beautiful! The colours remind me of India - the spice markets and fresh vegetable stalls. I wonder if the baby's mother will think so too?

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  48. What a beautiful blanket Jennifer and I think the colors are just prefect. It is very much a boy blanket and his parents are going to love it and cherish it. It's absolutely gorgeous.

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  49. Oh Jennifer, what a gorgeous blanket you made! I totally adore the colours (it's got that 'Spice' in it).
    And what an amazing story!
    Have a lovely time!!!
    Ingrid xx
    http://myfunkycrochet.blogspot.be

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  50. The blanket is beautiful, such wonderful choices of colours.
    I really loved reading the story that went with it. I'm certain it'll be loved and appreciated for many years. xxx

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  51. I LOVE the granny square pattern. It's a heart warming pattern to work with. This blanket is gorgeous.
    Poppin' over from the Link Your Stuff Party.
    Alexandra
    EyeLoveKnots.blogspot.com

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  52. Thank you so much for sharing at my link up.

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