I love Anne Geddes. Particularly her photobook “Pure” which is a powerful testament to the strength and beauty of pregnancy and birth. Anyone familiar with me at all will know that I find everything about the way we bring our babies into this world to be magical, powerful, transcendent. Her book truly captivates this essence.
When I discovered that one of my foster sisters was pregnant with twins, many years ago, I was inspired to design a crossword baby blanket in tribute to “Pure” and birth. But when I found she had lost her babies late in her pregnancy my passion for this project dissipated. The fact that she was able to move forward from this tragedy speaks to the resiliency and strength of her soul. I don’t know how she did it, I frankly, hope never to find out. But this woman just blows me away. And, happily has two gorgeous daughters who benefit from her strength.
I picked up the design again when I was surprised by the knowledge of our own 4th little soul growing inside me . Many, many swatches had already gone into the pattern and I pulled them out. I had based my lacework on Debbie Bliss’ “Alphabet blanket” available in her book The Baby Knits Book. Her lace, however was over 30 stitches wide for each letter. There was just no way to incorporate this into my design. Imagine knitting “INCREDIBLE” at 30 stitches a letter! So I worked and reworked until I was happy with a simpler lace pattern. The result was still an astronomically high number of stitches. There would be no choice but to make the pattern in a very fine lace weight yarn.
I found a beautiful, simple cotton that knits up soft and clean and shows the stitch definition beautifully. The original design was done as a patchwork. Many little squares would have to be blocked and sewn together at the end. But who wants all that sewing? I scrapped it again and decided to make the blanket in one piece. Of course, that meant almost 250 stitches! Well, knitting and pregnancy seem to go hand in hand, and I decided that this was just the way to go. The blanket gradually grew with my belly. But in my pregnancy drained state, I kept making mistakes.
After several errors and many rows painstakingly backed up, I developed stitch markers and a little flip chart that helped me to keep track of the letter I was working on at the time. This helped immensely. At 7 months gestation, I was almost done with the project, when I realized I had a rather large mistake in the letter “R” in the word “PURE”. Well…. we can’t have a lopsided “R” in “PURE”… that just won’t do at all… so…Much to the horror of my friends, I frogged almost 2 months worth of work.
On my due date I had the whole blanket finished. But, it really needed some kind of edging to make it shine. So I picked up all the way around the 234 stitches and 385 rows to make a simple border.
I finally finished the whole thing, weaving in the ends about two days before I went into active labor with my baby boy. He was 3 weeks late. He was waiting for his blanket, I suppose.
I am selling this pattern as a kit with everything you see here. It comes with all the alphabet stitch markers you will need as well as the flip chart and full directions. I am also including 8oz of the lace weight cotton that I used. I was fortunate to get a large quantity at an excellent price and am passing this on to you. I wind the yarn in a huge skein, so the only ends to weave in will be your cast on and cast off tails.