crocheted baby blankets

One Customer's Story


One of my customers, Kathy, purchased a Mini Blankie for a friend who had lost her own 30 year old Blankie. For her college writing class, Kathy wrote about her Crocheted By Frida experience. Kathy has graciously given her permission to share this story with us.

THe LOST HEIRLOOM
by
Kathy
Pendergrass



     On her wedding day several weeks earlier, Kenia left in her hotel room the precious heirloom baby blanket her grandmother crocheted for her 30 years ago, and now presumes it incinerated. She is devastated and grieving over the loss of the blankie. In her small office where they work together, at 32, embarrassed even to admit that she still carried it around, as tears roll from her big brown eyes and down her cheeks, she tells Renee her story.

     What once was a soft and subtle gold and yellow baby blanket, she described, was in shreds, discolored, dingy, and nothing more than a rag when she lost it. In a strong Mexican accent, she struggles to find the words in English to describe her feelings-the magnitude of its meaning to her.

     "I miss it so much, it is unbelievable, I cannot sleep good at night now," she sighs. Renee's eyes well up at hearing how emotionally attached Kenia is to the blankie-how it was her constant companion her entire life. Renee understands without Kenia saying another word because her own daughter, at 21, still carries around a ragged piece of her childhood baby blanket everywhere she goes.

     "What got in to me? Can I find a replacement for her precious heirloom? I am out of my mind! I know I can make it myself, I just don't have the time." All of these thoughts run through Renee's mind in the same instant. Instead of making it herself, she starts a search on the Net for "handmade crocheted blankets" and finds Frida.

     Frida's website is spotted with photographs of her expertly handmade blankets, blankies, baby clothes, layettes, and stuffed toys. Renee can tell that the craftsmanship is remarkable-even from photographs. She reads the story about how Frida has been making crocheted baby items for over 30 years. Renee imagines Frida's yarn flowing across her fingertips and through her crochet hook with the ease and slight of hand of a magician performing magic, and quickly places an order on-line.

     Within a week a box arrives via priority mail. "It's here, and so soon!" Renee tears open the box at both ends and struggles to get to the contents. She may as well have put her hand in a box of fluffy marshmallow. The blankie is made of small granny squares sewn together, creating an 18 inch square blankie. "It is spectacular," she whispers to herself. Made of the purest white and softest yarn she has ever felt - like Eqyptian cotton. Cradling the blankie in her arms like a baby, the reality of the surprise comes to life.

     "How will I present it to Kenia?" she wonders. The presentation must dignify the sentimentality of the lost heirloom. "It can't wait until Christmas, but it can still be a Christmas present . . . in November."

     That evening, Renee carefully folds four sheets of white tissue paper to fit a small white gift box. The blankie is folded to fit as well, and then gently swaddled inside the pocket of tissue paper. One corner is folded back to reveal a tag sewn on the blankie that reads: Hand Crocheted by Frida.

     Renee wraps the box in gold paper, with green and gold ribbon, and uses an angel to adorn the top, but not just any paper, ribbon, or angel. The paper is thinner than wafer thin and fragile in a flat gold color. The ribbon is not ordinary either. It is a four-inch wide, pine green, velvet ribbon with gold glitter hash marks in a geometric pattern, equally spaced the length of the ribbon, and gold glitter trim down both of the edges.

     Renee carefully cuts the paper to size, folds and tapes the ends with hospital corner precision. She stretches the ribbon across the top, around the edges, and then back around to the top again from the opposite direction, and then ties the two ends of the ribbon like the first loop in a shoelace. Instead of a bow, she ties an angel to the top of the loop with a small piece of gold thread that is connected to the top of the angel for hanging. Not just any angel. This angel is six inches long, three-dimensional, made of thick wire, sprinkled with gold glitter, coordinating with the ribbon. The angel has a gingerbread man cookie face; tiny flat buttons for eyes and a nose, and a small upturned noodle shape to form a smile, all in gold. Renee gently places the sparkling package in the back seat of her car for delivery in the morning.

     So Kenia wouldn't recognize her handwriting, Renee asks a co-worker to address and sign the gift card. Mimicking a child's handwriting, with a large green marker, she writes "To Kenia" on the envelope. Inside the two-inch square blank white card, she writes "From Santa". The card and envelope are collected, and Renee retreats into the company conference room, where she's been hiding the surprise. After pushing the card into the envelope and folding it shut, it is tucked under the ribbon so only Kenia's name peeks out over the head of the shiny gold angel decoration.

     So what's the plan, when and how will Santa deliver the package? Renee's office is on the second floor, Kenia's on the first, but Renee overhears Kenia talking to someone in an office down the hall and realizes that she had better act now if she's going to pull this off. She quietly but quickly enters the conference room, wraps the package in her blazer, tucks it under her arm, and scurries runs downstairs. She places it on the reception desk, and then positions herself at the telephone console, relieving the receptionist for her afternoon break. Two minutes later, Kenia walks down the stairs-a very close call.

     Renee's heart pounding and almost out of breath, she calls to Kenia as she is about to pass. As Kenia walks over, Renee points to the elegant package, and tells her that a delivery person dropped it off while she was upstairs. Raising one eyebrow puzzled, she picks up the package and walks back into her office around the corner. If Renee is going to get a chance to see Kenia's reaction when she reveals the gift, Renee will have to do something that she does not normally do-pry.

     Renee reluctantly asks, "Aren't you going to open it? What are you waiting for? Who do you think it's from? Are you going to open the card?" Kenia stalls, says she has some filing she wants to finish first.

     "I'm sure it's from Curtis," her husband, she says.

     Renee paces the lobby floor, wringing her hands and occasionally glancing over to see if Kenia is finished filing. Much longer and she'll wear a trench in the carpet. Finally, Renee hears Kenia tearing the paper of the envelope. She walks around to Kenia's office door and asks again, "Who is it from?"

     "Santa," she replies.

     Renee pretends to be surprised, and struggles to give Kenia some privacy and contain her emotions. She walks away and starts pacing the lobby again. She hears rips and tears, and then from Kenia, "This is so beautiful." Renee rushes to a good vantage point about three feet away from the door. Now, petrified with anxiety, she watches. Kenia looks up, and smiles a huge smile! Her eyes are watery and sparkle like diamonds on a tiara. "I can't imagine who did this." Renee continues to watch as the tissue paper is folded back and the blankie is revealed. Kenia pulls out the blankie, throws it across her face, and covers her eyes with it.

     Her heart pounding and trying not to cry, Renee watches Kenia embrace the blanket and take in the smell of the soft cotton yarn with deep breaths. "I wonder if she knows it is from me." Seconds only trickle by like sap dripping from a pine tree. Kenia finally removes the blankie from her face and caresses and squeezes and pulls at it becoming acquainted with every stitch and knot, like Charlie Brown's friend, Linus, with his blanket.

     Crumpled and makeup on it already, she embraces the new baby blanket, holding it tight to her chest. Kenia looks up at Renee, winks and smiles another huge smile. Renee knows she knows and begins to feel a surge of warmth come over her. They walk toward each other, and without putting down the blankie, they hug. With big smiles, and many teardrops just as big, they just stand there for a moment, smiling at each other, saying nothing at all. It is at that moment that their souls share a dance of delight that they are friends.

crocheted baby blankets

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Send email to Frida with questions or comments about my baby blankets and crocheted afghans.

All the products I sell on this web site are hand crocheted in the USA by me. Because each blanket and/or doily is made to order, all sales are final.
Frida Leonessa, 279 East Central Street, Suite #138, Franklin, MA, 02038, USA
Frida@CrochetedByFrida.com

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