Monday, January 06, 2014

A Blanket for the Big Freeze

Binding pinned, so I can hem it while near the heat of the fire.
If it's cold and you know it, wave your hand! It's nutty cold here. Holding at about 3 degrees Fahrenheit currently, and expected to head into the negative digits tonight.

Such cold weather is uncommon, especially here in Kentucky, and so the schoolchildren are home, including my boys, and except where the heating vents are, our house is on the chilly side as the cold air seeks its way in through the old walls. Over by the kitchen window the floor is frigid; wonder if we forgot to put insulation in there when we renovated this room.

When my dad was a boy, my grandmother wrote his name in all capitals, in ink, on a piece of twill tape and sewed it to a dusty rose-colored wool blanket, just at the pink binding. He took the blanket to camp, I understand. A few years ago Dad and Letitia passed the blanket on to us, since they live at the beach and don't exactly need much wool there. Over the years the binding had worn to shreds with use and it was clearly time for me to remove what was left and put on a new one.

I wonder how many folks still do this? Good wool blankets are hard to find, and anyhow many people prefer synthetic fabrics since they go through the washer and aren't scratchy. (Christopher snorted just now. He has the other wool blanket and while he likes it, he complains it scratches him.) Yet I love wool: it breathes well so you don't feel all perspire-y underneath, and they are warm and toasty and not physically heavy. In combination with a nice fat down duvet, you have the definition of a toasty, toasty, heavenly sleep.

Boys in between smiles, on the blanket, denuded of the old binding. The boys were somewhat at a loose end, and yes, Mom, Christopher was made to take off the binding from around his neck.
These past few days, then, I've been slowly hemming a new binding to the blanket, which shall now belong to Noah. The color matches perfectly; what were my chances of coming across such good vintage binding? Fortune smiled. It's been a family project: Christopher waxes the thread, and hands me pins; Noah hands me pins too, at whiles, when he thinks of it and stops reading a moment, and asks when the blanket will be done. His understanding of the speed of handsewing is somewhat rudimentary, methinks, despite the years he's seen me at work. Ah well.

Here's hoping the blanket will be ready fast, before the Big Freeze lifts! Although, if the Arctic air decides to return to Arctic Circle early, we'll be happy to see it go. It didn't bother to bring the Northern Lights with it.

Muffin nested on the blanket last evening. No sewing at that point. Who could be so hard-hearted as to move such a
sweet-faced purr?
Poor little Miss Blueberry Muffin. This was her favorite blanket, the one she gravitated to almost daily, sleeping hours on it as it lay atop our master bedroom bed. Now it shall live on Noah's bed, under his bedspread. I'll be needing to find something else soft and scratchy for her.

Next time, the cap! It's finally almost finished.


AuntieNan said...

My Mom re-bound all our old blankets. Sometimes she couldn't find a matching rayon binding, so shed pick a contrasting one. I recently did the same--our dusty rose wool has a lovely cream edging, however, Betty Bernina did the work for me, as my hand sewing skills SUCK.
To stave off the creeping drafts from under a window, do as I did--a nice stack of wicker boxes full of Strategic Fabric Reserves. They make great insulation!

Natalie Ferguson said...

Dear AuntieNan,
Yay, you bind your blankets, too! I have faith in humanity's sense of make and mend again. Cream would be pretty with the dusty rose. Must have been a popular blanket color.

Wishing I had baskets, not plastic bins, of fabric. Plastic in itself is cold. Sigh. However, no basktet is entirely safe at our house because the boys love them, new or old, and play market with them.

Uh-oh, hungry boy at my side, and something toasty in the oven.

Must run.

Very best,


AuntieNan said...

Uh... Dread secret here, I have plastic bins and even a cloth bag or two under the bedroom window... They all help!

Natalie Ferguson said...

:} :} :}

MrsC (Maryanne) said...

A friend of mine has a cushion covered made of french knotwork that her cat just loves to rub against, because it is soft and scratchy at the same time. Cats are so tactile! I love the satin bound old blankets, such good memories. And the contrast of slippery satin with the wool was always so pleasing to a very tactile young me :)