Restoration Project: Old Inspires the New

A project that really inspired me was restoring an old granny square blanket aged around 90 years old.  A musician friend wanted me to try to give a new lease of life to a family treasure that her mother had made as a young woman herself.  She asked me, would it possible to use this blanket after all these years and was it really worth saving…  Yes!  I declared.  An important piece of family history was definitely worth trying to save.

As I had never undertaken such a project before, it was a case of learning on the go.  And a great experience it was too.  My aim was to weave in my new repair work as seamlessly as possible, giving a new lease to the original without dominating it or changing its character.  This old, somewhat fragile heirloom was full of holes and had a completely torn out corner piece.  It would require attention to detail and lots of care.

With help from my very friendly local shop owner (at Garntorget, Östersund), I found a yarn that matched in texture of thickness and picked colours that I thought most sympathetic to the character and style.  Luckily, the squares were made up of random centre colours framed in black.  Black yarn was quite tricky to undo and cut out but did make the seaming in a little less obvious.  With the help of Youtube, I worked out the picot edge.  Finally, the torn out corner was repaired and the new (and partially new) squares sat cheerfully alongside the old.

The pictures show some of the process involved in this labour of love.   The best part was the reaction when I gave it back to its owner: her mother would have been proud to see it come back to life and now the blanket could be used again.

This project was a pleasure and then inspired me to use the spare yarn to make more granny squares in the traditional form.  Then I realised I could sew them together to form the top of a hat and add a crochet brim so then the granny slouchy hat was born!  See my post “The Mad Hatter” for details.

The old inspired the new and will hopefully do so for generations to come…


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